Athens II

IMG_7316.JPGHis phone rang. It was nine o’clock on a Friday night, he had arrived in his flat just two minutes ago. „Hey, I just arrived at home.“
„Oh, okay I am calling back.“ She was about to hang up the phone but he stopped her. Something was wrong, she never bothered if you have time to talk or not. „No, no, I can handle it.“
He paused, waiting if she was still there or if she wanted to say something; she didn’t. „Is everything allright.“
„Well, why- I’m fine.“ She said, opressing a sob. He waited. „I was only wondering if you would like to meet?“ He hesitated; he remembered her saying she was busy on Friday night, dinner or something. Did something happened while she was going out with her friends? Should he ask her? She will tell me if she wants to talk about it, won’t she?
„Of course, tell me when and where.“
He left the house, taking the blue line, and got off at the parliament station. There were plenty of people on the place, it was warm and there was still a little sunlight left. One afro-american was singing some Reggae-music but he couldn’t really decipher in which language the song was. Behind him on the stairs sat his group of friends, listening. One woman was selling fruit, a man down the street some bracelets. He passed them, without stopping for looking through their things (what he normally did) and without turning around and without looking at the white coloumns on yellow ground which stated the parliament (what he normally did). He heard her voice, heard her explaining on his first day in Athens. You are supposed to wave at the parliament with widley spread fingers, she had said and had bursted out laughing. This gesture was meant as an insult.
The singer, the sellers, the people or the parliament weren’t important right now, he would have enough time for them later – she had sound a bit strange on the phone while they had been talking and he was in a hurry to meet her.
He tried to walk a bit faster without starting to run. He took the street going down to Monastiraki, the street with all the fashion shops in it. He passed the shops, knew he had to turn left somewhere. He didn‘ remembered where exactly but he hoped he would recognize the street when he passed it. Somebody was offering him a perfume sample. There was the church in the middle of the street, the medieval one (he couldn’t remember its name – Kapnikarea or something – and if she would know she would tease him about that, she had told him that often ist name) the one sourrounded by orange trees and where the people were sitting around it, talking, drinking, meeting friends. It was loud and busy and he was wondering if this city could ever be quiet as well.
The street after the church ought to be the right one – it wasn’t. He got a bit unsecure, had he already passed it without noticing it? No, he saw the s.Oliver on the streetcorner there and knew again that he had to turn left over there. Here he was: bunch of little cafés, benches, more orange trees, another church (this time a modern one).
He saw her, sitting on its steps, her handbag beside her. When she recognized him, she smiled, warmly. Nearly happy, not at all upset.
She gave him a hug, asked how he was doing, suggested a bar where they could take a drink. Normal, she was completely normal – and he, utterly confused. „Are you allright, you didn’t sound like that on the phone.“ She blushed, looked embarresed, hurt. She uttered. Then: „Greek man are such idiots!“ She paused. „My boyfriend – I was in such a rage – he’s acting like a pascha.“
In rage. Aha. Rage was good, he supposed, rage meant no crying. She began to talk, using her hands to express her feelings, while they were walking down the street, slowly this time, looking for a place in a bar.

Alisa

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