Still under the weather. Last week flu has progressed into a long-lasting cold. Outside the window, fall is in full swing, leaves have found their final resting places on the ground, and the oranges, yellows, and reds have relocated with them. Still, lots of green left standing and with them my hope the universe will re-align itself for my sake.
From X, Julius decides to take a shortcut through one of Cartaghena’s most talked-about neighborhoods:
Before some of the buildings—the more colorful ones—elaborated signs waved from their poles, some of them sporting cut-outs figurines self-explanatory of the kind of services offered by the establishment. Others were just paintings. Allegra saw a cute rendition of an embraced couple and blushed, her eyes went to the curtained windows and she wondered what happened behind them.
“I was never there. I was told great things about the owner though,” Julius commented.
She opened her mouth, but words failed her and couldn’t help to turn to take a look at him.
He arched his brow, lips turned up in a smile. “You were dying to ask me that.”
“Was not.” She faced the street again.
“I told you I was with a friend.”
“She wouldn’t have been happy if I had gone visiting those places.”
“Oh, that kind of friend.” She wondered—and not in kind terms—about that unknown girl who had been free to visit such a neighborhood. At night and with a boy.
“She used to live… right there.” He moved her to face a small cottage on the far left.
“Charming.” She knew Julius was a few years older than her, but she didn’t like he had much more experience. Especially if the way he had obtained such experience hadn’t had anything to do with her. She tried to rationalize her emotions with the fact that guide and guided shared a special bond, but her voice had betrayed something different and she hated it.
“Lucilla’s dad was a renowned painter and her mom was his favorite model. Maybe you saw some of his portraits—” Julius kept her looking at the cottage.
Awful name. “Highly doubt so.” She moved and for a moment they lost contact. Sometimes, she did that on purpose. She wasn’t sure this time whose eyes she was blinding.