Author: Veronica Melan
From a sequel of novels â€œThe Cityâ€œ.
An evening Call.
A group of tall buildings standing on the right bank of the river K lendon had already absorbed most of the
sun and now, only a scattering of orangey-red rays were beaming down the cottage roofs that spread out as far
as the eye could see - from the bridge and up to the West Barton Avenue.
Cars, like restless insects were still ploughing the streets. Not as much as in the daytime now and traffic
quietened down almost immediately after the Bank on the street corner had shut for the day. Most cars were
parked by the â€œLorianâ€Ÿsâ€ cafe (â€œFresh pastry â€“ Desserts â€“ Live music") and near the three-story glass shopping
mall "Somerset ". Doors of the mallâ€Ÿs entrance were swinging open every now and then letting out the tardy
shoppers with their colourful bags.
Somewhere on lower floors music played softly.
I moved away from the window and sat on the sofa. I aimlessly gazed from one object to another. There is
a clock on a shelf above the fireplace, its pendulum moving silently from side to side counting seconds as they
disappear into nowhere. There is a tall vase decorated with bulging grapes, silver spoon, candle holder,
Whatâ€™s the silver spoon doing there?
I tried to remember lazily but my eyes have already stumbled upon a photograph in a frame and the spoon
was instantly forgotten. My feeling of restfulness has disappeared without a trace and tenacious and b itter
sadness replaced it.
Alex, Alex. ... How long has it been?
I walked over to the fireplace and picked up the photo. My fingers gently caressed his familiar face frozen
on a thin plate of a black and white image. The same face, the same smile, that mischievous expression of his
dark eyes. I didnâ€Ÿt even need to count how much time had passed since that day, I just knew - one month and
eighteen days. Forty-eight days in total. Or fifty-two if you count form the day when Elmer received the letter.
Thoughts instantly flooded my mind as my frozen memory tried to frantically scroll through everything that
happened that night in April. I abruptly put the photo back on the shelf and walked away from the fireplace.
No! Not again.
It would make no sense to go through this nightmare for the umpteenth time.
It doesnâ€™t help. The ransom was paid. He hasnâ€™t come back. End of!
Perhaps it could all change again?
My inner voice sang timidly and I then realised that in a few seconds the nightmare will start all over
again. My head will get torn apart by painful thoughts, tears will roll down my face and desperation will spread
a net of iron threads over my mind causing me new pain.
No! Enough! Stop!
I frantically took a deep breath and held it. I need to calm down, get d istracted, take a couple of Tylenol
pills and go to bed. Tomorrow is a new day and something might change. I exhaled slowly and stood in the
middle of the room for a few seconds trying to listen if insane voices would come back but it seemed they were
gone - at least for now. I rubbed my face with the palms of my hands and headed for the bedroom.
I only made a few steps when the phone in the lounge rang.
Silver phone on a shelf made a second piercing noise and screen lit up in blue.
â€œHello.â€ I pushed the answer key and breathed wearily as I wistfully looked at the bedroom door.