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Live, Love, Lose - 4. 4.

So...Where do you think he is now...?

Obviously, he wasn’t outside anymore.

He was met with the sight of a creamy ceiling adorned with yellow stripes. He began panicking for some unknown reason. He swiftly sat up and his eyes fell upon a rather large window which was right at the centre of a wooden wall. There were long white curtains that were drawn and which weren’t opaque at all, letting in all of the bright morning sunlight, and other ones that were tied to each side of the window. They were white as well, but unlike the first ones mentioned, they had green and pale red motifs that looked like flowers on them.

Karl turned his head to the left. His eyes were met with a light brown wallpaper adorned with floral motifs, bouquets of flowers. He then looked down at his lap. He noticed a white sheet, as well as a maroon woolen blanket, had been covering him. He also noticed the bed he had been sleeping in was more comfortable than his old bed back at home.

He resolved to get out of that bed, pulled the sheet and cover off of him, and shifted his position so his feet touched the floor. It was a dark green carpet that was feeling fluffy under his calloused feet. They were bare. He scanned the rest of the room carefully but he couldn’t spot either his shoes or socks. He still had his shirt and pants on though. He soon realised he couldn’t spot his linen bag either.

Beside the bed which was against the wall just like his own, there was a single and big wooden wardrobe on the wall opposite the window.

The room was awfully quiet. So much so it was almost frightening.

How couldn’t he have realised he had been brought there?

He really couldn’t explain it.

He remained still for a while, frozen in his spot. He swallowed thickly at some point before he finally stood up and made his way towards the door which was closed. He looked at it for a few seconds, still like a statue before he blinked at it. He slowly reached out for the knob before turning it. He let the door ajar and peeped at the hall, trying to look for any sign of life.

But the hall was dead quiet as well, so he opened the door fully and exited the room. He looked at his left and then at his right and then made his way towards the stairs. His eyes fell upon the main entrance once he was downstairs. His gaze then shifted to the other hall. He took careful and slow steps as he crossed it. As he was moving forward he could hear voices speaking that were becoming more and more distinct as he was still walking, though he couldn’t understand what they were saying.

He kept moving until he reached what he supposed was the kitchen. He stopped in the doorframe and quickly noticed the people that were inside of it. There were two men sitting opposite each other at a wooden table, big enough to have six people, and a woman who was cooking at the stove. One of the men looked rather old. He must have been in his mid-fifties while the other one looked much younger, perhaps in his mid-twenties or late twenties. The eldest one was reading some newspaper.

Karl didn’t dare do anything, yet he told himself he had to. He couldn’t remain frozen like that in the doorframe.

So he simply cleared his throat.

The two men looked in his direction shortly before the woman stopped what she was doing and turned around to gaze at him.

“Oh, you’re finally awake,” she said with a bright smile on her lips.

Karl just blinked at her blankly. Of course, he couldn’t understand a single word of what she had just said.

There was a rather awkward silence that followed her words, at least it was for Karl.

“What were you doing sleeping all alone out on the streets? Those streets at night are not that safe, you know,” the woman said, breaking the silence with a concerned look on her face. “What about your parents? What happened?”

Karl was just left speechless with impassive eyes.

“Jeg er dansk,” he ended up saying, guessing they wouldn’t understand, but he didn’t know what else he could say.

I’m Danish.

And indeed, they didn’t understand. They were just staring at him with unreadable looks on their faces. They must have thought he was some homeless English boy.

“Jeg ikke er engelsk,” he added in a low voice, sounding somehow worried and sad.

I’m not English.

Silence.

It seemed to be never-ending, and it was making Karl feel more and more uncomfortable with each second that passed.

“Just come and have a seat,” the eldest man finally said with a nice accent.

But Karl just raised one eyebrow.

“Come,” he repeated as he gestured for the boy to approach them.

Karl blinked again. This word sounded strangely familiar, like the one they used in Danish. It wasn’t exactly the same pronunciation though.

He did as he was told and took a step forward before he made his way towards the table. He didn’t know where he should sit. He eyed the two empty seats next to the two men.

He eventually chose to sit down beside the youngest one, whom he guessed was the eldest man’s son.

The eldest man never looked away from him as he had moved, even now as he was sitting down. Karl looked down at his lap before he glanced up at the man across the table. He smiled at Karl, a small but soft smile.

For some unknown reason, he didn’t dare stare into the man’s eyes, as if he were afraid of him.

“Here, this is for you,” the man’s wife told him in a sweet tone as she put down a plate in front of him, even if she knew he couldn’t understand English. “You must be starving.”

“Tak,” Karl replied ("thank you") as he glanced up at her.

The woman smiled at him gently.

“Anytime, dear.”

She then went back to the kitchen counter to grab him a fork and knife and approached him again to give them to him.

“Tak,” Karl said again, earning another smile from the woman.

There were boiled eggs, beans, tomatoes, and two slices of bacon on his plate. Karl was used to not eating most mornings and would usually make up for it with lunch or dinner times.

After all, he didn’t come from an upper-class family.

But he was curious to taste that food. Yet, at the same time, some part of him was telling him to be wary.

Why would strangers be so nice to him?

Well, they probably only just felt pity toward him.

He stared at his plate blankly for a little while. Soon, the woman sat down next to her husband.

Even if they were well aware that he couldn’t understand their language, they seemed to be unwilling to speak about him while he was there with them, especially the woman actually.

“You should eat before it gets cold,” the woman advised him, looking concerned once again.

Karl looked up again to stare at her. He took the opportunity to examine her thoroughly.

She had short dark blond hair that was smooth unlike his own and blue eyes with a tint of green. She looked like she was in her mid-fifties as well. She somehow reminded him of his own mother. Just in the looks, certainly not with her softness and smiles.

She tried to mimic someone who would eat, so he could understand much more easily what she meant. And of course, Karl took the hint.

He didn’t mean to offend any of them, so he took his fork and began eating some beans.

The blond woman watched him eat with a warm look on her face like a mother would look at her son.

Everyone was silent, but it was a rather comfortable silence this time. Karl was solely focused on the food he was eating while the three of them were watching him. But the young Dane didn’t mind.

He really liked it, and even though he wouldn’t admit it to himself, it was nice to have such a good breakfast in such a nice and warm house with such kind people. It felt like he had a family again. Even though those people were total strangers. It felt good to imagine that they could be like a family to him, to try to pretend that they were.

Once he was done with eating his food, he finally dared stare into the man’s eyes. They were brown, a warm brown, and he was wearing glasses as well. His hair was brown, smooth, and neatly styled, but it was slowly starting to turn grey, especially on the sides.

He was wearing a nice suit with a tie. Karl had never seen a man look so classy before. Or maybe once in Copenhagen, but he wasn’t really sure. Copenhagen’s streets were really busy. Maybe not as much as London’s. But it was overwhelming. When you come from the countryside, seeing all those people buzzing around is almost a shock.

His gaze then shifted to the younger man who was sitting next to him. He looked pretty much like his father. He had brown, smooth hair that was styled into a quiff, warm brown eyes, but no glasses, and a suit with a tie similar to his father’s. And some of his facial features were somewhat similar to his mother’s.

Karl quickly averted his eyes from him. He might have thought he was some sort of weirdo or something like that if his gaze lingered too long on him.

“Tak for måltidet,” he said as he looked again at the woman. (“Thanks for the meal”)

She smiled at him, showing her white teeth.

Karl’s gaze remained focused on her for a bit. She seemed to be lost in thought, probably wondering why he was living on the streets, in a foreign country. And without anyone he knew. Well, that’s what he assumed.

What else could she possibly be thinking of at that moment as she was staring intently into his blue eyes?

“Paul, could you please show him the shower? After spending time on the street, he’d surely like to have a nice shower and will probably need some new clothes,” she asked her son.

“Of course.”

Said man swiftly stood up and gestured for Karl to follow him. Karl did as told in silence and so they went upstairs.

Paul showed Karl the bathroom and the bathtub and went to look for a towel which he put on a stool near the sink. He then went to grab a set of clean clothes so his mother would be able to wash Karl’s old and worn-out ones.

As Karl was waiting in the bathroom he joined him and extended the clothes to him.

It was just hard for the boy to believe they were giving him clothes, to a boy they didn’t even know. He just felt like he couldn’t accept them. He was fine if he kept wearing his same old clothing. Even if it was dirty.

“Take them,” The English man said to him.

Even if Karl couldn’t understand English, he must have guessed the boy wasn’t dumb. Gestures spoke more than words sometimes.

The other male insisted with his gaze and gestures.

“Jeg kan ikke acceptere…” (“I can’t accept…”)

“Of course you can.”

Karl remained motionless for a little while, and so did Paul. The younger lad ended up yielding and took the clothes from Paul’s hands.

“Tak.”

The brown-haired male smiled at him.

“We say ‘thank you’ in our language.”

Karl gave him a puzzled look.

“Thank you,” the other male repeated.

Karl tried to pronounce it but the sound was unfamiliar to him, so he could only babble trying to reproduce it.

The English male showed him how to make the sound properly as explicitly as possible. Karl tried to imitate him.

“Or you can just say ‘thanks’. I guess it will be simpler.”

“Thanks…” Karl managed to utter still struggling a bit with his Danish accent.

The man smiled at him again.

“At least now you’ll know one word in English. And we’ll know one in your language.”

Karl smiled back at him, a small but genuine smile.

“Thanks,” he repeated, sounding more confident this time, even though his pronunciation was not perfect.

The man nodded at him.

“You’re free to go and shower now. We’ll be downstairs,” he made the gesture to show ‘downstairs’.

Karl nodded, and shortly afterward, Paul walked away, closing the door as he did so.

The Danish boy stared at the door as if his feet were glued to the floor.

All of this was so unexpected… Everything had happened so suddenly... One night he was sleeping on some street and the next morning he woke up in a strangers’ house.

He wasn’t used to the unexpected, and this was somehow unnerving. He was used to living a life in which everything was already planned out, where things would always be the same.

It may have been a monotonous life, but he enjoyed it. Well, he had learned to with time.
Because he had always been so sure that he could never have any other kind of lifestyle.

He let out a quiet sigh before putting down the clean set of clothes on the stool under the towel. Then he eventually decided to remove his clothes so he could bathe. He let them fall carelessly on the tiled floor. It’s not as if they were anything near expensive and stylish material. If anything, they were more like rags.

They really had a nice bathroom. His family didn’t even have one back at home. Apparently, his parents considered it as something superfluous. Something “posh” that only upper-class people living in big cities possessed. Cities like Copenhagen. Come to think of it, his brother and sister possessed one (even if it was small) in their respective dwellings. They must have got tired of a decent lack of hygiene. Even though they never voiced it explicitly.

Karl stepped into the bathtub and remained standing in it instead of sitting down.

Even if he had never used a bathtub, it wasn’t complicated to make it work. The water soon started to run, soaking him entirely. It was cold at first, but it progressively turned warmer and warmer. He adjusted the temperature so it wouldn’t be too hot and burn him.

He let the hot water stream down on his back as he closed his eyes. He let his muscles relax under the feeling of it.
Yet, he didn’t wish to misspend their water. So he soon turned it off.

He spotted a bar of soap placed on the edge of the white bathtub, against the tiled wall. He took it in one swift movement and started rubbing it against his body. He washed his whole body and rinsed it off, trying not to think about anything as he did. But in such circumstances, this wasn’t really easy. He then dried himself off before putting on the new set of clothes he was given. It was such a nice sensation.

His new clothes were similar to his old ones. It consisted of a white singlet, a white long-sleeved shirt whose sleeves he rolled up, suspenders, and a pair of brown trousers.

Karl didn’t take too long to bathe. He was used to doing things quickly and efficiently. Especially this kind of thing.

He left his old clothes on the stool near the bathtub and swiftly went downstairs and made his way back to the kitchen.

He had no idea what the small family was going to do with him. He just hoped that his good luck would last at least for a bit.

Hey dear readers ! I hope you're doing fine and that you still enjoy that story so far !

Stay safe and take care ❤️

Copyright © 2021 LittleCherryBlossom26; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

To be stranded in another country, with no idea of the language or customs must be terrifying. It seems Karl has been rescued by good people. I'm hoping it's not too good to be true.

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They must have been a well off family. Showers were rare in private homes in the UK, a lot (maybe even the majority) of homes didn't have an inside toilet or bathroom. Working class families - tin bath , middle class ,if in metroland (suburbia), probably had a fixed bath.

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Karl being taken away from everything that he knew, has to be shocking to him.  It would be for most anyone his age and not knowing why  he was sent to England.  I am hoping that at some point a map will appear and someone will be able to understand Karl or he will be able to understand what is happening and who are these people that are sheltering him.  Karl has been thrown into the war without even knowing what is happening to him.  Talk about being in shock,  I feel sorry for him and I am sure this family does as well.  I want to find out more about what Karl is thinking and see how this family can figure out a way to explain to him where and why they have him in their home.

Intriging story thus far,  I am hooked.  Keep going you seem to be on great story here.  Thanks

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Karl must be confused and in shock.  He doesn't seem to remember what happened to him.  The cultural shock is also frightening.  I am more and more angry with his father negligence both in education and in preparation for Karl's journey.  Fortunately, some very kind people rescued him and have given him a safe place for now.  It was nice to see the family start to help him learn English.  Karl need it in order to survive and understand what is happening to him.

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The past few weeks my wife and I have been watching historical perspective on world war II. I know that one of the proclamations Hitler made when he invaded Poland was to find the children that looked Arian and to remove them from the homes where they were at so that they could be raised as good Nazis. Usually the parents were killed, unless of course they were of used to Hitler.

 

I'm glad to see our young man has had a turn of good luck and has been mentioned before in the comments I'm hoping his good luck continues.

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