This is my response to today’s daily prompt.
It’s not in keeping with the format requested, I don’t write poetry anymore but in spite of that I still wanted to share my story, It’s a little longer than my previous stories and it’s also technically unfinished since I don’t know the result of Sunday’s game and I don’t want to curse Freiburg by writing it before it happens. It’s my “ode” to Jogi und Hansi:
Hansi had been making plans for Valentine’s Day as soon as the new year began, he wanted every last detail to be perfect for Jogi and as soon as he had the dates for the matches that weekend he had began to work it all out in advance. At first he had been disappointed that Freiburg were playing on Sunday instead of Saturday and that they were away to Hertha Berlin.
After giving it some more thought Hansi realised how perfect it all was. He had worked out how he would take Jogi to the stadium on Saturday for the big event and how they would have the rest of the day together as a lazy day. And how on Sunday they would leave early so as to fly to Berlin for the match where Jogi could see his beloved Freiburg play and they could go for a walk afterwards by the lake.
Hansi had spent hours thinking about the bracelet he was going to get made for Jogi, agonising over each and every last detail of the design. He almost wished that he could ask Jogi’s advice; he knew that he would be in his element with such a task. Hansi consoled himself with the knowledge that Jogi would appreciate the effort and the trouble he had gone to. And that he would be pleased when Hansi told him that they could get new ones made for the ceremony, ones that Jogi could have a hand in designing. Hansi had also gotten a ring made, he knew that Jogi didn’t like wearing rings but he wanted to do it traditionally, even if it meant Jogi taking it off a few seconds later.
After taking delivery of the bracelet and the ring Hansi was no less anxious. Not only was he worried about Jogi finding them but he kept taking them out to check all the time. To begin with he had put them in his bedside cabinet drawer, trusting that Jogi would have no reason to go in there but Hansi had taken them out of there for the sake of his own sanity. In the middle of the night he kept looking over to the drawer and wanting to take it out and look at it just one more time. Eventually he had realised that if he kept doing this, Jogi may catch on to the fact that he was hiding something in there and so had resolved to find a new place to put them, both somewhere where Jogi wouldn’t find them and where he wouldn’t be tempted to keep checking on them. Thinking over Jogi’s pet peeves Hansi came up with the perfect solution, he put them in the toolkit in the boot of his car, his toolkit and not Jogi’s which would pass muster with an army sergeant. Not that Hansi’s was overly messy, it was just a regular toolkit with the usual amount of mess but that meant it wasn’t good enough for Jogi.
Friday night Hansi had taken forever to get to sleep, with the big day finally here he had taken them out of the toolkit and put them back in the drawer which of course meant that he spent most of the night thinking about them.
The next morning he awoke to find Jogi sitting up and staring at him, grinning in that slightly scary way which made one think he had something sinister planned. Hansi didn’t normally interpret it that way; he knew better than that, he knew that when Jogi looked that way it usually meant he was uncomfortable. This was not one of those times, now he looked like he was planning something and he looked very pleased with himself too.
“Finally you’re awake Hansi, its 7:03 already.”
“What’s the rush Jogi, it’s a Saturday and you aren’t going to a match today, you promised.”
“No I’m not, I kept my promise, but I’ve been waiting for 33 minutes already Hansi. Now you’re awake we can exchange gifts already.”
“Here, now in bed, you don’t want to wait until we’re at the table?”
“Now is good, I can’t wait any longer.”
By way of reply Hansi got out of bed and retrieved Jogi’s gifts and card, the two he could give to him there and then. As a joke and a fun precursor to what Hansi had planned, he had included a little something extra in the package with Jogi’s football shirt. In there in a Freiburg ticket holder was a ticket custom made by Hansi for what he had planned later that day. A ticket which read “entry for one to Hansi Flick’s heart.” He was sure that Jogi wouldn’t guess what he had planned from that, all he was going to say to him was that his real gift was at the stadium and that they had to pick it up.
Jogi having been awake for a little while already and had Hansi’s gift and card to hand, he didn’t have to get out of bed in order to get it, and he only had to reach over to the bedside cabinet. He too had gotten Hansi a shirt. Seeing Hansi return to bed holding two packages Jogi looked unhappy and Hansi knew why without him even saying anything.
“Jogi it’s fine, we don’t have to get each other the same number of presents.”
“But now it doesn’t match” said Jogi in that special crestfallen way only he could manage.
“Joachim I love you more than anyone has ever loved anyone, but I swear sometimes you are simply impossible. And you know what’s worse? It only makes me love you even more”
Notwithstanding Jogi’s protests the two of them exchanged gifts, Hansi remembering to tell Jogi to open the first one carefully so as not to rip the special tickets inside.
Hansi opened his extra slowly, not just taking his time with the wrapping paper so as to open it in accordance with Jogi’s wishes but so that Jogi would hopefully be less bothered by the numbers inequality. This of course did not work because after Hansi had warned him to be careful he had taken the words to heart and was moving even slower than usual. Hansi had unwrapped his first present and taken it out of the wrapping before Jogi had even finished unwrapping the first. Hansi was looking over his new white shirt just as Jogi was taking out the red Freiburg shirt from the wrapping and looking puzzled at the ticket holder on top which had Freiburg’s logo on the outside.
Picking up the ticket holder Jogi said in a confused tone of voice: “but they aren’t playing at home this weekend, what’s the meaning of this trickery Hans-Dieter?”
“Don’t you go Hans-Dieter-ing me Herr Löw, look at the tickets and you’ll see, no trickery, just some creativity and sentimentality my dear Herr Löw.”
Jogi with one eye on Hansi, wondering what he was up to opened the ticket holder to find not one but two tickets inside. The first was a Freiburg game back in 2007, the first Freiburg game that him and Hansi had gone to together. The second was Hansi’s special ticket, the one for his special event later. Jogi with his rat like memory immediately recognised the significance of the first ticket; he would never forget a game he had been to see, let alone a Freiburg one.
“I thought you said there was no trickery Hansi.”
“There’s not Jogi, I just thought it would be fun. I was really disappointed that this week’s game was an away fixture but I wanted to continue with my plans anyway. Your main gift is at the stadium Jogi, we can go and get it after breakfast. Just promise me one thing mein kleiner Freiburger, no questions.”
“Well you just took away what I was going to say. Ok Hansi, I’ll humour you, no questions.”
Jogi put the tickets to one side and carried on with taking the shirt out of the packaging. Seeing the smile on Hansi’s face he knew that this was more than just a football shirt. He picked it up and turned it around; there he could see what had Hansi grinning in that way that made him look like a cross between an extremely adorable chipmunk and an elf. How Jogi loved his elf lord Hans-Dieter, he still didn’t get why Jogi called him that, nor did he have any idea that Jogi had designed and named his Dragon Age character with Hansi in mind. On the back of the shirt with the number 7 was written Jogi und Hansi.
“Hansi, my little elf lord; only you could come up with something so sweet.”
After spending a few minutes alternating between staring at the shirt and at Hansi, Jogi opened his second present where he discovered that him and Hansi had a similar idea. However Hansi had gotten him a navy blue shirt, not unlike the colour they had worn this summer past. Examining the shirt Jogi seemed satisfied with it, at least from a craftsmanship point of view.
“Hansi, I like the shirt but why navy blue, we’re wearing white now. White shirts and navy blue jackets.”
“I know Jogi, in spite of the fact that I don’t have to wear the same as you anymore, you dragged me with you to pick them. Trust me, I have my reasons. Trust your elf lord and all will go well.”
With the gifts and cards exchanged and Jogi informed of the day’s events, the rest of the morning proceeded as it usually did and the minute Jogi left the room Hansi took advantage of the moment to put both of the special boxes in his jacket pocket. Hansi had insisted on Jogi wearing the Freiburg shirt, he wasn’t happy about this but after Hansi had pleaded with him he couldn’t refuse and eventually gave in with the proviso that he could take it off as soon as they got back home. Even though they were watching the games at home, Jogi would still want to dress in his traditional shirt and scarf.
The whole drive there he kept checking and rechecking his pocket, luckily for him Jogi had insisted on driving. Hansi had wanted to seeing that he was the one who had planned the surprise but given how distracted he was he thought it wasn’t such a bad thing. Plus he didn’t want to be the one who interfered with Jogi’s match day routine, he was always the one who drove regardless of who they were going to see. And besides on a day like today Hansi was inclined to grant Jogi whatever he demanded, as long as Jogi answered in the affirmative to his special question he would go along with whatever his little Freiburger wanted.
On arrival at the Schwarzwaldstadion Hansi led a very puzzled Jogi inside, a look which turned to intrigue when Hansi began to lead him towards the pitch. Jogi hesitated before stepping out onto the pitch as Hansi thought he might. Hansi had come prepared for this; he had brought boots just in case.
“We’ll only be out there for a few minutes Jogi but I brought boots just in case, we can change if you want.”
“Just a few minutes Hansi?”
“I promise, no more than ten minutes.”
With his hand in Hansi’s, Jogi reluctantly walked out with Hansi to the centre circle. There Hansi checked the contents of his pocket for the final time before getting down on one knee.
Without realising what he was saying or apparently what Hansi was about to do, Jogi began to object: “Hansi, you aren’t ruining those trousers, not on my watch.”
“Yes I am Jogi, I really am. Joachim, you were the centre of my world long before I knew you were, will you take my hand and allow me the honour of being the centre of yours? If you say yes I promise to you on this hallowed turf that I will spend the rest of my life trying to make you as happy as you make me.”
Hansi waited for what seemed like an eternity, frozen in place, his arm extended waiting with the ring. When Jogi began to smile in that way that only Hansi ever saw him smile he knew what his answer was going to be but still Hansi waited, timing was always important with Jogi. Jogi still didn’t speak yet, he still couldn’t, all he could do was put his hand out for Hansi to put the ring on. With that done Jogi pulled Hansi up off the grass and before Hansi could do anything else, Jogi began to brush the bits of grass off his trouser leg. Now this Hansi had not prepared for, with the tension and excitement of the previous few minutes Hansi could not help but begin to laugh.
Overwhelmed by laughter and by tears Hansi could not say anything either, instead as Jogi finished what he was doing he put his hand on Jogi’s head and affectionately smoothed down his hair. Before Jogi stood back up Hansi lent down and kissed his hair, staying there for a few moments, leaving his face nestled in the silky black darkness. Hiding his tears from Jogi and holding on to him like he would never let go, so glad was he that Jogi was now as he had always really been, his and truly his forever more.
When he began to feel Jogi stand up he took a step backwards and tried to wipe the tears out of his eyes, looking at Jogi’s face he saw that he didn’t need to bother. His eyes were glistening too and instead of wiping his own tears Hansi moved towards Jogi and taking out his handkerchief, began to wipe the tears from his face. They just stood there for a few moments, holding on to each other, arm in arm, forehead to forehead, neither of them saying anything. At least until Jogi looked at his watch and told Hansi that his ten minutes was up five minutes ago. Once again Hansi laughed; his sweet perfectionist Jogi.
Coming to his senses and remembering the bracelet he asked Jogi for another five minutes, on any other occasion he would have looked at Hansi with a disapproving look but not now, not today.
Hansi got the second box out of his pocket, took out the bracelet and showed it to Jogi, drawing his attention to the silver part where it was engraved: “Jogi und Hansi: Zusammen für immer” just beneath the four stars. Putting it on Jogi’s wrist Hansi said:
“I got this made for you, I know you don’t like rings but it wouldn’t have been right without one, I wanted that part to be fully traditional. You can take the ring off now; this is your real ring. And in case it’s not exactly what you wanted, I thought we could get a pair made, together with you in charge of the design.”
“No Hansi, it’s perfect, I want this one and only this one, all we need is another one exactly the same for you.”
Jogi took the ring off but instead of handing it back to Hansi as he expected he gestured for him to hold out his hand.
“If it fits you should wear it Hansi.”
Hansi put out his hand for Jogi to try. He succeeded in getting it on the second finger he tried. Jogi looked approvingly at it, seemingly very happy with Hansi’s choices. One less thing for him to have to worry about.
The two of them walked off the pitch hand in hand, Jogi’s thoughts filled with all of the happy times he had here, all the times he had walked off here after a victory. Those pleasant memories now mingled with the happiness of today’s memories. How wonderful it would be, every time he went to a game here to be reminded not only of that but of today’s wonderful events.
The rest of the day went exactly as Hansi planned, when they got back he even convinced Jogi to keep his new Freiburg shirt on. To join him and as part of their casual Saturday, Hansi put on one of his own, a Freiburg one which matched Jogi’s down to every last detail. Jogi in such a good mood from earlier events had not objected to any of Hansi’s plans, not the blankets he had spread out on the living room floor or surprisingly the dish of snacks that he had left there too. What a wonderful day it was, the two of them lying on the floor, wrapped in each other’s arms and enjoying their indoor picnic. It had been more fun than he had possibly imagined, everything had gone perfectly. Jogi was relaxed and lying wrapped in his arms, in the perfect position for Hansi to run his fingers through his hair. And more importantly because he was so relaxed he wasn’t being his usual perfectionist self and worrying about crumbs and other such things. Instead of being on crumb alert and anxiously glancing at Hansi every time he picked up a snack, Jogi’s eyes alternated between being fixed on the TV and on the bracelet that was on his wrist. Every now and then after his hand had reached up to his fringe to touch it in his usual way, his hand would find the bracelet that was now on his left arm, his fingers tracing the engraved letters over and over again.
Between the two matches they watched that day, they had a little fun of their own with Hansi being careful to move the snacks out of the way first. Jogi may be in a good mood but nothing would ruin that quicker than crumbs on the floor. After a few minutes of talking about the match and Jogi making some notations on his customary folded piece of paper which was quickly tossed aside, their afternoon break passed in a medley of delightful squeals and other such sounds.
So carried away were they that they almost missed the kick off of the next match. When they were done Jogi’s hair was no longer anything approaching tidy, Hansi had lost his shirt and the blankets strewn about the floor were now around them in a tangled mess. Seeing the time out of the corner of his eye, Hansi had not wanted to tell Jogi but he knew he had better, he didn’t want to ruin his good mood by interrupting his schedule. As the game started Hansi helped Jogi fix his hair but despite the winter cold Hansi decided against putting his shirt back on, though Jogi being Jogi he had insisted on locating it and folding it up neatly. Hansi enjoyed holding Jogi in his bare arms, feeling his skin touch his though this made it harder to focus on the match and to keep his mind off resuming the fun they had been having. He consoled himself with the knowledge that he would have Jogi all to himself tomorrow evening for because they were going to Freiburg’s game, they would not make it back in time watch the second match of the day live on TV.
In accordance with their plans after the excitement of the day they had an early night, for once that wasn’t code for resuming the fun from the afternoon. Having to be up early for the flight to Berlin the next morning it actually meant an early night.