REENCOUNTER IN DIEPENHEIM
The beginning of the novel:
On a sunny day in May, Dorian Pots arrived at a hotel just outside Diepenheim in the Dutch region of Twente. After he had installed himself in his room, he decided to take a brisk walk to this tiny medieval town where he had an appointment at four. He was three quarters of an hour early and settled on the terrace of cafe Boonk. A few minutes later, the silence was interrupted by the click clack of approaching heels. He looked up and saw a tall figure dressed in a bright blue polka dot dress. A rugged diva firmly walked on the terrace and seated herself, two tables away. Grey curls framed a harsh make-up spackled phiz. Dorian’s gaze attached to hers. She looked questioningly, followed by a surprised smile. Her fiery red mouth fell a little open. Then she cried with booming voice:
‘Well, well, Dorian Pots! My old schoolmate!’
A dark memory seeped slowly inside and stuck to the tentacles of his consciousness like syrup.
Good heavens! Now he knew who was that eccentric. Titus Balkenhol. The clown from his school days. Dorian wanted to pick up his heels, but instead he heard his robot answering:
‘Hello Titus. That's a long time ago.'
‘What a coincidence that I find you here! Come here dude, sit with me!'
Titus seized a waitress and ordered two beer.
‘To the good old days!’ Titus said and chinked his glass against his.
‘To the good old days', Dorian echoed. His sarcasm wasn’t noticed by Titus.
‘And how are you faring?" asked Dorian, more to distract attention from himself than out of genuine interest.
‘I can’t complain. I am a successful businessman so to speak. No one had expected this when I took my final exam with the narrowest of margins. Certainly I didn’t. Nothing ever interested me and I had no idea what I wanted to be in life. Then I met Floris. Together we built up a painting company. It wasn’t immediately bingo, but after a few years the name of Balkenhol & Swan was settled. Especially for painting historic buildings one could no longer avoid us.’
‘And are you married? Do you have a relationship?’
‘Yes, I am now very happily married. My previous marriage was a disaster, but Rosa is great. I'm glad that I got her from Italy. And you?'
‘For five years I 'm an urologist at the VU Medical Centre. There I met Sophie. We now live together in Amsterdam and have a daughter of three years, Lisa.’
Titus nodded approvingly. Then he stood up and said:
‘Hey, it's great to meet you, but I have to go. See you tonight, at the reunion of our seventh grade!’
Dorian felt his shoulder still tingling from the smack as he wondered: 'A reunion of our seventh grade? Why don't I know anything about that?’