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Live, Love, Lose - 12. Chapter 12

Two weeks passed. Nothing particular happened during this span of time. Karl was gradually adapting to this new way of life. He actually liked seeing and doing new things other than the usual farm work with his parents. Breaking out of his usual routine to settle a new one. Besides, it was only temporary.

The Hopkins family being always so nice and warm with him made it much easier for his effort of integration.

But as for George, he had been acting the same way toward him as the very first few days he had got there: cold and aloof, pretending he didn’t exist.

Karl couldn’t say it affected him in any way. He didn’t particularly want to get to know him.

Why should they learn to get to know each other anyway?

Karl just happened to get there when he apparently needed to stay in the Hopkins house too. It’s not like they wanted to become friends or anything.

And forcing them, or forcing themselves to become friends wouldn’t be a good thing, he couldn’t help thinking.

He had noticed that George had been skipping most dinner times, supposedly much too busy to study to take the time to eat anything.

He suspected it was because of his presence, something that didn’t seem to come to mind to either Mr. Hopkins or his wife.

“Don’t tell me George is going to skip dinner again tonight,” Mrs. Hopkins said one evening, obviously upset.

Paul wasn’t there again, but he couldn’t tell about the precise reason for his absence. It’s not as if he needed to justify it with him anyway.

“We can’t force the food down his throat if he isn’t hungry,” was her husband’s answer.

He didn’t look happy as he said that, but if he was worried, he was hiding it pretty well.

“If he keeps on skipping so many meals, he is going to end up becoming ill. Is that really what you want?” Mrs. Hopkins said, her hands on her hips. “This will not help him pass in any way.”

Her husband didn’t reply, as if he didn’t know what he could say.

“Maybe you should try to talk to him,” she added after a long moment of silence, having softened in the way she spoke.

“And what should I say to him?” A pause, then. “I do not think it would help much anyway.”

His words were followed only by silence.

“You could still try at least,” Mrs. Hopkins ended up saying, looking more worried than anything else.

There was silence again.

“I will leave it to Paul to talk to him later. He will certainly be better at this than I can be.” A pause. “For now, let us just be patient. There is no reason to be this alarmed just yet.”

Mrs. Hopkins looked as though she wanted to say something, but her mouth remained closed.

Karl sat down opposite Mr. Hopkins once he finished laying the table down. Mrs. Hopkins made her way to the stove and brought the stew she cooked earlier that day.

“You know I have been thinking about something,” she said as she put it down. “Perhaps we could go out on the coast this weekend. I guess Carl would like to see something other than London. London is nice. But the coast is even nicer. Especially during such a time as May.”

She sat down next to Karl, presumably waiting for an answer from her husband.

He seemed to be rather surprised by what she had just said.

“You would be ready to miss Service just to go on a short holiday?”

She looked like she was somehow shocked by what he had just said. Or maybe it was too strong a word.

“Just one more time, exceptionally. Father Lovejoy will understand. I really think George needs a small break.”

Her husband remained silent, seemingly deep in thought.

“So what do you think?” She questioned.

He didn’t reply immediately to her question.

“I think it could be nice for the boys. Even though a world war is not really a good time to think of going on a holiday.”

“That’s why we need it all the more so. I think it’s not a bad thing. You need to take your mind off of all the things you read about in your morning paper.”

Mr. Hopkins just looked into her eyes silently, and Karl could see that same look in his eyes again. Mrs. Hopkins didn’t say anything any more, and instead, she stood up from her seat, took Karl’s plate to put some stew in it. Karl thanked her, and she did the same with her husband.

The silence was becoming kind of awkward, and it seemed that nothing could be done to lighten the mood. The teen met Mrs. Hopkins’s gaze as she had just sat back down. She gave him a warm smile.

“I’m sure you will love it.”

He guessed she was talking about what she and her husband had been talking about a few moments earlier.

“Love…” he repeated, trying to pronounce it the best way he could. He didn’t know the meaning of it.

Mrs. Hopkins hummed as she was smiling.

“It will remind you of where you come from, Feinuh.”

He immediately understood she was referring to his native land.

“We will be going on the coast.”

Another word he didn’t know yet.

“Coast, near the sea, ocean, you know.”

Ocean, he recognised the pronunciation. So this meant…

“Kyst,” he said the Danish word aloud, not that he wanted them to learn Danish.

“Kist,” she repeated with her nice English accent. “Is it how you say coast in Danish?”

He nodded.

Mrs. Hopkins seemed to be delighted to know this.

“It makes me think of kissed,” she then said.

Karl glanced at her husband to check whether this look in his eyes had gone or not. Mr. Hopkins glanced back at him before smiling at him. Karl smiled back before he looked down at his plate and started eating.

“If there was really one language I would like to learn, this is Danish,” Mrs. Hopkins said.

“I thought you wanted to learn to speak French fluently,” her husband chimed in.

“Yes, I still do, but this is different.”

Mr. Hopkins raised one eyebrow at her.

“I am certain that you are just saying this because Carl is here. Had he not been here with us, you would have never given any thought about Denmark, Danish, and its people.”

“And so what? There is nothing bad about it, is there?”

Her husband just kept staring at her in silence.

“Just keep teaching him English for now.”

“You don’t need to say that.”

After dinner, they moved into the living room to have some tea, which seemed to be some evening ritual.

Mrs. Hopkins made another carrot cake to go with it. And she was still worried about Karl’s roommate.

“Are you sure you don’t want to go and see George and try to talk to him?”

“Paul will be there tomorrow. It can wait until then.”

She sighed.

“This is just so frustrating to see him feel down and not be able to help him properly.”

Mr. Hopkins waited for a few seconds before he came with a reply.

“I know. But at least we are here for him.” He paused before proceeding. “He knows he is not alone.” He paused again. “We have always been here, and always will.”

Karl wasn’t particularly worried about him, but he still brought him a slice of cake when he finished drinking his tea and eating his own slice.

Starving when you don’t have any food to eat is one thing, but making yourself starve when you have food to eat seemed almost absurd to Karl. Unless you have a very good reason to make yourself starve. For example, the day when he had had to leave his parents and home unexpectedly, he hadn’t felt like eating anything. He still thought the boy with glasses needed to eat if he wanted to be productive.

“Oh that is so kind of you,” Margaret exclaimed with a big grin once he had the slice in his hand. “I wanted to ask you to do it, but it’s a very good thing that you took the initiative to do it by yourself,” she said, obviously proud of him.

He just smiled at her as a response before bidding them both good night and heading upstairs discreetly. He opened the door, trying to remain as discreet as possible, and not really surprised by the sight in front of him, he took a few steps forward. George was still studying and had probably not moved from his spot on the bed, like most evenings.

It was somehow strange to Karl because a bed didn’t seem to be really appropriate to study. There would need to be a desk in the room. Or maybe there was one before, but it was removed. Karl couldn’t know.

He approached the brown-haired male without uttering a single word and put the slice down on the bed next to him. George followed his movements carefully as he seemed not to like the fact that Karl was so close to him.

He raised one brow at him as he stared into his piercing blue eyes.

“Am I supposed to eat it?” He asked not really in a nice tone.

Karl just stared back into his brown eyes intently, almost as if he was trying to stare into his soul. He could understand what he had just said, but he just didn’t know what he should answer. So he just shrugged, indifference visible on his face.

“I told you I wasn’t hungry. Not. Hungry,” he said a bit too aggressively.

This confirmed Karl’s suspicions. Even if they had met each other only two weeks earlier, George didn’t seem to like him at all. Karl had already had this impression from the very start. He had done nothing wrong to him though. Karl had nothing against him since he didn’t know him. Neither did he like him or hated him. He was just neutral. He wasn’t even indifferent towards him.

“So you can take it back, eat it, or do whatever you like with it,” George then added.

Karl would be ready to leave to let him have the room all to himself. Paul and his parents were really nice, too nice, and he wasn’t really comfortable with the thought of crashing and living in a house that wasn’t his, being idle all day long instead of working. Yes okay, he would help here and there whenever he could, but he didn’t consider it enough.

His mother had always repeated to him that nothing was free in life and that he would have to work hard to get anything he wanted.

And these words had been etched into his mind for a long while now.

He just took back the slice of cake and left the room without saying anything. Once he came back into the room, George just ignored him and pretended he wasn’t there just like he had been doing it every time. But Karl didn’t mind. He could understand that his presence wasn’t welcomed there.

When he was finally lying in bed after some time, and once he made sure George was fast asleep, he left the bed and the house, quiet as a ghost.

He didn’t know where he would go, but as long as he knew he wouldn’t sponge off anyone any more, it would be okay.

Hello!

So there's a bit of drama starting... You can be mad at George for this one!

Take care until next chapter! ❤️

Copyright © 2021 LittleCherryBlossom26; All Rights Reserved.
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Poor Karl……he found a safe space and that nasty George is putting that in jeopardy.  What a douche!!

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Well this chapter certainly took a turn for the worse for Karl. Almost as bad as being adrift at sea, Karl, as a result of George's attitude, has chosen to cast himself out of the Hopkins' house, rather than be the cause of friction.

Mrs. Hopkins is not going to be pleased!

 

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