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Hello everybody,

Today it continues after it unfortunately did not work yesterday.
Have fun reading.

J.M.C.



- Sunday, June / 05-2022, London, Southwark, Borough Market -

Borough Market in London was one of the oldest food markets in London - rich in smells, colors and people; rich in fresh products. But not only different market stalls were located on the area of ​​the Borough Market but also numerous cafes, restaurants and bars.

Jules drew in the smell of freshly baked brownies and various spices while strolling, while she walked through the alleys and looked around.
She had come here this morning to do some shopping and to pass the time, because Martin had declared a papa / son day with Nicholas. It wasn't the first, and it wasn't that there was only one papa / son day, there was also a mum / son day. On these days, they took time alone for their son, spent intensely on their own with their son - while the other could just switch off. She liked these days, whether she was doing something alone with Nicholas or Martin was going on an outing with him. It was both very nice to have her son for one day, for several hours intensely just to yourself, but it was just as nice to listen to Nicholas' stories in the evening, the stories about what he had done with Daddy and what they experienced together had.
Martin had gone to Woburn with Nicholas after breakfast and wanted to visit the Woburn Safari Park with him.
And so she decided to drive into town and stroll through Borough Market.
She was looking forward to the wild stories of Nicholas tonight - his stories, his face beaming with joy.

She strolled past a bakery stand, stopped at a stand with various herb boxes.
She looked around, had stopped next to a man who was also looking around here.
In the corner of her eye she could see that he was looking at her, looking away again, looking at her again.
In the corner of her eye she could feel that he was looking at her and still glancing at the herbs before he looked back at her.
She thought nothing more about it, probably it was simply a fan of Martin who recognized her through all the open pictures and appearances.
At the herb stall she didn't like anything, and so after a friendly goodbye she left the market stall and headed for the next one.
Cheese.

"Sorry… "
Jules turned his head to look at the man who had been standing next to her at the herb stand. She bowed her head, smiling openly.
"Yes?"
"You're Julia Freeman, aren't you?" The man asked in a pleasantly dark voice, who wasn't much taller than Jules.
Jules had studied him with quick eyes while he talked to her.
He was probably her age; very well built, although it didn't look like he was training but was so well built because of his work; the thick reddish hair was almost shoulder-length, had been brushed backwards with the hand so that it fell sideways over his ears, a slight gray cast could be seen in it; the blue eyes looked through round metal glasses that looked pretty good on him; the beard certainly three days old, if not a little older, in any case very well cared for; he was wearing a black retro polo shirt and matching jeans.
Quite an attractive man.
Jules nodded with a smile.
“Yes, yes, I am Julia Freeman. Do we know each other? ”She asks in a friendly manner.
The man shook his head.
"No we do not Know each other. I just recognized you, or I wasn't entirely sure. "
Jules smiled.
"Oh, then you are a fan of Martin, or have you worked with him before?" She asked.
"More complicated," the man smiled.
"How can I understand that?" Jules asked with a friendly smile.
The man took his full basket in his other hand and bowed his head.
"May I invite you for a refreshment and then enlighten you?" He asked, and then looked wide. “And maybe I'll introduce myself first. I'm Nathan Chapman. "

Jules frowned, confused by the invitation and by his response to her question whether he had worked with Martin or was a fan. But as confused as she was, it made her curious. She wanted to know what was hiding behind it; After all, she had always liked puzzles. She liked figuring out things, and there seemed to be something to unravel here.
If it was any nonsense, she would still be able to walk.

She took his hand and shook it with a smile.
"Then you catch me in the right place, because I could use a little refreshment."
Nathan Chapman looked relieved and also quite pleased, a little too pleased for Jules' taste.
"Wonderful. How about Maria’s? ”He asked. "Where we are almost facing each other."
Jules nodded.
"Gladly," she said.


Nathan led Jules to Maria’s Market Café, got a cup of tea, a sandwich and a sweet treat for Jules and himself, while Jules held a table for them.

He put the tray down on the table, then sat down next to Jules, who smiled at him and thanked him.
"I'd love to." Nathan nodded. “I'm really glad I ran into you here. And before I put an even more question mark in your head, I'll just dissolve my answer to your question, ”he said. “I know Martin from before. I went to school and kindergarten with him. "

Jules looked at him, bowed his head.
"You were at school with Martin?" She asked, amazed and also skeptical.
She rummaged in her head for someone Martin might have mentioned. But she couldn't remember that Martin had ever mentioned someone named Nathan - and they had often talked about their childhood and school days, and had shown tons of photos. With the best will in the world, she couldn't remember anyone.
Nathan looked openly at her, looking delighted and proud.
"Yes, we were first in the same kindergarten and then we spent all of our school days together," he said, nodding.
Jules probed.
"And then you and Martin lost sight of each other?"
“Yes, actually right after school. Unfortunately, we were pretty good friends, best friends, ”he said. “I've lived in South Africa for the last few years, quite withdrawn. No bling bling anywhere, no TV, no cell phone, no internet - at first I just made my way there, then built a farm, opened a shop with a small restaurant; I also grew wine and made it myself. I came back to England only four weeks ago, and here in London; I wanted to see something different again and pitch new tents somewhere else. It was here that I practically only found out what became of Martin. "
Jules inclined his head.
“Sorry for being skeptical. Martin is not exactly unknown and you don't believe what fans try to get a little closer to him than they should. There are enough made-up stories, and through the internet and good research you can find out a lot about Martin to be believable. I don't remember Martin ever mentioning you, and he sure would have if you had been his best friend, ”Jules commented, taking a sip of the tea. "I would really like to believe you, but for that I would need some information about Martin that is not publicly known."

Nathan inclined his head.
"Don't apologize for that," he said. “It sure looks weird too. I honestly didn't expect to meet you here either. I didn't know how to contact Martin until now - it's not like you can find his phone number or address anywhere, ”he added. “Oh, something that is not publicly known? I don't know what everything is publicly known, but maybe I'll find something. ", He said and considered for a few moments, even took a few minutes as if he had to dig deep or think something up. Only after several minutes did he continue speaking; he could see the skepticism in Jules look very clearly. “We once hid so well in kindergarten that the teachers contacted our parents; we sat in our hiding place and laughed quietly until we decided to show ourselves - and then, thank God, there was only a pat on the buttocks and serious words for both of us. In the primary school we were constantly put apart because we were just chattering. We were both in love with the same girl, they were both allowed to kiss, but she thought we were both pretty stupid and too silly - later we didn't think she was that great either, because she had started to rig herself completely, but that was after the primary school. Martin's first friend was called Beth McCarthy, and he met her through me - I was playing tennis at the time and she was in my club. Martin is bisexual. And the two of us were the absolute class clowns ... we partly entertained the whole school. Oh, and he has a scar on his right knee because of me - that happened while riding a bicycle. We were racing and I accidentally got too close and hit his handlebars. I was able to catch myself, but Martin fell quite hard. Thank goodness nothing more happened than an open knee and the scar that remained, ”he ended for the time being.

Jules had listened carefully.
She had recognized all the stories - all the stories Martin had told her, or his siblings. Philomena had told her about the action in kindergarten.
She put together in her head all the information she had gathered through these stories over the years, that she had gathered through images of Martin's childhood.
Her eyes widened, she put the teacup violently on the table, tea spilled out; and she lowered the sandwich too.
"Oh! My! God! You're Hardy !!! “, it fell like scales from her eyes.
Nathan beamed and put down the teacup from which he had just wanted to drink.
"Yes! Yes exactly. I'm Hardy. “, He said happily.
Jules stared at him.
"Martin only ever spoke of you as Hardy!" She continued to duel him. "How awesome is that ?!", she beamed at him and then put a hand in front of her mouth in amazement. "Crazy," she shook her head.
Nathan looked at her enthusiastically.
“We were always referred to as Laurel and Hardy because we only existed in pairs and we all entertained our nonsense. At that time I was even plump and looked more like Oliver Hardy - although I played tennis back then, I also ate far too much, the sport didn't help, even if I could move well and wasn't that bad at all. ", he grinned.
Jules smiled at first, then nodded and dropped his hand again.
"Yes / Yes. I know. ", She nodded brightly, then shook her head in disbelief. "Martin told me, and also showed pictures of you, I wouldn't necessarily have recognized you, but that's more because of the beard.", She smiled. "You already had the hairstyle and the type of glasses back then."

Nathan smiled and nodded.
“Martin still looks the same as he did then. Except for the gray hair and the few wrinkles that we all have now. ”He smiled. “I was blown away when I recognized him on all the movie posters here. He drove past me almost sticking to the bus. "
Jules had to laugh.
"Oh, you mean the new James Bond movie?" Jules said and saw Nathan nod. "He's playing the bad guy.", She smirked. "The world premiere will take place here in London in two weeks."
Nathan smiled proudly.
“I am extremely pleased that he is having such success with acting. Even when he was still at school, he loved doing it and was very committed to it and showed a lot of talent. I always enjoyed watching his pieces and was mostly at the rehearsals. I'm really completely talent-free when it comes to acting and creativity. ", He smiled. "The first thing I did after seeing Martin on the bus was finally to buy me a laptop - my very first."
Jules smiled at him.
"Martin is also not that into computers and everything that goes with them.", She said. "He told me that after school you just wanted to go on vacation."
Nathan nodded.
“Yes, because I wanted to find out what to do with my life. When I was on the road, I didn't feel like going back to England. I've always been an adventurer and didn't really look for what might be - in contrast to Martin. ", He smiled. “We were completely different. Well, ... I then wrote another letter, and then at some point I ended up in South Africa. "
Jules inclined his head, smiling.
“Hmm, that's right. Martin is not an adventurer. “, She smiled. "He still has the letter."
"He still has the letter?" Asked Nathan, astonished.
“Yes, he picked it up. He thought it was a shame that you kind of lost sight of each other. But he also knew that you would be happier traveling the world than getting a boring job in England. He keeps telling me stories about the two of you. I just couldn't do anything with your name - somehow I never asked him what your real name is, now I know. "
Nathan smiled at her.
"Wow. Maybe that's news. "

He looked into his tea, then back to Jules.
“It is unbelievable that I met you here. I did a little research on him, and that's when I saw pictures of you and you. You are a lovely couple. And apparently a blended family as well, as far as I've read. He has two children from a previous relationship and you have a son. ”He smiled proudly.
Jules nodded brightly.
"Yes exactly. His son Joe is now 16, his daughter Gracie is 14, and our son Nicholas is 4 years old. I also have two grown children. Lukas and Paula, twins. Paula lives here in London, but Lukas has emigrated - to Sweden, ”she said proudly but also a little sadly.
Nathan inclined his head.
“It is certainly not easy to let your own child go. I don't have any children myself, I can't really imagine it, but I think it's very difficult at first. The good thing about these days is that you can visit each other much quicker and you can also be in contact very easily. ", He smiled, and saw Jules nod with a smile.
“Hmm, you're right. And Martin found it very difficult to say goodbye - the two of them grew up without a father and Martin loves them like a father loves his children. "
"Aw. He was just an incredibly great guy back then. And even if we both did a lot of nonsense, we have never forgotten how serious it is. "

Jules smiled at him.
"Wait a minute.", She smiled and pulled her cell phone out of her pocket. "Ah, just a message. I thought a phone call, it vibrated for so long. ”She opened the messages, all of which were from Martin. "Awww.", She beamed and looked up at Nathan, showing him to lean closer.
Nathan tilted his head, leaned closer to her, looked at her cell phone - it showed Martin and Nicholas both beaming into the camera, cheeks pressed together and thumbs up.

The men's day is great! :-)

Jules turned the page after a few moments.
Martin and Nicholas could be seen again - their cheeks were still pressed together, but they were no longer beaming into the camera, they looked extremely sad into it, both of them pulled their faces on sad expressions. The thumbs were pointing down this time.

But we miss you <3! :-(

Nathan beamed on the second picture too.
"Oh God. Your little one is really cute. And he looks incredibly similar to the two of you.On the photo you could think that my friend Martin from kindergarten is sitting next to the big Martin. And somehow he looks incredibly similar to you ... you just have to cut your hair. "
Jules smiled.
“Hmm, everyone actually says that. But it's true, there are situations where he looks like he has come out of an old photo of Martin, and then there are situations where he looks like me with short hair. "
Nathan grinned, nodded, then had to smile again.
“The little one is really terribly cute. But what I also notice ... Martin looks incredibly happy. I've never seen him so damn relaxed and carefree, and I don't have a single photo where he looks so carefree. ", He said and then smiled at her. “What love can do. I'm really happy that he found such a likeable woman. ", Nathan said after Jules had sent a heart back to Martin.

She put the phone back in her pocket, then glanced at Nathan, flattered.
"Thanks.", She beamed at him. “Now I really feel like strengthening myself here. And I would be very happy to spend the rest of the time here at Borough Market with you. I think there are still a lot of stories we can share. "
Nathan smiled at her, nodded enthusiastically.
"I'd love to!" He nodded euphorically. "And then would you help me to surprise Martin?"
"Of course it is! We'll surely come up with something. "
"Fantastic!"


Jules had enjoyed the refreshment with Nathan, had exchanged something with him about his last years, and had also told him a little about Martin. Afterwards she strolled through the market with him, exchanging numbers with him at the end.
It had been a nice feeling to go home knowing who she had met and got to know today.
It was such a nice feeling, because this reunion with Nathan, whatever it was, was definitely a welcome change for Martin from all the things that had been beating down on her little family recently.
First Philomena's death.
Then the last SMS from Ben, which caused Martin to finally break off contact completely - and thus to let go of a very important part of his life.
Then the farewell to Lukas, who not only found it incredibly difficult for her, but also for Martin - and once again you noticed that Martin actually loved him like a son.

It wasn't as if Martin had lost some of his lightheartedness or some of his happiness as a result of these events - as much as he missed his mom, as much as he had wished for a discussion with Benedict, however much he would have been happy, Lukas would have stayed here in London.
But Martin was happy and so was she.
They had both made sure of that, they made sure of it every day - by being there for each other, taking care of each other, not abandoning the other and supporting and helping each other, giving each other freedom and space.
Life was and remained imperfect, and yet you could make a perfect life out of it for your own feeling.
They had created that with Philomena through all the pictures and memories - by remembering her again and again, telling stories about her, laughing at her idiosyncrasies and her sayings.
They had created that with Benedict by breaking off contact.
They had created that with Lukas by knowing that they could actually visit him at any time, that there was Skype and other contact options, that Lukas was really happy there and that he had fulfilled a dream.

Martin would definitely be very happy to see Nathan again.
Once again a very nice and touching experience and event that would take place outside of her love.

Martin looked at her, was washing the dinnerware because the dishwasher was full and was running.
"Hey, why are you smiling at me all the time instead of drying off?" He asked with a smile.
Jules beamed at him, just shook his head.

She leaned forward, kissed his forehead lovingly.
"I just love you, rabbit," she winked at him.




:-) Have a nice start to the weekend,
See you tomorrow.
J.M.C.
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