It was a night in May, we went on stage to perform our African Percussion Show for the visitors of the Festival of Cultures. I had been playing djembe for three years now, and it was the third time for me on this festival. Nothing could stop us tonight, it was such a big fun to play in this hall, and I was feeling great, the people were clapping their hands and a couple of kids danced along in front of the stage, and we all had a big smile on our faces. Rhythm by rhythm we sent through the air and it was very groovy. After half an hour we played a last piece as an encore, and it was our favourite. Djole was always pushing up the audience and forced them to move. At the same time it was one of the easiest rhythms of our repertoire, nobody was afraid of making a mistake, and so we played it really fast, driving, it should stay in the head of every listener for the rest of the night.
In this moment I let my eyes look around over the audience and enjoyed the feedback. Suddenly a man came in sight, taller than most, and he caught my eye and for a second my heart stood still.
It was twenty-two years ago when I first saw him on TV, and he turned into the biggest love of my teenage time.
I got out of beat when I realized that he was smiling at me, so I had to look down on my djembe and concentrate to make my hands do the right moves again. Than I looked to my pals trying to find out, if anyone had noticed my failure, and at the same time I couldn’t wait to end our show. When we finally had finished, I put my djembe aside and said to Susan, who was standing next to me:
“Please, take it away with you, I have to find someone”, and so I dashed from stage.

It took a frustrating fifteen minutes search until I saw him again, standing in a crowd of people. Slowly I got nearer until I could catch his eye.
“Hi,” I said.
“Oh, hi, you must be from the percussion group - nice clothes. Your show was very cool!”
“Yeah, we have great fun playing together.”
I just didn’t know what to say. So many thoughts were storming through my brain, but I couldn’t let them out among these people.

In the meantime my friends had spotted me and came over to chat along with us.
“What the hell are you doing here?”, one of them asked him.
“I have a promotion the next evening.”
“Nobody knows that,” I commented.
“Oh it’s on a business meeting, it’s not public,” he answered.

So we talked for a while until my pals said: “Let’s go and find something to eat, we got some vouchers for performing our show.”
“I’m not hungry,” I replied. They looked confused, but I didn’t want to explain that I was just looking for a chance to face him alone. Once more I looked into his eyes. Then he put his arm around my shoulder and as if he read my thoughts he said:
“Let’s go for a walk outside, I need some fresh air.”
So he guided me to the exit and we stepped out into this warm and gentle night where we looked around. In a short distance we spotted a group of trees and we chose this direction.

“I feel you have something to tell me since I’ve met your eyes the first time over there.” Meanwhile we were sitting under a tree, shoulder to shoulder, looking up to some stars shining through the leaves.
“Yes, you’re right.” I was searching for the right words up above in the treetops. “I don’t know how to start. There is chaos in my head since I spotted you in the audience. You know, I saw you the first time singing on TV when I was just twelve years old and a little later I found myself being in love with you very deeply. You occupied my heart and my thoughts completely. You made me fly when there was news from you, a new album, a new picture, and on the other hand I shed tears over tears when I felt lonely in the night. How I wished, I begged to meet you. I knew there would be never, never a happy ending for this love. When I grew older it turned more and more into a black hole where I feared never to get out again.
This lasted all over my teenage years until I finally left home. Then I met my later husband and fell in love with him. So I found back to real life. And today I meet you by chance, and everything comes back to me. It had been buried now for about fifteen years, but I remember all of the feelings and the pain - that troubles me. You changed me.”
Silently he took my hand. I shivered. With my eyes closed I tried to recover what was happening.
Several memories came back to me. His two concerts. My walls covered with posters. The dreams. So many nights filled with tears. His voice singing.

And now I felt the warmth of his hand lying in mine.
The world stood still.

After a while of silence we were looking at each other.
“Shall we go in again?”, he asked me.
“Okay, let’s go back”, I replied.
There was no more left to say. Back in the hall we said Good Bye to each other. He had to go and left me standing there alone in a crowd of people.

I had never felt so lost in my life as in this moment, when the big entrance door closed behind him. There was nothing left to say, but I wasn’t satisfied yet. So I followed him.
He almost had left the park and I ran to catch him up before he would have disappeared in the city. Hearing my steps he turned around. My eyes were filled with tears when I reached him and I could hardly hold them back. I took his hand and looked up into his clear blue eyes. So we stood for a few seconds, then I gently touched his lips with my finger, caressed them, how would they feel...
When he understood, he took my face into his hands and kissed me. Smooth, tender, warm lips were lying on mine, my hand got into his hair just to hold him tight as long as possible. In this moment there was a kind of peace coming over my heart, and as we got out of our gentle hug, I could let him go.


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