A Winter Story - Chapter 4
Chapter 4 - "A Mountain of Snow"
The next day it remains suspiciously long silent in the holiday apartment of the Schneider family. Firstly, it had become late in the evening until the arrival. After the parents and Eli had taken care of the sleeping Mia and Liam in their beds, the car had to be cleared out: Skis, ski boots, hiking boots, snowshoes, suitcases and bags, poles and gloves, helmets - "Ski holidays are cruel when it comes to luggage," Dominik groans. It's Karin's turn with Eli to carefully arrange Dominik's carried-in treasures in the right cupboards and chests. When everything is in its place, the three of them have a glass of wine together to celebrate the upcoming holiday. It had become two, three more and the clock had long counted the new day. In the morning around half past nine everyone is gathered around the table. With somewhat glued eyes they squint out at where the snow is piling up. And it is far from finished: Undaunted, the flakes float down from the sky.
"I think we'll have a quiet day," Dominik tries to push the plans in the direction he wants. Karin contradicts, "You can take the little ones out sledding, can't you!" "Yes, Dad, we'll go sledding," Mia and Liam are immediately enthusiastic. "I'll walk to the supermarket and get us some food for today," Karin plans further. Dominik makes a counter-proposal: "Why don't we swap roles during the holidays? I usually go to the indoor swimming pool with the kids at the weekend. You go sledding with them and I'll take care of the food and cooking! And tomorrow we'll see who does what." "Okaaayyy..." says Karin at the surprising suggestion, "agreed!" Everyone goes to their rooms and puts on the ski underwear and ski suits they brought with them. Eli holds Dominik back for a moment, "Will you give me the car keys? And: I still have to check with Juan in the valley if he needs something to wear. I won't be back until evening." Now it's Dominik's turn to say "okaaaayyy...". He presses the key into her hand and warns, "Drive carefully in this snow!"
First Karin leaves with the two little ones, then Dominik with the shopping bags. Eli dawdles around a bit until it's time to take the car to the station down in the valley. She drives carefully, just like the driving instructor taught her. In the large parking lot in front of the station, she parks the Skoda and trudges in the snow flurries toward the track. Soon the train pulls into the concourse, trailing a veil of snow. Juan steps off the train in a thin coat and approaches Eli, shivering. The two hug tightly, she places a smacking kiss on his lips, "Come, we'll buy you something warm to wear."
Three hours later, the two of them are sitting in the café with their purchases, enjoying a tasty mocha cake, the specialty of the house. Outside it has continued to snow heavily, Eli and Juan's cheeks are red because of the cold - and because of the expectations of being together. Upstairs in the apartment, Dominik, who has become restless, checks his cell phone. According to the locator of autoSense , the car is still at the station. "But that takes time..." the family cook wonders. "Ui, already half past four!" exclaims Eli down in the valley as well after a glance at the clock, "We have to go!" "Come on, let's stay a little longer..." begs Juan, who is a little afraid of the family box. "No," Eli replies, "when my father cooks, you have to be on time!"
The two pay and walk towards the parking lot. Eli stops there, startled: A wide white blanket spreads out in front of them, only occasionally humped up by the snowed-in cars. "Man," the young woman moans, "I don't even remember where I parked the car!" And Juan asks, "I don't suppose you have an eggbeater either...?" The two look at each other in despair: "Call your father," Juan suggests. "He always knows everything!" Eli grins at this not-so-hidden dig, corrects Juan with "My stepfather!" and then follows the advice.
"Dominik, we have a problem," she says on the phone and describes the situation. Dominik hesitates, thinks about it - and actually knows what to do: "You're going to download the autoSense app from the Apple Store," he tells Eli. Then he gives her the login data. "Now you can get the car's location!" Eli does everything as instructed, holding her phone out in front of her like a divining rod as she wanders the parking lot. "This must be it," she exclaims, pointing to one of the snow hills. Juan puts on his newly bought gloves and wipes the snow cover off this car. Indeed, a Skoda. And because Dominik has told Eli where she can find the snow broom, the car is also shoveled free faster than they thought. Twenty minutes later, everyone is sitting around the dining table and telling each other about their adventures, whether in the snow, in the café or at the stove.
A week later, Dominik comes into the office on Monday. "So, how were your holidays?" his boss Matthias Meier asks him. "Wonderful," Dominik enthuses, "and I did some field work right away: Remember that case you slapped on my desk before the holidays?" The boss looks at Dominik questioningly: "What case?"
Of course, Matthias Meier has long forgotten what happened before Dominiks' vacation. "The neighbour dispute about the new building! It was going on right in front of our holiday apartment!" Dominik tells him enthusiastically. "So, who's right?" asks Meier. "We are, of course," Dominik replies, "the plaintiff simply falsified the plans to prevent construction. Here's my draft pleading." He tosses Meier a reading folder. "Nice," Matthias Meier nods admiringly, thinking, "Nice to have employees working during the holidays, too. But he tells Dominik in a stern tone, "Gell, you can't count the work as overtime then!" "Sure," Dominik says resignedly, thinking: nothing really changed during his holidays. Maybe he should look for a new job...