Good News in a Pink Box

"I'll go dancing!", Iulia stood up and walked off the room.

"Hey, how are you?"

"I'd like to be at home, to work at my book from the old times, because, when I finish it, I can write the one that I like", I answered emptying half of the wine from my glass.

"I didn't know it works for writing books too. I do this when I am eating watermelon. I leave the middle part at last, first I eat the flesh on the outside".

I watched her intently, trying to realize whether this was an allusion to the time when we were together.

"I'm glad you are wearing it", she said, pointing to the T-shirt that she had given me as a present two years ago and that she had decorated herself with the English words: My girlfriend is a truck driver.

"It's my favorite!"

"How I liked the idea in the Contact section on your site!... Say, the man has a fence as big as China, but he still wants to be contacted, so he puts there a rooster and a bell and a letterbox and a handle like that for knocking to boot! It represents you well!"

"Of course it does".

"Where are they?", she said, searching for something around her, probably for her cigarettes.

"They are here! On the armchair!", she added, watching her bosom as if she had just discovered herself on that very moment! I remembered her way of joking.

She took a cigarette from the box on the small table.

"How is it like to be married? Is there a big difference compared to before?"

"No. It's almost the same. Only at times, when I am washing the dishes, it surprises me to hear how my wedding ring clinks when it touches the china".

"With your in-laws, how are you getting on?"

"I don't have problems with my mother-in-law!"

"Only with her son!"

I think she remembered my way of joking.

"Are you still singing carols?"

"Yes! No later than yesterday I met the girls. I was nervous while singing, because it was coming along nicely and we were watching each other in the eye and laughing. I reckon this is how it feels when you are pleased with what you have written".

"This is how I feel when I am with friends or when I am in love with a woman who loves me".

"How is it like at the radio?"

"No trace of nervousness left in my voice by now. It is good! I choose my own music, I make my texts in the previous evening. I like it, but my priority remains writing. This spring, after I finish my novel, I'd like to work seriously on a play, then on a movie script. But this winter, I'll do the radio, so that I can feed the writer. When the grass is out, we'll see..."

My eyelids were feeling sticky, I was dosing off and a dream with friends had started, where it was smelling of angels and of saints.

"How is your work going? Have you been to the mountain?"

"Yes, thanks for the advice. It was great! I'll send you pictures, on the e-mail. I told a guy from work that if he wants I'll show him the picture with the squirrel and he laughed, he just could not stopped laughing! I blushed and I left. I’ll let you sleep", I heard her voice.

The door closed behind her. I was sitting with my eyes closed, watching purposefully the faces of people I cared for at the time. I was dying to sleep, but the smell in my dream did not let me fall asleep. Olivia's kiss woke me up. Her warm, familiar lips.

"Don't tell on me", she said, stroking my forehead and kissing me again. She stood up and I followed, still nonplussed, her shape heading again towards the door. She stopped on the threshold and turned around.

"You killed me with the grass!", she said, like a sort of explanation or filling in. (...)

Only fewer and drunker people were still there. The smoke had become thicker. Iulia and Kolb Dominic were sitting on the carpet, leaning against the heater. I walked to them.

"Am I disturbing you?"

"No", he said.

After a few moments he added:

"«Lucian, how sexy you are!»; «Iulia, how good you look! You are ... sensual!»"

"Are you ironic or something?"

"I don't like to see you in other men's arms! Then, when you were dancing, you were watching him and only him and you were smiling".

"He was telling me that the thing in his pocket was his mobile phone and that it was set to vibrate. «I think somebody is ringing me this very moment!». What would you like me to do, to make a sour face?"

Dominic stood up, nervously, and left the room in a storm.

"It’s a matter of choice! That’s life!" called Iulia, before he managed to leave.

"I brought your tape", I said.

"Thanks", she answered, smiling. "I'll put it in my backpack".

When she was leaving, Kolb Dominic was walking in, and she almost knocked into him. She let him go first. She was smiling, the whole situation seemed to amuse her, he, however, was keeping an upset severity on his face, while he was approaching me.

He sat next to me. The music was instrumental, quiet, the heater was giving out a calling warmness.

"I don't know what I am doing here! I spent the last five hours watching this scum, these dirty people, I, surprised that they invited me, they, surprised that I came!".

His words had sounded louder than they should have, I looked around, but nobody seemed to pay them any attention. Except for Iulia, who had put on her coat and was waiting at the door. She had her backpack on too, she was ready to leave, she had probably come to say goodbye.

"Dominic", she said. "What are you doing here with these people?" (She seemed astonished). "Make yourself a team!".

She turned on her heels and away she went. I imagined that I could hear her burst of laughter and a smile spread on my face.

I had the impression that Dominic had been watching for long minutes the door on which she had left. His silence was so telling, that I wondered: "If I were silent, will it have the same eloquence?"

(Excerpt from We, Two-Three Every Ten Thousands, Ramuri Publishing House, 2005)