Tuesday was always Opatag for Felix. After school, the twelve-year-old did not go home as usual, but took the tram to the other end of town to spend the afternoon with his grandfather.
For the pensioner, widowed for three years, the visits of his only grandson were always a pleasure, and Felix also enjoyed them. His other grandparents – his father’s parents – had died before his birth, so that of four grandparents now only his grandfather was on his mother’s side. With him he could talk about many things, for which his parents either had no time or no interest.
“Grandpa,” he asked one day, “is it true what our religion teacher said today: that in reality Adam and Eve never existed?”
“Yes, that’s right,” Grandfather nodded. “Humanity can not descend from a single pair. Where would their sons have got their wives? “
“Then the thing with the snake and the apple did not happen in reality?”
“Literally not. But you know, Felix, these stories are meant to be symbolic. Adam and Eve are human beings, and we tend to do what we should not do. Adam and Eve were allowed to eat the fruits of all the trees in paradise, except one – and promptly they did. This is called the charm of the forbidden. “
Felix looked doubtful. “Do you really think, Grandpa, that all human beings are like that?”
“I do not just believe that. I know that.”
” I ‘m not like that,” Felix protested. “In Adam’s place, I would have been happy with the other fruits in Paradise. Besides, I do not like apples. I find pears much tastier. “
Now his grandpa had to laugh heartily. “The Bible does not say what fruit it was. It could just as well have been a nice, juicy pear. “
Felix hesitated for a moment, then shook his head. “Even then, I would not have been as stupid as Adam. There were enough other fruits, after all. “
“Well, if you think so,” grinned the grandfather and changed the subject.
When Felix rang his grandpa’s door next Tuesday and he opened it, the boy looked at him in surprise. The old man was already in his coat, carrying his briefcase under his arm. “Felix, I’m sorry, but I have to leave you alone for an hour. My client advisor at the bank wants to talk to me. I put lemonade and biscuits in the living room for you. “He showed his grandson the table on which he had also laid some picture books. “Here, you can always look at these animal books. Of course you can do your homework too. Or watch TV for my sake. In short, do what you want. You can not go to the narrow yellow drawer there. “
“Why not?”, Felix shot like a pistol.
“Because I do not want it.” Grandfather’s voice was unusually sharp. Then he continued in his normal voice, “Well, have a good time. See you soon!”
Felix stood in the living room and looked at the cupboard in the middle of which was the yellow drawer. She had never noticed him before. Strange that Grandpa kept his secret stuff in her, although she offered little space and was not lockable.
He sat down at the table and flipped through the illustrated books while he drank the soda and ate the biscuits. But he could not concentrate. Again and again his eyes slid over to the yellow drawer. He wanted to know what was inside.
An “hour” Grandpa had wanted to stay away. Twenty minutes he was already gone. If he had gone to the conversation in the bank as planned, he would probably be back in half an hour. But it could also be that he returned prematurely because he had forgotten something or because his client advisor had to postpone the appointment.
If I was one hundred percent sure that I had enough time, Felix thought, I would try to open the drawer. I would touch the handle with a handkerchief because my hands would be sweaty with excitement. First, I would test by gently pulling and pushing back, if the drawer can move properly and does not jam. If everything is fine in this respect, I would open it, but only look. Do not touch or take out anything. After that I would close them immediately.
He walked to the window and looked in the direction his grandfather had come back from. He was not yet to be spotted. It could also be that he had already arrived at the house, because the area outside the door could not be seen from the window.
I can prepare a packet of paper towels, Felix thought. If it’s on the table, if grandpa comes in earlier than expected, he will not be suspicious.
He took one out of his satchel, wondering if he could make any further preparations, but he could not think of anything.
Grandpa is gone forty minutes now, Felix thought. I stand again at the window. If I see him turn the corner, it will take a while at his slow pace to get here …
Again the boy looked down the street. There! Grandfather turned the corner. Now or never!
Felix took a tissue – in fact his hands were soaking wet – and grasped the handle of the yellow drawer. She was easy to move. He opened it a crack and peeked inside.
She was empty.
No not really. Something glittered downstairs. Felix no longer had reservations. He pulled the drawer completely out, taking care not to tear it out of the closet. Then he looked in from above and looked at his own limitless amazement.
A mirror lay there. He was surrounded by a brown frame that made Felix’s face look like a portrait. At the bottom there was a sign with a name written on it in his grandfather’s steep lettering: ADAM.