On a rainy afternoon like this

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Everyone has these moments where you're alone in your room, wondering if you're alone in the world.....

Submitted: July 11, 2008

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Submitted: July 11, 2008



On a rainy late afternoon like today, I tend to get very sentimental and moody. I always end up holding my white porcelain mug of English rose tea, stand by the window and look out, out out towards the dark bois de Vincennes which is now nothing but a blurry smudge in the distance. There I pose, put on my ‘why life is so hard and I am a troubled young woman’ face, frown and smile at the same time, hold my breath, and let out a sigh. I listen to the sound of the rain. I feel the thunder shake the floor and feel unnecessarily afraid, start feeling rather lonely and reach for the phone. Each time I call a different number just to make sure that there are more than one person on the other end of the line, just to make sure that there aren’t just 2 people existing in this world; that there aren’t just you and I. Or perhaps just even that I am not completely alone in the world. That would have been pretty damn awful. Sometimes quantity outweighs quality, although most people call it ‘shallow’ or ‘empty’. Surely filling up the room with millions of light, colourful balloons is still a lot better than watching one red-wine filled balloon burst on the fine white carpet in the living room. To the point; I just went through all the numbers I could think of on my list, phoned each and one of them, including my dentist and my favourite sushi restaurant in the 14th, and I confirm that they exist.

In the mean time the rain hits the ground harder and harder, and by this time I can’t even see the blurry smudge of forest green anymore. The thunderstorm fills the whole room, it is now louder than the whiny voice of Lavinia, louder than the old man shouting at the world on the 4th floor, louder than the honking on the street that is called rue des Vignerons. What a fine name for a rainy day like this. Just when I am about to turn the page over of my address book to Z, I suddenly hear footsteps outside the door and a knock. Strange, I say to myself, because it is six o’clock and I wasn’t expecting any visitors at this time of the day. I suddenly feel very nervous, as I instantly think of all the possible faces that could be behind the door. The sound of heavy rain suddenly sounds like Bethoven and I prepare myself for the drama. I prepare my smile. And I look through the peephole.

No one. Of course it was just my imagination. Of course the rain is too loud for a faint knock to be heard anyway. Deep down I knew it was a mistake. But I had no choice but to make sure. So I finish my tea, I close the window and I ignore the green patch in the distance which was getting clearer and clearer every minute by now. I sit down, stare at the pale white wall and forget that I am in Paris. Forget it all.
This is what I do sometimes.
I hear footsteps. Just like I used to hear cars pulling in the driveway. I hear footsteps in the distance, 1st floor, 2nd floor, getting louder, 3rd floor 4th floor, I can’t breathe because I am dying for the footsteps to continue until the top floor. And they do, surprisingly, and almost annoyingly, very often. They approach my door, and I wait for the rigorous knock on the door.
And after a few seconds of utter excitement, which feels like 52 years, I hear the key being turned next door and my neighbour going into his room. Always. As always. And he always will be. And so I just pick up the phone and start phoning everyone again. Always, as always and I always will be.

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