Ten years at the wildlife sanctuary also meant that Klara had seen endless suffering, man-made suffering, and that she therefore withdrew more and more. The more she saved, cared for, the more there seemed to be. As strong as she was, even she was slowly reaching the limits of her endurance. Therefore, this celebration should not only serve to provide an insight into the work, but also to find people who would be willing to support Klara. “I would have enough space,” she thought, while she wished that this celebration would be over soon because she found it difficult to bear the hustle and bustle. “Having strangers in the house puts a lot of pressure on me,” she was convinced. “But maybe it won’t be so bad if they’re the right people. “I’ve just lived alone for too long,” she tried to encourage herself. In fact, by the end of the festival she had agreed with two young people that they wanted to try it out with each other, Klara with them and she with Klara.
Beate Busch was a veterinarian and Stefan Stein was a biologist. Both had recently finished their studies but couldn’t fit into a traditional career path, so they were happy to be able to take advantage of this opportunity. The pay wasn’t great, but it was a challenge and even more of a special task, at least for her. A few days later they moved in. Klara’s fears that the two of them would initially be more of a burden than a help to her turned out to be wrong. Right from the start she was noticeably relieved and was able to take a long walk in the forest or read a book without feeling guilty. Living together was also problem-free, because outside of meals and work they retreated to their part of the house or into nature. All three lived vegan lives out of ethical convictions, so this didn’t cause any problems.
Six months had now passed, and Klara could no longer imagine that it had ever been any different. The most important thing for all three was the task they had taken on and for Klara it was self-evident that Beate and Stefan thought exactly the same as she did. Maybe Klara was simply too inexperienced or naive in interpersonal matters to notice that there was something wildly bubbling beneath the smooth surface. Although Beate did her work conscientiously and having a veterinarian on the farm was probably the best thing that could have happened, she was also emotionally attached to Stefan. However, he did not return her affection in the way she would have liked. Instead, Stefan was convinced that he could win Klara over, not only as a champion for the animals, but also as a man.
It was already late in the evening when Stefan was sitting in the kitchen after his last inspection, drinking tea to warm himself up, when Klara unexpectedly came in. She admitted that she hadn’t been able to sleep, so she joined him drinking tea. Stefan thought this was a sign of fate and moved closer to Klara. “Klara, I’ve been thinking about us,” he began, somewhat helplessly searching for words, “You have to admit, we’re a great team.” “Yes, we are,” Klara admitted to him frankly, “I am very glad you both are here to support me. I don’t even know how I used to manage everything on my own.” “Yes, that too,” said Stefan, who noticed that Klara didn’t understand him, at least not as much as he would have liked, “Beate is good at what she does. But I actually meant both of us, you and me.” Klara looked at her counterpart thoughtfully. She finally understood what he was getting at. “Yes, of course, he was not only a fellow campaigner, but also a man,” she thought, “I just hadn’t been aware of it until now, but least of all, that he was interested in me.” That’s why she listened to herself, whether it changed anything for them, this insight. But there was nothing that even remotely suggested that. She hadn’t had a relationship since her boyfriend left her. She didn’t miss anything; she was so absorbed in her work. But what would it be like to allow a man into her life now that she no longer had to completely exhaust herself? How would it change? Would she actually have a place for him? And if so, what would she have to change for herself? Did she want to change something?