Discovering Love

a novel by Rolf A. F. Witzsche

Episode 1 of the series The Lodging for the Rose

Page 17

Chapter 3 - Erica's Flower Garden

Chapter 3 - Erica's Flower Garden

      Searching for Ursula Fleischer at the beach, with little to go by, may have been frustrating in terms of the mission, but in real terms, it wasn't a total waste of time. In fact, it became rather interesting later that day.

      One of women shook her head and said that she was sorry for having to disappoint me, "I am not Ursula Fleischer," she said in near perfect English, "though I wish I was," she added.

      "How did you know I speak English?" I asked.

      She pointed at the book in my hand.

      "My name is Peter," I introduced myself. "I am supposed to meet someone here by the name of Ursula Fleischer, someone I have never met before."

      "Ah, a blind date, is it?" she asked with a grin.

      "No, it is not exactly a date," I replied and paused for a moment. "As a matter of fact, I am not even sure that she is here. Also, she won't know that I am looking for her."

      I wasn't quite sure if what I said made sense. She was a fascinating woman to look at, which meant that everything else became secondary. There was something wonderful in the way she smiled. She said something about wanting to help me if I could describe the person I was looking for.

      "Someone tall," I said, "slender, with hair almost red, and breasts not too big." I explained to her that this was the way the man at the Rathaus had described her.

      "The description fits me perfectly," she said, "but it is also quite broad."

      "Yes, it fits quite a few other people," I added.

      "Is this your first time here?" she asked while she scanned the shore. "By the way, my name is Erica," she added, "I come here often."

      "I am from Pittsburgh, I came here yesterday for the first time," I replied mechanically. All this seemed unimportant at the moment. I couldn't help looking at her, drinking in her warm smile and her graceful, beautiful, female shape. "I wish you were Ursula Fleischer," I added, and began to grin now, too.

      "You wouldn't say that if your wife was here," she replied, and smiled even more now, "but I love you for saying it."

      "Ah, but how did you know that I am married?" I asked.

      "You told me."

      "Me? I never mentioned anything like that."

      "You told me with your eyes. The way you are fascinated by me seems to indicate that you have been a happily married man for a dozen or more years and have never laid eyes on another woman for all that time. You're like someone who has been locked up in prison for a long time, and I am the first person to come your way."


      "No, Erica, you are the most beautiful person here, that's why. And yes, I have been married for thirteen years. My wife's name is Sylvia."

      "Would she be shocked if she saw us here?" she asked.

      I nodded silently.

      "But why should she be, Peter?"

      "I think she would feel dishonored by it," I said, "or cheated. The concept of marital fidelity is such a convoluted one. It can cause so much pain when it is perceived to be violated. However, even the best husband is still a human being, with human needs, like any other man. Forgive me please for being human, for staring at you. You are right. You fascinate me. You are a woman. Perhaps I shouldn't be looking at you, but to be honest, I am deeply affected by your presence. It feels wonderful to look at someone as beautifully female in every respect, as you are. I hope you're not offended."

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