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24 hours

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Twenty-four hours can change your life.

He had never thought this possible; but what had he actually known back then? He had still been a child, only thirteen years old, a good student, he loved chess and baseball. The best times of his life he had spent in the baseball stadium together with his dad; the best dad he could imagine; they had so much fun together. But during the last months, this had happened more and more rarely. Since his dad was working at this big laboratory, an important job which offered only rare free time; and when he was at home his father was so serious and thoughtful. And he didn't laugh anymore.

He had gotten used to it that he was living alone in the lovely, small house on the military base, together with his mother and his little brother now. He had two close friends he usually spent a lot of his time with, but at the moment all he could think about was Anna Marie, a girl with long, blonde hair and glasses. In the morning, at school, she had smiled at him, and his heart had been up in his mouth.

Then it happened, and within minutes his world was broken down.

A phone call from his father.
„Leave the town,“ he told his mother.
„Leave everything behind. Just grab the children and leave the town. Go to the little summerhouse of your parents in the woods. Don't come back, until you hear from me.“

His mother had obeyed. He had seen her hand trembling and tears in her eyes when she had asked him to put some food and water together, while she did wake up Jamie from his afternoon nap. His brother had cried disoriented. But there hadn't been much time to waste.

:::

His mother drove without any pause, for hours and hours, until sunset. Then she stopped in front of the old, lonely house in the middle of the nowhere. Jamie had looked up, giggling slightly.
„We are visiting grandpa,“ he had told his teddy.

But he had known better. He could hear the short, suppressed sobbing of his mother. And when he got out of the car, he knew, that he would see his dad never again.