Celina and I used to meet in the foyer of the gym. All our friends hung out there, too. After an all-around hello we made ourselves comfortable with a cold juice.
"Jesus, Celina! I had maybe one crazy weird day," and I told her my experiences.
"Okay, that was Murphy's Law! But at least you seem to have picked up a very interesting guy and you call him?" she asked.
"I don't know, I don't know. Let's go and burn some calories. Go ahead. I'll bring Freddy the contracts," I said.
Entering the hall, I saw Celina talking with one of our new headscarves. Anyway, I needed some movement now. So headphones on, Lala on, and sweat till there's blood! Think so! I did what I loved to do best - to row. Listening to the music and continuously grasping into the straps makes slim and relaxed and you can watch the others. Celina and the headscarf were really absorbed in their conversation. A second headscarf was warmly welcomed by both of them. Each of the three entered a treadmill and ran, smiling at each other again and again, as if to make sure that none would be lost. Weird? Crazy!
An hour later my head was wonderfully empty for new problems and I had decided to give Pete a chance. Celina was out of sight. So I took a shower. Then I met her again in the foyer. She and a headscarf chattering again.
" Sweetie, I wanna go now," I said to her.
"Wait, Caro! You don't remember Uschi? Ursula Leiden our ex-class spokeswoman," Celina said. Three times I had to look to match this little face triangle with my old school friend.
"Uschi? It's actually you. Sorry, I never recognized you underneath all this stuff. How are you?" I said.
"Thank you, good. Now my name is Rana Karim and I'm married. As you can see, now I am a Muslimah."
A conversation with a barn owl, I didn't even think about it, even though she was an old friend at school. She was buried under all those bales of cloth anyway.
" I have no time at the moment, but I'm sure we'll meet more often. Will you come, Celina?" I urged. By rubbing their temples together, Celina and Uschi-Rana said goodbye. On the way, I asked her:
"Tell me, are actually everyone infected with a virus. I thought the headscarves were all foreigners and not Germans?"
" You poor thing, you never noticed what's going on in your hometown since you went to college", she profaned.
" Now that you're saying it, several families in my streets appear to be converted into Islam," I said.
"You must have heard how peaceful Muslim demonstrators were beaten half to death in Dresden and Rana was one of them. She was interviewed before and after the demo. First a pretty and reserved girl with hijab and then a bloody heap of misery in the shredded hijab. She is almost an international celebrity."
" Hey, I just don't have time for screwed up, idiotic political theatre besides studying, looking for a place to live and earning my living! Other people' s sensitivities interest me very little at the moment," I said.
There was something standing there between us, in fact, since I was a student. I had been looking forward to a nice evening with my girlfriend, but we probably didn't get together anymore.
Whatever! I drove home and flew myself with coffee into my favorite sofa corner and wrote to Pete and he promptly called me back.
"Hello, Caro! I am happy to be hearing from you and did you succeed in finding an apartment?" I told him about my afternoon.
"I don't want to impose, but if you'll allow me, I'll help you find a place," he said.
"Slow down with the young horses! How do you feel about a date?" I asked.
"I'd really love this! It sounds stupid, but my company has just been bought up by an investment company and I am under a lot of pressure. Could we perhaps meet on the fly when I get a chance? I never know how much time I have right now," he said.
"I don't feel much better either! During the week I study in Cologne and on the weekends I work in the fitness center."
"With a reservation, I'm off Monday afternoon. I'll pick you up from college and we'll get something to eat. How about it?"
" OK, so I' ll call you Monday. "
"I'm happy, Caro! I' ll see you on Monday!"
I was on my way home from Duisburg-Marxloh to Cologne. I was on a date with Caro at Ebertstrasse. I was stuck in a traffic jam, as so often in the Kölner Ring. I didn't care. I was head over heels in love with Caro. And not only that: The change of possession of my real estate company had significant implications for me. To keep my job I was now an aspirant for membership in the Brotherhood and therefore had to convert to Islam. That's why I went to see Imam Ibrahim Arslan.
"Welcome brother! Step inside," said the Iman. When I entered his apartment he shouted:
"Selima, Kamila we have a guest. Bring tea and biscuits!" A young, enchanting woman, completely veiled except for her face, of the type: beautiful even in a potato sack, entered the living room and presented us with tea and biscuits. I was fascinated by the nature of her presence, she covered our table with soft, flowing movements, there was not the slightest sound of clinking porcelain. All I heard was a soft rustling of her veils. That was discretion in perfection. The Imam became aware of my admiration towards the woman and rebuked me:
" Muslims consider it insulting when a stranger stares at his wives."
"Forgive me, Imam! It's all so fresh to me. I'll do better," I apologized.
"It's all right, my brother! You're lucky, she's not my wife. At least not yet." He smiled and she glowed at him.
" What leads you up to me?"
"I need your advice, Imam. I have fallen in love and do not know how to behave correctly now that I am a Muslim," I said. The Imam smiled:
"You are behaving perfectly. That's exactly why I'm an Imam. I consult the brothers so that they may not be misled. I assume the woman of your heart is not a Muslimah, right?" I nodded.
"Don't worry, everything will come together. Tell me about her! Where she lives and how she acts," he said. I told him what I knew and with a few specific questions from the Imam, he created a small profile of my sweetheart. Then he picked up his smartphone and asked me for some patience. He spoke Turkish and I didn't understand a single word. When he ended the conversation, he said:
" If your girlfriend wants, she can move directly into one of our apartments in Cologne on Ebertstraße. Some of them have become free and first come, first served. The rent is 200 € per month, it is a student flat share and is a foundation of our Cologne Madrasa. You'd better call her right now."
"That is awesome!" I shouted and grabbed my cell phone.
"Hi, Caro! Are you still in Cologne? ...Yes! Okay. I'll give you an address now. It is a very low-priced apartment in a student flat. Are you interested? ...Yes, good! I'm on my way to Cologne. I'll meet you there. Bye, see you later!"
"You'd a better hurry, my brother. There will be after-work traffic in one hour or less," said the Imam.
"Imam, thank you. May Allah bless you and your family," I said from my heart with gratitude.
"I can see you're quickly learning good manners. May Allah bless you, and that you may soon conquer the heart of your beloved. Good luck," he told me as I went out.