Short Stories →


August 21, 2023

“Maybe I should kiss you to ease the tension?” Those were the last words I spoke before she broke my heart.

What’s really sad is that I really thought we were getting along so well. Goes to show age won’t necessarily make you any wiser.

We met by chance, or so I thought at the time, outside Nollendorfplatz station. She was looking at her phone and crashed into me. Apologies led to small talk and somehow we ended at Cafe Einstein, talking over coffee and strudel for several hours.

We began seeing each other soon after, always at dusk, always at Cafe Einstein, always sharing coffee and strudel. We talked about so many things. Her knowledge and fascinating personality impressed even one such as me… but somehow she always managed to avoid mentioning her full name, or any detail about her past. I didn’t care. When you’ve been keeping dark secrets of your own as long as I have, you learn to respect those of others. She said her name was Greta, and that was enough for me.

They say hindsight is always 20/20. Slowly, in every conversation about art, history, music, the wall, she was probing into my past and reconstructing my story piece by piece. Making sure I was who she was looking for. I should have noticed the hidden pattern in our apparently random talks, of course. But can you really blame an old and lonely soul for letting his guard down?

It was early in October when she surprised me by asking me to meet not at Cafe Einstein, but at the square in front of the nearby Saint Matthias church. She was strangely quiet and there was a certain sadness to her familiar greeting. We walked in silence for a while until she suddenly stopped and turned to face me. “I know who you are.” This caught me a bit by surprise, but not as much as what she said next.

“I don’t mean who you’re pretending to be. I mean who, and what, you really are.”

It was then I finally understood what she had been doing all this time. As an old hunter myself I had to admire her skill. I could only hope that she had begun to feel for me at least a fraction of what I now felt for her. Perhaps she did, but she was also a professional.

“Then you know it’s all behind me. All those things I did. It was a different world, and it was such long time ago.”

“I know, and I’m sorry, I wish I didn’t have to do this, but I have to.”

A tear ran down her cheek as we stood there in silence. Fully aware now of what we could do to each other. It was then I knew I couldn’t ever harm her. I tried to smile.

“Maybe I should kiss you to ease the tension?” Was all I managed to say before I saw the sharpened wooden cross in her hand.

It’s rather sad, but not really unexpected. You know how this things are. You wait centuries for the perfect woman to appear, and when she finally does, her name is Greta Van Helsing.

And she literally broke my heart.

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