Stories of a life

„Grandpa, tell me a story,“ Pauline said, pulling her grandfather teasingly at his sleeve.
„My angel, but you know all my stories already. I’m just an old man. I do not have new things to tell, „her grandfather gently returned and hugged her.
„No excuses, Grandpa, now start,“ she laughed, knowing the day when the wish of a story would be denied would never come.

„Well, your wish is my command,“ he began. He looked towards the sky as if he could read the lines in the clouds:

„When I was little, a little younger than you are now, Pauline, I saw a man playing trumpet at a folk festival. I was so fascinated by him and his instrument that I went back every day, as long as the fair lasted, to the small stage on which he had several performances every day. People walked by. Some threw silver coins in his hat on the stage’s edge. I just sat there listening. As soon as the last day of the festival had begun, I began to wonder where I could hear such lovely music from now on. I went to the market square one last time to listen to the trumpet play. After his performance, the man paused, turned to me, as if he could not decide whether to address or ignore me. I smiled, in anticipation, he would notice me. Unfortunately, he turned around on his heel and disappeared without a word. Disappointed, I sat there, the sounds of his music I could still hear. A single tear ran down my cheek before I straightened up and went home.

My siblings, a total of 13, were already crowded around the dining table. Everyone wanted the best piece, and on some days, we were happy when we got a little piece of anything, whether it was the best or not. My sister, Greta, who was a few years older than me, pulled me by the ear, as I sat down and blasphemed: „Dumbass, what have you done again today?
I freed myself from her grasp and said, „I was at the festival and listened to the trumpet player.“
Laughter began, while a few of my siblings even rolled their eyes. Of course, „the dumbass“ and his stupid ideas. How could it be any different?
Later this year, it was before Christmas, I took a detour through the city.
My mother hated when I took this detour home from school. On the one hand, I needed much longer, and on the other hand, the alternate route led me past all the shop windows, which were especially filled at this time of the year with things we could never have afforded. I loved to look at beautiful things, even if the possibility of putting something of it on my wishlist for Santa was not given. „Why was a wish-list necessary?“ I thought quietly.
Were such children not able to remember their very own wish?
Did they have to write it down like the teacher, Mr. Schmidt, who was surely over 100 years old?
My way took me past household goods, sweets, and books.
All the displays were nice. I almost tasted the caramel on my tongue when I saw the candy-filled glasses in the shop window.
None of these things made me stop. Until I saw something golden in a second-hand shop: a trumpet.
I stared at it as if I expected it to start playing by magic. The man to whom the shop belonged, and therefore the precious trumpet, stared at me. As he walked towards the door, panic rose in me.
Would he want to curse me out and send me away?
I was not sure if I’d rather he just ignored me, just like the trumpet player at the festival.

The door opened jerkily, and I stood there petrified, looking at him with an open mouth.
„My boy, can I help you?“ He asked sullenly.
„No no no. I’m so sorry. I just love this trumpet, „I replied, frantically gesticulating with my arms.
„It costs 70 bucks, do you have so much?“
„Oh no, no,“ I said, not sure if I had ever seen so much money.
The man was obviously thinking about something, probably, if he were to chase me off after he’d made sure I was not a potential customer. As if he had not already known this before, as poor as I looked. „Listen. Boy, „he said, his eyes clearing up.
„I could really need help in the store. By spring I have to put my storage rooms in order. If you help me, for a few hours each day, the trumpet is yours. “
I could not believe my happiness. Alternately, I looked at the trumpet, this golden treasure, and the man. He was serious.
„Yes, of course, immediately. When, I mean, when can I start? “
„Come over tomorrow after school, I’ll show you everything.“ “

„Grandpa, now play me a song,“ Pauline interrupted the story she’d heard so often. She jumped up, opened the trunk and got him his trumpet.
When her grandfather began to play, she closed her eyes and sat quietly beside him.
„Pauline, what did you learn from my story?“ He paused, but he did not drop the trumpet.

„That nothing is impossible. Our passion for something never crosses our path without a reason. Even if others joke about it, refuse to believe in us, we can still make our dreams come true. “

„Grandpa, you were a very poor boy, right? I am very sorry about that.“
„That’s fine, my darling. At that time, I had already realized how rich I am in my heart. Since then, I’ve always been. “
With a smile, he took the trumpet and continued to play.
The sound and the feeling, forever in both of their hearts.

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