The plane landed in Nürnberg and it was already dark. I finally made it here. I had waited in the airport for two whole days to get a flight out of Amsterdam. Only the fear of facing Liam and his brothers made me wait for the plane. I was not going back there. My face burned red-hot when I thought of Liam's expression when he saw us together.
The rain pelted against the windshield of the bus as we drove to the terminal. I suddenly realized I was alone and had no phone. The lights inside the arrivals terminal dazzled me and I sneezed, sweating and freezing at the same time.
"Can I use your phone?" I said to the woman at the car rental desk.
I sneezed. The woman looked at me like I had the plague as she handed me a cordless phone. I punched out Gabi's number.
A woman's voice said something into the phone.
"Gabi?" I said and sneezed again.
The woman said something in German.
"Gabi, it's me, Jess."
"It's Jess. Do you remember me?"
"Oh, Jess, yes of course. Where are you?" Gabi said.
"In the ariport. Nürnberg," I said. Cough, cough.
That was two weeks ago. I remember she had come to pick me up and we rode the train back to her apartment. I remember worrying about intruding but I had no where else to go.
"What about your husband?" I said.
"Who? That man? That's not my husband. We only travel together. I live alone."
We climbed three flights of steps to her tiny apartment. I stopped and fell to my knees in a coughing fit. She unlocked her door, led me down a short hallway and sat me down on the sofa.
"You're sick," she said.
I coughed and sneezed. I remember she had given me some hot drink. And I remember her cabinet full of medication, like a pharmacy. She searched the various bottles and gave me a small, cardboard package. I tried to read the package through my tear-filled eyes but it was all in German.
"It's an antibiotic," she said. "I'm a nurse." She threw a second package on the table. "You'll need both of these. I have to work tonight."
Never in my life have I had a flu like this before. I somehow wandered between delerium, fever and fitful sleep. This is the first day that I am actually sitting up and eating something besides broth.
"How can I ever repay you?" I remember saying, over and over.
And she just laughed.