Tweet of the Day: Designing from the Bones- Lessons from Attila
“Come in,” she said.
The flat was small, in a cozy way. Not to messy, not to clean, felt as if it had been properly lived in. A tiny artificial Christmas tree a top the living room table. It blinked red, green and gold in mesmerizing patterns. I followed Emma into the kitchen where in she produced a pair of wine glasses full to the rim with cool Chardonnay.
“Merry Christmas,” she said with a wink.
I leaned against the stove, which stood in a rectangle in the middle of the kitchen.
“This is a nice place,” I said.
Must be expensive too.
“It was Dad’s place before he married Mum. They moved to Surrey but he kept it, as a rental. When they died, Mum and him,” she said with a slight quiver in her voice.”
“May they rest in peace.”
She looked up, “Thank you. Well, when they died my sisters and I split the difference. They took the house in Surrey and they let me keep the flat. It helps pay the bills with the rent from downstairs.”
“Oh, who lives downstairs?”
“Shirley. She is an investment banker and day trader.”
“So no family to stay over for Christmas, then?”
“No, Jenny is in Scotland, she teaches at St. Andrews with her husband and Ann is in Cardiff. She works for the National Assembly.”
A big fur ball of a cat landed on top of the stove. Yellow eyes peered at the new comer. I scratched the top of it’s head.
“I think she likes you,” said Emma.
I picked the cat up.
“She sure does, purrs like motorboat. What’s her name?”
Her cheeks turned a light pink,”Ummm, it’s…it’s Mrs. Norris.”
“As in the books?”
“Well, Mrs. Norris, nice to meet you.”
“What can I say, I’m cat person. Or at least a person owned by a cat.”
I put her back on the stove top and finished my glass.
“Let me top that off,” said Emma. She bent low in front of the fridge. Her behind stuck out. The qipao soft blue silk molded itself to her body. The slit on the side of the skirt revealed enough leg to stir the imagination.
“So…I saw Tom, from accounting coming out the building….”
“Oh, Tom. Yes well, he was at the pub and he offered to escort me home and then he offered to escort me to my door and then he probably saw the can of mace I keep on my purse while I opened the door,” she glanced at the front door, “and he left.”
I coughed to cover my laugh and nearly choked. A quick sip of wine cured me.
“Tom is…that is I have to admit that I sort of fancied him, at least at first. But then I heard talk about Alicia, Edith, that panelist from France. I mean can’t the man keep his gob shut about who he is sleeping with?”
“Kissing and telling is the exact opposite of intimacy, or so I heard,” I said.
She moved through the small living room to stand in the window with her back to me. I followed. The pale ghost of her reflection mixed with the glow of the street lights reflected through soft falling snow.
“I’ll tell you that did not fancy being another notch on his bed post, not if he was going to gossip it in the office or tell anyone else for that matter.”
Sometimes in life come those moments that like the Bard’s doomed Danish prince one must embrace passion or stand in the cool pool of logic. Give in to mere emotion or hold back and analyze the situation. The unthinking heart does what it wills, mistakes be damned. The mind warns of danger but lets the moment slip by.
Curiosity was the tide breaker.
“Fancy… I always like that word,” I stood right behind her, my reflection melded into hers, “So what do you fancy?” I asked.
“I don’t know. Honorable chap, with good intentions and maybe an exotic tropical edge.”
The glass reflected a hint of a smile.
I wrapped an arm around her waist. She leaned back on my chest. A sudden though struck me.
“How long have you being planning this, Emma?”
“Planning? I don’t know what you mean?”
I whispered in her ear, “Merry Christmas.”
“Meeeeeow!” said the Lady of the House. I think she approved.