I got out of the taxi and wearily dragged my blue suitcase to the hotel. I couldn’t wait to get in my room and have some rest. I was really tired and not because of the trip.
To my disappointment, though, I found myself in a lobby full of tourists waiting to check in.
˚How is that possible?’ I wondered disconsolately.
I never thought I’d find a similar confusion in the modest hotel I had booked.
Resigned, I sat on a sofa and cheated time trying to decipher the contents of a French magazine.
I gave up the titanic enterprise after a few pages. I definitely didn’t feel like testing my language skills.
I closed the magazine and sighed of frustration.
I had never experienced periods of extraordinary luck, but I felt that lately things were getting worse and worse for me. I hadn’t really built anything in my life.
Until a few hours earlier I had deluded myself that I had found some stability at least in the sentimental sphere, but I had had a rude awakening.
Had it been a good idea to come to Geneva? The truth was, I didn’t know. I’d never been good at making decisions. It was demonstrated by what had happened in the early afternoon.
Never make surprises. They always say it everywhere: in movies, in books, even in mangas. Then, why did I have the unhealthy idea of visiting my boyfriend in his office?
Perhaps, however, it had been good that I had discovered the truth about him.
I shook my head, horrified. I shouldn’t let him creep into my thoughts. He’d done enough damage already.
I leaned back on the sofa, closed my eyes, and sank almost immediately into a light sleep.
‘Madame?’ someone repeated.
I opened my eyes, looked around and noticed that the guy at the front desk was addressing me.
I threw a grim look at him. How dare he call me Madame? Didn’t he realize there was a girl in front of him?
Okay, I admit, I was no longer a teen, since I was over thirty, but I was also aware that I looked much younger than my peers. Or at least, that’s what everyone told me. Could it be the shock I had suffered had made me age all of a sudden?
Alarmed, I pulled a mirror out of my bag and gave a fleeting look at my reflection.
I was in pitiful conditions, I had to admit it. But the skin on my face continued to be smooth and wrinkle-free like that of a teenager. With a good night’s sleep, I would recover my usual look.
Refreshed, I got up, reached the counter and turned to the receptionist.
The guy, an elderly gentleman with thick gray sideburns, spoke my language, but was so deaf that he made me repeat my name three times before recording my presence.
Finally, I completed the check-in formalities, and headed to the small elevator that peeped from the left side of the lobby.
‘Let’s just hope it doesn’t freeze,’ I thought, worried about the eerie squeak that reached my ears as soon as it went into operation. I didn’t really need such a mishap. Luckily, I reached my room without any problems and, once inside, I let myself fall back on the bed.
My thoughts flew again to the man who had broken my heart and I started crying. Those tears that I had tried to hold back for as long as possible descended profusely down my cheeks, giving rise to a subdued weeping.
How long would it take him to realize it was over? Twenty-four hours, or maybe less, if he deigned to call me. Anyway, would he care to find out that he’d lost me forever? I doubted it. Probably, for him it would be a release. As I had heard him say on the phone, my rival had what he had always wanted in a woman, brains apart: long legs, model physique and exuberant behavior.
I was just the opposite: average height, medium build, average appearance and above all, reserved and quiet.
Well, what did it matter? I didn’t know what to do with a man like that. Evidently, I had overestimated him. I had been particularly impressed by his intelligence and elegance, but in the end, he had proved to be worse than all the other blokes that had crossed my path up to that point. What an invertebrate!
How much I wanted to forget about his existence! Too bad his poisonous words kept echoing in my mind even miles away.
No, I hadn’t come to Geneva to pity myself. I had a goal and I would try to achieve it.
I suddenly got up, grabbed my cell phone, and dialed the number of my former University colleague.
‘Hello, Clara. I’m Eliana,’ I exclaimed, as soon as she answered me. ‘Is your offer still valid?’
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