I ran around the city for the next few weeks to wrap up my life in Germany. I had to return the leased car, remove my name from residential registration, terminate a year-long contract with the gym, redirect mails to my upstairs neighbor, Kanako. I thought I had concluded everything, but one thing was missing from my list. But I didn’t know about it at this point.
I was planning to fly to London in January, but as my marbles were so precarious, I asked Stuart if I could move before Christmas. He said that was fine and I could come to his aunt’s place with him for Christmas. But I was so exhausted from the tumultuous year that I only wanted to spend time with him. There was a back-and-forth argument, but Stuart gave in and gave up his Christmas with his family for me.
The landlady came for an inventory check with her grandson, who translated for me. Our relationship had become cordial over the past year, and she was even sympathetic with my predicament. Or perhaps she saw it coming to such a headstrong, “Americanized” foreigner.
Kanako, my upstairs neighbor, invited me to dinner one evening and wished me luck in enrolling in business school. She said, “with your boyfriend, though, you may not see it now, but in the future, you may start to feel he is not keeping up with your ambition. And you may feel his status does not match yours.” I laughed because I had no job to match his at the moment.
The Japanese moving agent came and quickly boxed up my life. Then, just when I thought I could exhale, the snowstorm engulfed Northern Europe and canceled my flight to London.