With my angel sitting across from me I had trouble focusing on the story Irina was telling to Greg and I. My thoughts were in competition with Irina’s story of love in a different time and place.
“Where did you go that day after you left? I wanted to say “thank you” but you were gone!”
“He was 14 and I was 13 when we met in East Germany as our parents were sent there by the government to help with automobile production.”
“Really, automobile production? What kind of car?” Greg asked. “Porche? Volkswagen?
“Oh goodness no!” Irina said chuckling. “Those were for the West Germans and all the Westerners! We had the Trabant.”
“Yes, it was a mass produced car which smoked like a chimney. Sturdy and easy to fix they were the car you drove.”
Greg thumbed through his smartphone and did a search of “Trabant.”
“Wow! It’s name means satellite or companion in German and was inspired by the Sputnik satellite.”
“Who ARE you and where did you come from? Why do I have trouble catching you!”
“So when did you meet?”
“The second day we were in East Germany at school.”
“Was it love at first sight?”
“Yes it is…”
“What? It isn…oh wait…”
“…not at first.”
“Well when will it be?” I subconsciously muttered aloud.
“Uh, oh, uh…”
“Well it was in our last year of schooling that we became more than friends.”
“How long were you married?” I managed to finally get out.
“45 years. He passed away in 2000. We had lived here less than five years before his heart attack.”
“What about your children?”
Irina’s expression made it clear that would be topic for another day.