Παρασκευή, 1 Απριλίου 2016

FELICITY & FLYNN

His name was Flynn and he had freckles. Her name was Felicity and she had a space between her front teeth. He was very tall, very thin and he could be a lonely cypress at the end of the forest. She was small with wild hair and she could be seaweed carried away by water. They saw each other every day. Flynn was one of the grooms. Felicity was one of the maids. They worked in the same hotel, in the five-star Vacation, “the jewel of the spa town”, as its manager bragged. Their shifts coincided. She would gaze him when he escorted the clients with their luggage at the elevator and he always looked down. It was as if he counted the mosaic and had eyes only for it. On the contrary, he would gaze her when she walked by the corridors, holding the sheets for the morning change. She discretely knocked on the doors, almost with a sense of fear. Their greeting would be an instant and nervous nod. The manager did not want courtesies between the employees. He maintained a strict working environment and everyone had to obey his rules. 
She didn’t know anything else about him. Each morning he would come with his worn bicycle and he would park it behind the tennis courts. He would leave late in the afternoon, in the same way, probably heading for the center of the town. Lately, she wanted to make him a present, so that he would remember her, so that a sparkle would ignite in his heart. She wanted something pretty, like the things she found on the bedside tables of the rooms, where she entered to clean and change the sheets. She found gold watches, silver business card holders, leather wallets. They were really impressive but she thought that he would be excited with something simpler. With a pair of cufflinks, for instance, like the ones that Mr. Frederick had in room 603. They were not the serious ones that bankers and managers wore but they were two silver pigs. They made her smile every day. She always found a couple of them abandoned on the bed side table, as if he didn’t care for them, as if they were for granted. It was not true though. If Mr. Frederick didn’t appreciate them, she was certain that Flynn would. 
He didn’t know anything else about her, not even what time she started her shift. He always found her there, coming and going to the rooms or helping serve the coffee at the breakfast room. She seemed so small and fragile, so unsuitable for what she did. Lately, he wanted to make her a present, something beautiful and feminine, like the ones the ladies wore who were waiting with him the elevator in order to carry their bags to their rooms. Glittering jewelry, hairnets with semi-precious stones, cashmere coats keeping them warm and those perfumes that filled the air with spring flowers up to their floors. He imagined, though, that a shawl would be better for her, to discreetly caress her neck, like the one that Mrs. Fridmilla had in room 306. He had noticed it because it was deep blue with dark purple. It looked like the sea that empties into the night. The color triggered him and he imagined that it would be like a salty, night kiss on her neck. The last five days, when he bumped into her in the elevator or the corridors, he couldn’t take his eyes off it. A sneaky idea had got into his mind and he fought with his conscience to get rid of it. He was certain that Mrs. Fridmilla would not mind if one day she simply did not find her shawl. She would surely assume that she had forgotten it somewhere and she would not look for it again, when her neck was hugged by impressive jewelry and her body with expensive coats. Her shawl, though, would caress Felicity’s neck and he would have the illusion that his fingers were doing that. 
It all happened in thirty minutes on the first morning of April. After three weeks of thinking, each one had a plan and executed it without any hesitation. When breakfast was served, Felicity went to make the beds and sneaked the cufflinks in her pocket. Flynn, with a professional skill, gently pulled the shawl out from Mrs. Fridmilla’s heel that got mixed in her shoe, as it fell from her neck entering the elevator. She didn’t notice a thing, in fact she thought that her chill was due to the cold that morning. He sneaked the shawl in his pocket. The cufflinks were burning in her hands. It was the first time that she had crossed her moral limits. She wanted to give them to him desperately. He felt the shawl flow like water in his pocket. It was his first time to do something illegal and so bold. He wanted to put it on her neck before he lost his courage. 
The first time they were all alone in a room together was two hours later in the manager’s office. Despite what they believed, the owners of the objects they stole immediately realized their absence. Mrs. Fridmilla had a special bond with that shawl, as it belonged to her mother and it was a way to remember her. As for Mr. Frederick, they were the first gift from his wife and he was extremely fond of them, even though he left them on the side table as if they were garbage. The stuff was thoroughly searched and, because they didn’t have the time to give the objects to the person of such inspiration, they were found in their pockets.  The manager was very upset when he started talking to them. They both were the “disgrace of the hotel, that jewel of the spa town”, and he asked them if they were accomplices. They mumbled that they had acted on their own. The surprise came when he asked them the reason. They were very discreet until now and he was very satisfied with their work at the hotel. Flynn, after a moment of silence, almost whispered: “Ι wanted to make you a present”, turning to her side. Felicity blushed and simply answered: “Me too”. Maybe something else was said but it felt as if the wind took it out of the open window. 
They were both fired that very moment, after returning the swag to its owners. The manager tried to make an excuse by using the force of love and spring and he sent a basket with expensive bottles of wine and flowers to both Mr. Frederick and Mrs. Fridmilla to cover the unspeakable scandal of the theft. Flynn waited for Felicity at the back door of the hotel, gritting his teeth, feeling angry. Shame filled each pore of his skin but there was also a hidden enthusiasm to return to the city. With her. Felicity, with wet eyes, came out and looked at him. She held her coat tightly. The night fell in a mellow way and hid all the misfortunes. They started walking towards the city, silently. Spring was here to stay. 


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