Raspberry Sickness: Denmark and Reader
Death slowly curled the greying leaves which were shying away from the last bits of sun as early September frost delicately dusted the crackly plant as it bent downward in sorrow of its last moments. If you reached out a gloved hand, you would feel something ominous and dreadful in the small plant that had bloomed that summer and brought so much happiness to your homesick husband who now knelt beside the corpse, it wasn’t human, but just looking at it brought the same dread as watching flagged cars.
“I-I’m sorry,” you choked, tears pricking at your eyes. It was hard seeing your normally cheery Danish husband so sad; gently cradling a dead leaf in his hand before he crushed it and it dissolved into dust.
“It’s fine,” he mumbled and stood, his gloomy blue eyes downcast as he walked across the apartment roof and aggressively pulled open the door. “You coming?” he mumbled.
“Matthias,” you whimpered, and quietly followed him back to your apartment, trying to at least hold his hand as you did.
Only part of the problem was the raspberry plant dying. It had brought him so much happiness knowing he could hopefully make you cheese Danish pastries with raspberries, like his mother did for him when he was little and still living in Denmark. That was the real problem, he wasn’t in Denmark. He had moved away to marry you and was now feeling incredibly homesick, and right now you didn’t have enough money to move back. You sometimes felt extremely guilty, especially when a holiday rolled around and he would be a little less cheerful and drink just a little more beer.
Back at your apartment he cracked open a beer and sat in front of the television, leaving you to lean against the door frame and think, tears slowly burning your eyes and the feeling of loneliness slowly creeping in. You had to think of something so he wouldn’t be as homesick. You had tried celebrating Danish holidays, cook Danish food, and have some sort of Danish decoration around the house, but nothing worked, it made him worse.
“My mom’s birthday is coming up,” Matthias croaked.
You turned to him, watching as he threw his head back and nearly finished half the can. “Are you going to buy her a card?”
He acted as if he didn’t hear you, and you would be surprised if he did. “She’s turning fifty. We call it a round birthday. Sometimes there are over a hundred guests and feasting can go on for six hours.” He took another swig of beer, probably remembering his twentieth birthday where most people passed out from too much beer. “We also put a flag out so other people know it’s their birthday.”
You perked up, “Really?”
He nodded glumly and sat back, resting the already nearly empty can of beer on his knee. A small smile tugged at his lips, “Yeah, and usually when a kid has a birthday the family will sneak in really early in the morning and leave the presents at the foot of the bed.”
Gears turned in your brain. Though he couldn’t be there for her birthday, you did know one way he could be present, in a sense. The thing is; would she go along with it? She had never really liked you, and explained at your wedding (which she was kind enough to fly out for), that she knew the instant she saw you, you would take her son away. Either that or you could try his dad, a man who practically embodied the early Vikings. You weren’t sure he liked you either. You remembered him saying something about you making his boy soft.
Well one of them would probably want their son to get over home-sickness and would probably help. Now you just had to swallow your pride and contact them, hoping at least one of them would find it amusing that you would come crawling to them or at least touching that there son missed his home-land.
You would have to work quickly since his mother’s birthday was in a few days. You gave one last glance to the gloomy Matthias, before going to search from some paper and an envelope…and a nice glass of wine.
It had been almost two weeks, and his mother’s birthday was the next day. Your wallet still hurt from the extra money you had to pay so the letter would get there; and hopefully for the response to get back in time. They spoke VERY little English, making it almost impossible to speak with them without a translator, a.k.a. Matthias, plus a letter was a bit more personal and you hoped they would get the urgency behind it. You knew they had a few friends who spoke pretty good English and they would probably help out.
That day after work you rushed to the mailboxes downstairs, hoping that the response had come just in time and wondering if it would fit, if they went along with it that is.
With shaking hands you inserted the key into the lock and turned it. The small door swung open and your heart dropped when you saw it was nothing, but bills. You riffled through them three times, checking to see if you had accidently skipped over the letter. You had at least expected a package. You turned with a heavy heart to go back to the apartment, and cook diner while you waited for Matthias to return home from either work or the pub.
But, something caught your eye. A big package that screamed it was from a loving mother, hid behind the wall that the mailboxes jutted out from. It was much bigger than you expected and you quickly clambered down on your knees to see who it was for.
Matthias Kohler; written in quick and elegant lettering was the first thing that popped out, followed by your address. You actually squealed and chewed your lip in excitement as you rushed the package upstairs. Well as fast as you could without throwing out your back, it was heavy!
“Please let this help,” you begged, tearing at the packaging.
Two notes rested on the pile that was covered in red and white tissue paper, one addressed to Matthias and the other to you. You left his alone and re-taped the box, grabbing some wrapping paper and a bow before sitting down to read your letter.
It was from his mother and it was short. She spent most of the letter gushing about how sweet Matthias was and the rest (which was about the last two or three sentences) was that they would happily go along with your plan and had a friend help them set everything up. The cheese in the Danish was actually the goodbye part, she had actually signed it; Love to my daughter-in-law, Mom.
She had actually signed it mom! Well her friend had any way, the writing being different than the one on the box, and hopefully her friend hadn’t added that while dictating.
You checked the clock. Matthias would be home in about an hour, giving you plenty of time to wrap and hide the present before making dinner.
Matthias had been thirty minutes late, but you didn’t care. You were far too anxious about the next day and wished today would hurry up and end. You couldn’t help but smile when he walked through the door. You wrapped him in a big hug, before pulling him into a long passionate kiss. He had tasted a bit like beer, but still smelled like raspberries.
For a moment his usual cheerful and cheeky smile returned as he held onto you after the kiss, “I think you missed me.”
You giggled and left his arms to go set out dinner, “Of course I did.”
After dinner the two of you watched some TV, Matthias with his normal can of beer in one hand and an arm wrapped around you. To your surprise, during the commercials he would set it aside and twirl a lock of hair around a finger before pulling you into a passionate kiss, something you used to do when dating, but quickly disappeared when you got married. As it got closer to midnight, the kisses got a little more heated and before you knew it the TV was abandoned as you locked lips.
“I love you,” he breathed, pulling away from your final kiss of the night.
You smiled. This was the Matthias you loved, and for a moment you knew he wasn’t in the least bit homesick. You were the most important thing now. “I love you too,” kissing his nose before climbing off the couch and going to take a shower.
Afterward you and Matthias switched positions, you finding him lying on the bed taking a quick nap before taking a shower himself. As you walked past him you felt something graze against you, making you turn bright red and squeak in surprise, you heard a chuckle come from the bathroom and smiled as you climbed into bed waiting for Matthias to join you and hopefully willing to cuddle.
The next morning you were greeted with hot breath on your neck, an arm wrapped around your middle, and a chuckle, “Good morning,” you said sleepily, cuddling closer.
You could feel Matthias’s smile as he kissed your forehead, “I could stay like this all day,” he mumbled.
You giggled, “I could too, but wo-”
Matthias’s moan of dread cut you off. “Don’t even say that word,” he grumbled burying his head in the crook of your neck, giving it a few kisses before kissing your nose. “I’ve already decided what I’m going to do today and that’s snuggling with my wife.”
You blushed. It had been months since he had woken you up likes this, let alone flirted with you. It left you feeling warmer than a cup of hot chocolate after coming in from the snow and fuller in heart than Thanksgiving, making saying goodbye that morning that much harder as you tried kissing goodbye without doing a full make-out session.
His touch and smiled lingered throughout the day and gave you a bit more motivation to get your work finished; not that tonight’s surprise hadn’t already done that. You couldn’t wait to see his face and hopefully receive more of those heart-filling kisses.
You ran home from work that day, for once time-zones worked in your favor and by the time the party was about to start, Matthias got home.
He had greeted you with another passionate kiss, but the laptop on the dining room table caught his eye. “Did your boss give you homework?”
You smiled; excitement burned through your body as you laced your fingers through his, and led him over to the computer. “Wait here,” you said.
You went and found the package wrapped up tightly in its hiding spot, completely untouched since you put it there. With some difficulty you lifted the heavy package and brought it out to the kitchen table. The moment Matthias saw it, his face lit up like candles on a birthday cake.
He chuckled, “What is this?” he asked, gently tugging at the wrappings.
You smiled, heart beating wildly as he tore open the packaging. This had to cure him of his homesickness, and with luck this wasn’t even half of the surprise. His eyes bugged out when he saw his name printed on the box in his mom’s lettering, making his unwrapping even faster, tearing away the tape and heaving the box off the table onto his lap.
He grunted for a moment and finally accessed the card. He also tore that open and you watched as his lips moved along with Danish that was printed on there. To your surprise near the end of the letter he began to tear up. He’d better tell you what they had written, you thought. Next he carefully unfolded the wrapping paper and his original happiness returned. With a grunt he put the box back on the table and removed several packages of cookies, cakes, a pie, Danish coffee and a pack of beer.
“Butter cookies,” he chuckled, turning over the last package in his hand. That was the only thing you could understand, him saying the names out loud with glee, and probably touch as you looked over the assortment of oddly colored and shaped treats.
He was like a little kid on Christmas really, tearing open a package of lumpy cookies and fishing one out before he dove back into the box. He removed a fancy spiral bound note book, a book of Danish Children’s Tales (with Danish and American translation), and finally packages of raspberry seeds.
He examined these things for a minute, a smile stretching his face even more. He chuckled and covered his face as his blue eyes turned watery and red. “Mom said this was your idea,” he said, quickly wiping his face on his sleeve.
You blushed and ducked your head, burning red as he wrapped his arms around you and kissed your forehead. “Thank you,” he said between each of his kisses.
“You’re welcome,” you said, turning an Eskimo kiss into a full kiss on the lips.
He gently cupped your face in his hands, again you felt him smile as he kissed you, he hands slowly traced down until they rested on your hips and he moved away. “Thank you,” he sighed, out of breath.
You smiled and reached over to the laptop, “Say Happy Birthday to your mom for me, my Danish is still a little rusty.”
He cocked his head in curiosity and turned to the computer. For a moment it hummed, before the sound of hundreds of party guests burst through the tiny speakers and the video-chat window displayed hundreds of people all smiling and most holding beer. All of them cheered a greeting in Danish, and Matthias, stunned for a moment cheered a greeting back.
You smiled, cracked a Danish beer open for him, and gave the dazed Dane a kiss on the cheek before going to work on some stuff for work.
It had been a bit hard concentrating on your work, for one someone was always talking rapidly in Danish, and two you kept getting called into the kitchen to talk to someone. Matthias translated and what most party-goers had to say, knowing some of the story, was that you were probably the best thing that had happened to Matthias.
You sat by his side and held his hand, smiling while he talked to his parents. His mom was smiling and nearly crying while his father laughed and drank beer. You were even able to talk to them a bit and found out the notebook they sent you was full of Danish recipes, just in case. They finished with an I love you and Happy Birthday, Matthias thanking them for the package enough for the both of you.
The call ended and Matthias sat back and sighed, still grinning and holding your hand. With his other hand he closed the laptop. “You know their right; you are the best thing that has happened to me.”
You blushed and squeezed his hand, “I don’t know…that package.”
He cut you off, “Was your idea.” He said.
“Matthias…” you said, voice weakening, “I…I had started to feel like I wasn’t important…even a bit envious of the raspberry plants.” Tears that had burned your eyes were leaking and you quickly wiped at them. “I thought a plant was more important to you,” you laughed dryly, “Because it reminded you of home…How silly is that?” You sobbed.
Matthias set down his beer and carefully wrapped his arms around you, his own eyes burning with tears. “It’s not silly,” was the only thing he could rasp.
You sobbed and clutched his jacket, heavy sobs bringing you mere gasps of his raspberry and beer scent. “I-I-I was being so greedy, thinking that you could just automatically get over moving from your home the moment you married me…I-I should’ve understood….”
“Don’t say that,” he said sternly with a hint of sadness. He pulled away for a moment to tilt your chin up so you could look him in his teary blue eyes, “I should’ve gotten over it the minute I stepped on the plane. My life is with you now and I shouldn’t have been moping about my old life.”
You sniffled and forced a smile, “I love you Matthias.”
He smiled, “Love you more,” he said resting his forehead against yours before giving you a kiss.
Your smiled turned genuine and you gave him one more playful kiss, before you tried to stifle a yawn. Looking over your shoulder you saw it was nearly three o’clock, good thing tomorrow was a Saturday.