"Hast du Planen fürs Wochenende ausgemacht?"
You stand there, uncomfortable, unsure. She's hanging the laundry, and you offered to help her, but she said she'd do it on her own.
Now you're glad she didn't take you up on your offer, because as soon as this horrible, awkward conversation is over you're going to escape as fast as you can. Probably off to your bedroom and the fantasy world of your choice.
And she wonders why you don't spend enough time with the host family.
You yearn to explain why not, the true why not – because you've never been good at making friends, because the last time we had the talk about being more social and not "missing anything" from this experience was four days ago and does she really expect you to change your entire nature in four days – but you can't, because you've tried before, and she doesn't believe it.
"Ich habe mit der Sonja gesprochen, aber sie hat schon verplant," you say. The simple explanation.
„Schade," she says.
The click of clothespins, soft slip and slide of material as she shakes out the clothes, drapes them over the drying rack in a practiced rhythm. Your eyes widen. Is she being sympathetic? Understanding?
She looks up at you, meets your eyes. It's times like these that you notice just how much her face resembles a skeleton. Or a dog. Sometimes you're not sure which. She finishes the sentence.
"Schade, dass du nie was selber machst. Ich glaube, jemand muss dir immer sagen, was du tun musst."
Of course it would be too good to be true.
Stone. You make yourself into stone. The words wash over you like water. They will not sting you. Not this time.
You nod, impassively. Sometimes you wish they could see into your head, so that they could understand the tangled mass that lies there. The confusion. So that they could understand.
You grab for the necklace at your throat so your hands have something to do. Try to cloud your eyes over with indifference. Wait.
She continues. You wish she wouldn't.
"Du wusstest, seit Wochen schon, dass du morgen frei hättest. Du musst früher planen. Du kannst nicht warten, bis dem Tag vorher."
You nod. Press your lips together. Wait.
She doesn't say anything else – maybe she's waiting for you to respond. But you've had this conversation before. Too many times.
Your answer is not going to change. Not in four days.
She says nothing else. You turn, walk downstairs. Say nothing.
There are too many things left unsaid.
But what's the use of saying them?