5th chapter

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She was sitting on a barstool and leafed through the newspaper, and on every page popped up the breaking story of the trail of Ivo Sanader ( Former Prime Minister of Croatia (2003-2009) involved in a corruption scandal in late 2010 and sentenced to 10 years in prison on corruption charges in 2012). For a month, stories about the start of the trial of the former Prime Minister had been circulating all over the media. She shook her head because it was already coming out of her ears.

- I haven't slept all night! – Viktor stormed into the bar like a whirlwind.

- Good morning to you too – she smiled, raising her head to kiss him. But he walked right past her as if he did not see her. He was all breathless and flustered.

- My right groin has been hurting all night. I strained it playing football yesterday, and now the pain is not going away. I was reading on the internet about the possible consequences of muscle rupture. I'm in a complete state of shock. I could go lame on that leg or end up having a surgery! – he sat on the chair, all pale and visibly upset. Nora had to bite her tongue to stop herself from making a sarcastic remark. A person with a severe injury would not run around a coffee bar like a headless chicken, but that was just her lay opinion.

- I'm sure you just overdid it. As soon as you rest, it will get better – she handed him his coffee and a glass of water.

- I will not drink anything except water, I made an appointment to see my doctor, and she will see me right now because I told her it was urgent.

Nora stared at him with her mouth open.

- Oh, okay. And you won't drink coffee or eat anything because...? – he looked at her as if she said something stupidest in the world.

- Well, maybe they will have to take my blood.

Nora just shook her head in disbelief.

- Of course, yes... The only checkup you need is the one with a shrink, she thought. She got up and started washing her hands to distract herself from laughing. She would give anything to go to the doctor with Viktor and see him, after the leg and muscle checkup, sitting there and asking the doctor about a blood test. When she thought about it like that, the doctor really could send him to get tested. His head, though.

- I'll let you know how it went so you're not worried – Viktor kissed her hair. Maybe the poor guy is so afraid, he didn't realize he was kissing the wrong side of my head?

- Yes, yes! Be sure to, as soon as you know anything, sweetie – she yelled after him as he walked out. Only then she let herself laugh out loud. God, I'm dating a lunatic.

Her shift was coming to an end as she was discussing job vacancies with Monika, which both of them had been closely following. It was already August, and the heat was hellish. She turned the air conditioner on high, even though it was already 8 PM. Both of them were excited about looking for a job, but no schools had issued any vacancy notices yet, because of the holidays, which made them terribly nervous. Monika worked a night shift that night. They worked in the same coffee bar, which was also a night club on weekends. When she handed the shift off to Monika, Nora went to the store to get some snacks, chocolate, fruits, and cold juice for her patient. He was waiting for her lying on the bed with his leg raised on three pillows. One would think that the leg was ready for amputation, no less. In his small kitchen, where every bit of space was used up in the best way possible, Nora found bowls and filled them with grapes and watermelon. She sat back next to him after she opened all the windows to get at least a gust of wind in. She fell asleep beside him, calm and peaceful. True, he was a weirdo, but he was her weirdo. He was the person with whom she spent her days and whose company she truly enjoyed. Before she realized it, those three months that she could still work on her student contract had passed. But her boss decided to keep her in the coffee bar, so she continued doing the same job, only on a different contract.

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