Interlude: Barrier

Note: This chapter contains a LOT of German with no translation/explanation. And there is a reason for it!

This chapter is from Josh’s POV (surprise!), and since he is overhearing a conversation in a language he doesn’t know, you guys get the full Josh experience by also not knowing what’s being said (unless you’re one of my German-speaking readers :P)

Before you get super frustrated, be patient! I might be nice near the end of this chapter. 😉 But bear with me for now!


“Nein!” Mari hissed through clenched teeth as she appeared in the kitchen doorway, following closely behind Stefan. “Ich hab doch gesagt, sie geht nicht mit!” She snapped.

Josh had no idea what she was saying, but the meaning behind the words mattered little to him at the moment. Jesus, does she yell like this in front of the kids all the time? He wondered, glancing down at Tobi’s smiling children, whom he’d met just a few minutes before. They appeared completely unfazed by the outburst, and continued whispering excitedly to one another. Yeah… She must. Josh decided, half-amused.

05-08-16_8-11-59 PM

He felt a pang of guilt at the thought. He’d been trying so hard not to judge Mari too harshly ever since that night at the hotel… A task that was proving more and more difficult with each passing day.

“Aber MAMA! Ich will mit!” His thoughts were interrupted by a shrill shriek as a little girl with dark brown hair appeared at the top of the stairs. Josh recognized her immediately as Tobi and Stefan’s little sister, Clara. “Das ist nicht fair!”

05-08-16_8-20-51 PM

The little girl practically flew down the stairs, coming to a halt in front of her mother. Clara looked up at her defiantly, crossing her arms across her chest.

For a moment, Josh was reminded of his own little spitfire, Cora, back home in Willow Creek. He could not help the slight sadness that washed over him as he thought of his children. For the past thirty years he’d spent so much time away from home… In his line of work, it was something you just had to get used to.

But it never seemed to get any easier.

Mari did not appear to acknowledge her daughter’s outburst. “Du musst noch Hausaufgaben machen, nicht wahr, Clara?” She asked with what appeared to be false cheerfulness.

05-08-16_8-23-28 PM

Beside him, Tobi gave Josh a brief look of apology. “Komm schon, es ist ne halbe Stunde, höchstens!” He called out to his mother, his voice almost pleading as he stepped toward her.

“Tobi,” Stefan muttered, “du weißt schon dass es nicht um die Hausaufgaben geht…”

05-08-16_8-34-22 PM

“Schluss jetzt!” Mari’s cry seemed to echo throughout the entire house. Josh almost winced outwardly at the sound. “Sie geht nicht mit und das ist endgültig!”

Tobi’s face fell. “Aber…”

Stefan shook his head at his brother and extended a hand toward him gently. Don’t push it. His eyes seemed to say. “Vielleicht nächstes mal, Clara.” The young man smiled gently at his little sister.

05-08-16_8-56-48 PM

The young girl wept softly in reply.

Josh did not need to know a word of German to understand what was going on. She won’t let her go… He realized, incredulous. Because of me. It was so immature, so petty… Josh had a hard time believing what he was hearing.

Or rather, what he assumed he was hearing.

05-08-16_8-58-34 PM

The pigtailed little girl beside him stepped forward nervously. “Wir bringen dir was mit, okay?” Jocelyne said gently.

“Das ist doch bescheuert!” Clara stomped her foot and glared daggers at her mother. She did nothing to acknowledge the other little girl’s comment.

05-08-16_9-00-54 PM

“Geh nach oben und hol Papa, Clara.” Mari’s voice was cold. “Er hilft dir mit deinen Hausaufgaben.”


“Geh jetzt!”

“OKAY!” The little girl let out a large angry huff.

05-08-16_9-02-47 PM

Despite everything, Josh almost laughed. Alright, that one I understood… He thought as he watched Clara stomp heavily up the wooden stairs. Standing at the top, Josh caught a glimpse of a dark-haired man with glasses. As with Clara, he knew in an instant who it was.

05-08-16_9-08-22 PM

Jonas locked eyes with him for a moment. It was so fleeting, but he could feel so much in the other man’s gaze – curiosity, apprehension… jealousy? Before Josh could be certain, Jonas gave him a small, uncomfortable smile, then wrapped an arm over his daughter’s shoulders and led her away.

For one wild moment, Josh almost wanted to call out to him. He wanted so badly to meet the man who had raised his sons, yet he and Jonas had still not been properly introduced… And he had a sneaking suspicion he knew why. Damn, she must have him whipped. Josh thought, shaking his head slowly.

He regretted the thought almost instantly. Don’t judge. He reminded himself. Remember?

05-08-16_9-09-33 PM

“Ich weiß sowieso nicht warum ihr sie da mit reinziehen musstet.” Josh was called back to the present by another sharp hiss from Mari.

Her eyes darted back and forth between both of her sons.

“Josh hat sie eingeladen.” Stefan shrugged as he spoke, and Josh’s ears perked up at the sound of his name. “Er wollte nur nett sein.”

05-08-16_9-11-11 PM

He could feel Mari’s eyes on him then, though he tried his best to avoid her gaze. Josh felt the back of his neck grow warm as his irritation began to rise. Don’t they realize I’m standing right here…?

“Versucht, um 4 zurück zu sein.” Mari gave her sons one last look, then smiled sweetly at her grandchildren. “Und macht keinen Ärger, ihr zwei.” Her tone was almost playful as she spoke. How had her demeanor changed so quickly?

05-08-16_9-13-19 PM

Lucas beamed at his grandmother. “Klar doch!” He gave his sister a small smile. “Das wird leicht wenn Clara nicht dabei ist…”

Jocelyne clapped a hand over her mouth and fought to suppress her giggles at her brother’s comment. Stefan let out a small snort of amusement, and even Mari failed to hold back a smile as she turned and retreated back into the kitchen.

05-08-16_9-22-40 PM

“Lucas!” Tobi narrowed his eyes at his son, though a hint of amusement was apparent in his tone.

The little boy simply shrugged. “Tschuldigung…”

Tobi reached down and ruffled his son’s brown hair, his stern mask suddenly fading. Both sets of twins laughed softly to themselves as they rejoined Josh by the doorway.

05-08-16_9-37-19 PM

He eyed them curiously as they approached. Whatever the little boy had said seemed to have eased some of the tension.

“Sorry about all that.” Stefan smiled kindly at him. “Ready to go?”

Josh nodded, grateful to hear his native language once more. He looked uncertainly at Jocelyne and Lucas for a moment. Tobi had warned him that the twins barely knew a word of English.

“Do you want ice cream?” Josh asked them slowly and carefully.

05-08-16_9-38-57 PM

Their cheers of delight told him that they understood.

Guess some things are universal. He thought with a smile as he followed them out into the bright afternoon sun. But this language barrier might take some getting used to…

05-08-16_9-46-41 PM

Josh made a mental note to pick up a copy of Rosetta Stone the moment he got home.


Thank you SO much to Julyvee94 for translating all of my dialgoue into German for this one!

For everyone pulling their hair out in frustration right now, I am feeling kind. Here’s a translation of the dialogue 😉

Mari: “No! I told you, she’s not going.”
Clara: “But MAMA, I wanna go! It’s not fair!”
Mari: “She has homework to finish anyway, don’t you Clara?”
Tobi: “Oh, come on! It’ll be half an hour, tops.”
Stefan: “Tobi, you know this isn’t about the homework…”
Mari: “ENOUGH! She’s not going, and that’s final.”
Tobi: “But…”
Stefan: “Maybe next time, Clara.”
Jocelyne: “We’ll bring you back something, okay?”
Clara: “This is stupid!”
Mari: “Go upstairs and get Papa, Clara. He’ll help you with your homework.”
Clara: “But…”
Mari: “Go!”
Clara: “FINE.”
Mari: “I don’t know why you had to go and get her involved anyway.”
Stefan: “Josh invited her. He was just trying to be nice.”
Mari: “Try to be back by four. And stay out of trouble, you two.”
Lucas: “Of course! That’ll be easy without Clara there…”
Tobi: “Lucas!”
Lucas: “Sorry…”

62 thoughts on “Interlude: Barrier

  1. I loved the german! It’s good to be reminded how much of an outsider Josh really is in this family. He might be their bio dad, but he’s not really part of the family.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Well, it’s only been what? A couple days? It’s hard to make someone family in that short amount of time no matter how much Stefan wants to. But there’s no reason to force him to stay out of the family, Mari – and if he’s buying his grandkids ice cream – he won’t be “not family” for long in their eyes!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. Frankly, the boys…I don’t know, but I feel like they are forcing Josh onto Mari, into her and Jonas’ territory by trying to take their little sister. And Stefan…SUCH a low blow, you little shit! Ugh. I flip flop back and forth from liking him or not liking him…the boys need to put themselves in her shoes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What did Stefan do badly in this chapter? I must have missed it? I always appreciate how passionate your comments are haha Though I cannot say that I entirely agree with them.

        Thanks for reading!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, it’s just text, but I almost feel like what he said to his mom “you know it isn’t about the homework…” That was rude. The fact that Tobi was like enough Stefan…it just makes me feel that way. Even if you don’t agree Stefan, which I can see your pov, she is still your mother. As some mothers would say, she brought you in this world and she can take you right out! Be nice to her lol


          1. Haha fair enough! (Though Stefan made the comment about it not being about homework to Tobi, not Mari, and Stefan was the one telling Tobi not to push it when Tobi started arguing for Clara to come 🙂 )

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, I get they were trying to be nice, but come on, Stefan! Josh doesn’t need to be involved in all their lives!

    And part of me hopes that eventually, Stefan realizes that just because Josh may be their biological father, he’s not really their dad. :/


    1. Well Josh was the one who invited Clara (it was in my translation at the end). He was trying to be nice, like you said 🙂

      I appreciate the strong opinions though haha Thank you for reading! 🙂


  3. Wow I was actually trying to read those dialogues in German! I had so much fun! Thanks for this entertaining chapter! This one was definitely super cute! I thought they were talking about something really very serious but it was only about Clara staying back and doing her homework! 😂😝 I actually laughed at the end when I realized what this whole conversation was about!
    Loved where the story’s going 👌 And can’t wait to know what happens next!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha I’m glad you enjoyed it! And in the Rosebrook household, any conversation has the potential to become a serious one XD

      Thanks so much for reading! I’m glad you’re liking where it seems to be headed… We’ll see if it takes any unexpected twists 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  4. German, german, german… *squints in confusion* That conversation was quite funny. I am still of the opinion Mari shouldn’t yell in front of her kids… But, *sigh* I think Clara should have gone. It’s not fair on her to be left at home while those who effectively her two triplets get to have fun. She’s too young too understand.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ha, being a native Dutch speaker and taking two years of German in high school finally pays off!

    I really liked this chapter. You could definitely sense the tension in the house. It must be tough for Josh to keep an open mind about Mari when she’s acting this way, but I still feel bad for her. She’s not a monster mother, just hurt and confused and scared.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Poor Mari and Josh! *bear hugs for all*

    What an interesting chapter, filled with German! I had reading the German dialogue! You and July did a good job with this chapter. I still don’t think Mari should be yelling in front of the children. Clara should’ve gone with her siblings, Stefan, Tobi, and Josh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You mean her niece and nephew? 😛 I agree! And yeah, Mari shouldn’t yell in front of the kids 😦 I’m glad you enjoyed this one!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Mari being a delight yet again haha. Must be awkward for Josh, but maybe in a way having the language barrier might sort of help; without it all these conversations might trigger even more conflict! 😀

    Ironically the only thing I didn’t understand in this chapter was the Rosetta Stone reference – I actually had to google what that was haha!


    1. Hahahahaha whoops, I guess they don’t use Rosetta Stone much outside of the US?

      I never realized so many of my readers knew German! It’s super cool, but also bums me out because it takes away the desired effect of the chapter haha Oh well.

      Good point about the language barrier actually being beneficial! I didn’t even think of it that way XD


      1. I guess that’s the tradeoff of having an international reader base! 🙂 Us multilingual Europeans, messing things up for you 😀


        1. Lmao yeah. The next gen will have to speak Chinese or something so I can try this again with the desired effect! 😛 Oh well. I tried. XD


            1. Yes XD (too bad I already have my next gen and a half planned… 😛 And actually, well… There is another nationality introduced via secondary characters but nothing quite that exciting :P)


  8. I didn’t know that so many people in the comments speak german, but well you can add me to the list 😀 The funny thing is, that even though I knew all along that many names in this tory are supposed to be pronounced german, but when they are in the middle of an english text m head still turns them into the english version, even though german is my native language

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahahaha I still can’t get over what an epic fail this chapter was XD Oh well. 😛

      And yeah, I say all their names in English in my head too! (I don’t speak German of course, but I know the proper German pronunciations :P). Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I only found this now, but I still want to say 1 – This legacy is written so well it kept me awake! Not sure if that is a good or a bad thing… 😛
          2 – I found the inclusion of the language barrier actually hilarious. I mean I also understand the difficulties, but somehow these 2 sides in my brain were able to connect. The german-speaking side for everyday life, and the english side I’m in when online, and when writing myself…
          And this one moment – its actually a few chapters ahead, in “clear the air”:
          It didn’t feel right for you to leave without having the chance to…” Jonas paused, furrowing his brow. Scheiße. How the Hell do you say it in English? “Ah… reinen Tisch machen… Clear the table?” He looked at Josh hopefully.
          Josh laughed in a quiet burst. “Clear the air? Yeah, that sounds like a good plan.”

          This. This right there happens to me like every 10 minutes! 😀 And this is the first darn time ever I’ve seen it happen to story characters. I found this so awesome for some reason! Hm…. Maybe I should change that. *ideas about own story coming in* 🙂
          Ahem. See you in a few chapters! 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thank you so much for this great comment! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the story, and that you can relate to the language situation haha I remember how fun that was to write (with the help of my friend, of course. My German skills are limited to Rammstein lyrics 😅🤣)

            Hope you continue to enjoy! I’ll warn you now that my story is currently on a long hiatus (in Generation 9, so you’ve got a long way to go 🤣) but I do plan to continue it eventually!

            Thank you again! 😁


    1. Hahaha you should have! The whole idea of the chapter was to get Josh’s experience of not knowing what was being sad lmao. Oh well. You aren’t the only one who missed out — apparently half of my readers speak German? This chapter ended up a massive failure XD

      Liked by 1 person

    1. AH! OMG I’m so glad you’re back!!! Seriously. I missed you very much (not just as a reader either!). And I appreciate that you did not forget about my story ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I couldn’t forget about it. ^^ I’m glad I’m back too! I may be a little confused getting back into it, but the more I read the more I’ll remember haha. Be prepared to see a lot of likes and comments. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Well, this was so very weird. It never crossed my mind that Rosebrooks were German. (I’m an idiot, I guess.) I mean, I know they are in Germany and everything, but I never perceived them as German (Portuguese? European?) people. They just feel very American to me. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome back! ^_^ This made me happy. Please take your time and don’t feel pressured to catch up. 🙂

      Haha yeah Alex was definitely American, but everyone else was born and raised in Germany 🙂 So they’re German citizens and German is their first language, but they all do know English too 🙂

      They probably feel American because I am though 😂 Hehehe


      1. I’m not pressured. I came back to the story before that discussion in forums happened.
        What really bothers me is a fact that I actually used google to translate all the german only to find the dialogue in english later. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for the translation 🙂 i lovede the little mention of Rosetta Stone. I uge those a bit when i Was younger trying to Learn english 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you! I’m sure I’ll continue to enjoy it… When I’ve caught up in sleep that is… 🤣
    Now I really want to “steal” this foreign-language-situation idea. 😁

    Hope you’ll find your way back into the story when the time is right. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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