Friday, October 27, 2006

La Pedrera



His coffee with Antoni could have been as enjoyable as it usually is if it weren’t for his sudden absent mindedness. His friend’s restlessness seemed less entertaining that day and his despair less relatable and less comforting. Today was a good day, he kept thinking. Nothing was about to dampen the fire erupting inside him and no reality was about to take him away from his longing. Antoni’s ardent words turned to dust as they bounced around the room. His opinions, his attitude fell flat and unattended. He was only interested in obtaining those papers before leaving and he fixed his eyes on them totally oblivious of the man facing him. He had an idea of her and to him that was soothing enough. Nothing was as hopeful to him as seeing her again and being around her. Her feelings might have changed. He only had to see her to know. The trip to La Pedrera seemed short. He was almost running. His heart was already there, at her door, at her feet, where it always belonged.

____________________

Elisa’s thoughts were interrupted with a knock on the door.

It can’t be that Angelique is back from her trip. I specifically told her to spend the day. This girl will never get it right. The letters will have to wait.

- Franco, I wasn’t expecting your company this afternoon.
- Right. Well, I bring you the plans for the forth floor and I thought It would make you happy to know that Antoni is considering the project. He has the drawings for you. He has a very innovative idea for the eastern apartments.

She guided him to the terrace and he sat facing her as she reached for the basket of thread work and started carelessly working her needle through the red piece of linen. She was almost smug sitting in her chair as if she gathered all of the years’ confidence and fullness to contain him in her presence. He looked for a sign of her affection, for a look of hesitation witnessing her need for him. He hopelessly looked as she passed her needle slowly and carefully. He gazed at her fingers and his words betrayed him as he held his breath gazing at her playful fingers and her delicate wrist. She passed a look towards the hall behind him which compelled him saying,

- Are you expecting anyone?
- What? No. I need to apologize. I cannot serve you anything. I sent the servants away.
- I ran into them earlier today before my meeting with Antoni. Emma was with them ...

At that moment she leaned with her body towards him. Her language confused him. Her voice came tender almost moaned with exquisite femininity yet her phrases to him were cold and abrupt today. Her unbuttoned velvet robe hugged her hips as her long frail legs crossed so naturally and kept shaking slowly keeping his body attentive alert nervously wired in anticipation of her every move. Every now and then she would uncross her legs and sit straight to affirm what she was about to say, only to sit back again and stare in the hallway. Her face was not the face of the woman who once threw herself in his arms. He looked for the pure face that kneeled for him at that altar praying for his soul. He helplessly looked for a reaction. She had lost her confusion and her fragile skin was not conveying tenderness. She looked cold. She was not his Eurydice waving her long black hair as he carried her to safety, she was his Androphonos, his killer, and hers was an empty body that turned his to stone.

She looked like his torturer.

- About the plans. Listen, I really cannot invest in those plans at the moment and the last thing I need is an artist less committed than myself to this building. I’m not sure, in the light of the recent events that I am myself committed to this city.
- You're leaving?

She drops her work all at once, she drops her arms as well, as if to end their meeting, and his heart came to a halt. He mumbled her name in a last attempt to summon what they once had. This was his last chance to exorcise her out of her boredom. As he stood up he reached with one hand to grab the drawings as he reached with the other hand to hold hers. She turned her back to him.

- You need to leave now if you don’t mind. I have a lot of work around the house today.
- Certainly. He said with his head down and as he headed to the door.
- Do you still smell the red? Does it still remind you of me? Do you still see me in the faces of the strangers?

He felt insulted, belittled but he was strangely obliged to participate in her game. He owed it to himself to explore every chance she might give him and he owed his patience to her.

- I still do
- Then stop. You were my man when he couldn’t be. You know I love my husband.

At those words he had lost every hope. He had lost her. Eurydice had slipped away into her own world. Into a world of darkness and he could not salvage her soul.
He left.
He left her to go through one more letter.
To go through her day.
To go to her husband’s bedroom
...

6 comments:

Ostfen said...

very smart:)

Maya@NYC said...

more...we want more! :)

gitanes legeres said...

good. didn't like him anyway...

Mirvat said...

you guessed it since the beginning! he wasn't a man to make a woman cry.. he was the weak link.. he only served to give another dimension to her.. ouff i'm so into this crap.. i still live a cheap romance novel in my head :)

p said...

when is your next part.
good story.

Mirvat said...

soon p.
maybe tomorrow :)