Alright, so, first attempt on writing Horror, even though the scary stuff won't happen up until around chapter 3 or 4. I uploaded this on Wattpad first, and a friend in there said it'd do well in here, so I tried. I hope you'll like it! xo
My head had begun to float a bit as I walked through the door to the bathroom closely followed by Anna. She was even further away from me, though that really should not be a surprise by now, still giggling from some joke.
"You have to admit he's cute." Anna jumped up to sit on top of the counter beside the sink. I rolled my eyes.
"I thought you had to go to the toilet," I pointed out to her. I didn't like it when she got like this; it was too dangerous.
She just giggled some more. "Not anymore." I sighed, leaning my head against the wall. "Come on, don't be boring," she protested, trying to get my attention once more. "Curt knows him, he's a great guy."
I shook my head in disbelief. Curt was probably five years older than us and the bartender of the bar where we had been drinking a couple of times. "And how do you know that Curt is a reliable source?" I gave her a skeptical look.
Anna's eyes rolled to the back of her head. "Oh, come on." She looked back at me. "You know him as well as I do and I know you trust him."
She was right and we both knew it. It was hard not to trust a man who smiled as much as Curt did. "Right, but still…"
"Still what?" She frowned at me, maybe just a bit annoyed. "He's not a member of FDJ? Wasn't a member of JP? So what?"
I closed my eyes, mainly because my head was beginning to really feel those free rounds that Curt had given us. "You know what." When she didn't grant me an answer, I continued. "Where did you meet him anyways?"
She shrugged. "I met him last week. Jonathan introduced me to him."
That brought a bit of relief to me. We'd met Jonathan this summer at an FDJ camp and he was a quiet, nice guy. Anna thought he was a bit boring and quickly became annoyed with him, partly because he has this huge crush on her but mostly because he called her by her full name, Anna-Lisa.
When I didn't say anything, she took my hand and dragged me out to the bar again. "I'm not spending all night brooding inside a toilet," she told me.
It was a Friday night and the bar was full of people. They sat around, either getting drunk because they were young and wanted to have a party or because they needed to drink away their sorrows and disappointments – and money, for that matter.
Curt was standing by the bar, mixing a drink and absent-mindedly listening to a drunken man who was mumbling on about the inflation and his kids not affording this and that. Our reappearing from the toilets was a welcome distraction for him. He smiled one of his brightest smiles as he asked if we wanted another drink.
"Alina definitely needs one," Anna said as she sat down beside the guy that we'd just talked about. Thomas was his name. He was tall and slim with brown hair and nice brown eyes – he looked about as sweet and innocent as anyone could.
Curt laughed. "What do you want?"
After a quick look at the drinks' menu, I picked out something that didn't sound too alcoholic and returned to our conversation with Thomas.
"Do you know Burkhart Herzel?" Thomas was asking Anna. She shook her head. He looked at me. After less than a second's thought, I shook my head as well. "Crazy guy, he is. Just last week, I caught him planning to protest with a group of guys that he met the night before." He shook his head in disbelief, taking a swig of his beer.
Anna and I looked at each other. "Why is that crazy? We've got freedom of speech," Anna said.
"Until you use it against the Party." I looked at Curt who had just appeared with my drink. "A friend of mine tried to protest a year back or so. He disappeared for a week or so before being brought to trial where he admitted to having bought and distributed Western propaganda."
"And you're sure that's not what he did?" Anna looked at him with raised eyebrows.
Curt looked her up and down. "No more than you do now, just by wearing that bandana."
It was true what he said; Anna went far, so far that it was a miracle that she wasn't in the Stasi searchlight yet. Her middle brown hair was long, almost waist-length, and when she went out, she usually wore a bandana. She liked loose clothes with strange patterns, listened to Western music and had a dream of one day watching an Audrey Hepburn movie.
Sometimes, I wished I dared to look like her. On a night like this, the bangs my shorter blonde hair were pulled back into a clip and I wore a simple yellow dress. It was pretty, but ordinary.
Thomas nodded to Curt. "Well, this friend of mine told me that the Rolling Stones are giving a concert. You liked Rolling Stones, right?"
Anna nodded. "Yeah, but surely they're not giving a concert here? The government wouldn't let them." In spite of her words she still had a look of hope in her eyes.
"Of course not." Thomas sounded exactly like anyone else would do, answering that question; as if the opposite was unthinkable. "But they are giving a concert just on the other side of the Wall. We'll be able to hear them from the rooftops on our side."
Anna chewed on her bottom lip in excitement and looked at me, a small smile forming. I sighed, silently giving her the permission that she was just as silently asking for. When granted, she turned to Thomas, now beaming.
"Saturday, next week." He observed her with a raised brow. "You want to come?"
I waited for her answer with just as much anticipation as Thomas and from the corner of my eyes, I saw Curt turn around slightly to hear it as well. He caught my eyes, making sure that we were alright. I shrugged and looked at Anna.
She shrugged as well. "Sure. I'll just have to check if I have any other plans."
Mixed feelings spread through me. It had been much easier if she'd just said no and I could have felt relieved. I'd have left the bar happy that I wouldn't have to spend the next week trying to talk Anna out of going. Now that she'd said yes everything was so much more complicated. Because I didn't want to talk her out of it. Because I loved Rolling Stones. Because I wanted to go just as badly as she did.
Curt's reaction was a bit like mine; he wore a worried frown, but he also looked at Anna with a fond smile.
Anna turned to me. "You'll go with me, right?" I bit my lip. "Oh, come on. Please? It'll just be this once, I promise, and it'll be fun and epic and everything we've ever dreamed of and then we'll go home and that'll be it."
She was speaking at hundred miles in an hour, making my tipsy brain work on overdrive. "Yeah, sure." Mixed feels once more filled me. Did I regret that? Was I afraid? Or what?
Anna smiled, surprised but happy. She looked at Thomas who seemed to be reevaluating his opinion on me. "Sure. I'll talk to my friend."
Our conversation went from there, mostly on our common interest in Rolling Stones and West Berlin. I wasn't entirely sure if I trusted Thomas. He might not be Stasi, but he was the one who had the most to lose and I was rather sure that was not a good sign.
As the night went on, my trust for him grew. He smiled easily and laughed even more easily. At some point that I had a hard time remembering, we moved from the bar to a table by the window where we could play cards.
The next time I began thinking about the time, it was already three in the morning. Time had outrun us and we agreed that it was time for the last round.
"I'll go get it." Anna smiled and stood up, walking to the bar where Curt was beginning to look tired and bored. The bar was definitely closing, the three of us being the last customers. It wasn't out of the ordinary for me and Anna to stay here this long, though; out of the four times we'd been to the place, only once had we left when he closed. Usually, we stayed, talking to the bartender and having one last drink – on the house.
Thomas sat there, smiling. He was drunk, very drunk. But then again, so was I. I managed to keep the conversation going for a minute or two, but then we entered an awkward silence that I was way too accustomed to when Anna wasn't around.
When she hadn't returned after a couple of minutes more and I began to grow restless, my eyes began to wander more and more often to the bar where she was talking to Curt. He didn't seem to making the drinks, so unless Anna had just downed them all on her own, she simply hadn't ordered yet. I sighed deeply.
"So… From where in Berlin are you?" I asked, just to get the conversation going.
"I'm from just out of Berlin." He said the name of some town, told me it was boring like hell and that he was never going back. "And you?"
I shrugged. "Just around here." My head was beginning to ache and I really wanted to go home. I wanted to think about all that had happened. I looked at Anna, who was still talking to Curt. He was making our drinks while speaking.
Jonathan nodded but didn't say anything. I looked back at Anna. Curt was putting our drinks on the bar in front of him and Anna place a hand on his wrist, saying some words that I would never know. She looked at him, he nodded, she said something, he nodded again and she took the drinks.
She sat down, a small smile plastered to her face. I remember thinking that it wasn't the smile that she usually wore - the brilliant large beam - but a smaller one, a private one.
"Here you go," she said cheerily as she distributed the drinks across the table. "They're on the house, so no need to worry."
"What? That guy's crazy." Thomas nodded to Curt who was cleaning up.
I shrugged. "What do you need money for anyways?" What with the inflation and all, having no money was almost better. We knew Curt well enough to know that he had taken loans that one day seemed too enormous to ever being able to pay and the next day were worth nothing to the bank. Just like money was to the people; worth nothing.
Thomas chuckled, shrugging. "Still crazy."
Anna seemed to smile a bit brighter. "He is." She looked over her shoulder before beaming brightly. "Prost!" she said loudly, lifting her glass to meet ours.
Thomas looked at us, a mischievous glimpse in his eyes. "Jawohl… jawohl jawohl!"Anna and I laughed before joining in on his song. "Wir trinken Alkohol. Wir haben keine Wasser so wir trinken Alkohol."
We all laughed before cheering again and then taking a big gulp of our beer. Before too long, our glasses were empty and I was beginning to really want to go home.
"Anna, we should go. It's almost four o'clock."
Anna looked at me with a bit of a shocked face. "Four? Already? I'm sorry, where did the time go?" She laughed disbelievingly. "Let's just go to the toilet for a second, then we'll go."
I nodded and we excused ourselves to Thomas before going to the toilet.
"Thanks for wanting to go with me to that concert." Anna smiled at me. "I don't think I'd want to go alone with Thomas and some friend of his."
I smiled back. "As if I'd let you do that."
She laughed as she stood up from the toilet. "True."
I stepped out of the way for her, letting her wash her hands. She looked at herself in the mirror, correcting her make-up. "Do I look good?"
I frowned at her skeptically. "What do you mean? We're leaving in two seconds."
She looked at me with an awkward smile. "Just tell me."
I shrugged. "You do. You look very good."
Her eyes quickly went back to her reflection. She nodded to herself, touching her hair one last time. Then she turned to the door, smiling at me.
Outside Thomas was waiting. He looked to have been paying his bill, which was something that we'd already taken care of.
"Are you two ready to go?"
I nodded but then looked at Anna. She smiled at both of us. "Yes, you two just go on. I'll be right there." When we didn't seem to be leaving, she nodded. "Go on." She waved her hand at us.
Thomas laughed. "Sometimes I worry for your relationship with bars."
Anna laughed as well. "How come you're not worried for your own relationship with them, then?"
He laughed, beginning to turn around to leave. I shot another glance to Anna before following him outside. "You think she's okay?" I asked Thomas, who was already walking away.
Thomas looked at me. "You wouldn't think that you'd known her for so much longer," he joked. "Yes, she'll be right out."
I frowned as he began to take out a pack of cigarettes. "Are you sure?"
He lit one of the cigarettes, inhaled and blew out a ring of smoke. He held out the smoke in question and I accepted. "Hundred percent."
I looked at him once more before putting the cigarette to my own lips. My anxiety returned, though, when, by the time we'd finished the cigarette, Anna still hadn't returned. I looked at the door down the street. "I'll go check on her."
He shrugged. I looked at him for a second, then began walking down the street. I was just about to open the door when I saw it. Well, saw them.
Anna was sitting on a barstool, leaning across the disk. Her hand was in Curt's hair, keeping him close as they kissed while his hand was stroking through her strands, causing the bandana to fall to the floor. It seemed innocent enough; no tongue, no pressing against walls, no going home together, but I still couldn't do anything but just stand there and stare.
I watched as Anna pulled away, staring at the man in front of her before smiling happily and leaning in once more.
In fear of being caught staring at them, my feet moved me away from the door and back towards Thomas. My mind couldn't help but wonder if what I'd seen was real or if I'd just been seeing things. I was a bit drunk, after all. Yet, the smile on Anna's face when she came running out of the door a few minutes later erased every suspicion that I'd had.
Her happy voice filled the cool night air with expectations about the future, about Rolling Stones and about getting to go that university that she had longed to go to. And on the inside, beneath my worries and fears, I was happy as well. I was looking forward to going to that concert and, after realizing that I'd known Anna's feelings for Curt all along, I was happy for her as well.
I had absolutely no idea what kind of horrors th