Last week I was having one of these days that start off on the wrong foot.
One of the kids had woken up in the middle of the night with a nightmare: a monster in the Super Mario race.
-‘Shush, baby, stay with me in bed. Calm down. Mama is here.’
Only minutes after the first one had fallen back asleep, her sister, who is sharing the room, woke up to file a complaint.
-‘Why am I sleeping on my own?’ she mumbled snifling, her long black hair falling wildly in front of her face, making her look like the freaky girl from The Ring.
Darling, you are far too young to be troubled about that, I thought to myself. Give it another 10-15 years. The more (de)pressing question is: why aren’t I sleeping on my own?!
After complicated negotiations and a couple of threats, both kids were tucked back in bed and I returned to mine. In the meantime, my big tomcat had woken up and set out scratching under the bedroom door for company. You, mister, are having a manicure tomorrow, I promised myself silently before burying my head under Xander’s pillow.
Two and a half hours later I had everybody in the car, ready for school with braids and all, their little faces shining with mischief. Schoolbags: check. Lunchboxes: check. Keys, agendas, badges, tokens, banana for ten o’ clock. Check, check, check. Off we go.
The next moment the car started beeping alarmingly.
-‘Xander, I should probably have the car oil checked next week or so. I got a couple of indicators on.’
-‘No, Aliki, you should probably check it now. No more driving around before you visit the garage. And while you are at it, have your rear-mirror checked as well. The one they broke at the carwash. And the head-lamp.’
-‘My rear-mirror is broken?!’
-‘Well, it is hanging, baby, isn’t it?’
I huffed and puffed. My first month with the new old car was not very promising.
I had bought it second hand from my parents, of all people. Just to give you an idea of the care the car had enjoyed so far, suffice it to mention that my father used to clean it by hand once per month.
Mental note: Don’t let dad see the car the next time he visits.
Another hour and a half later, most of it spent in city traffic, I was finally starting my first meeting. I was already exhausted, eyes burning from tiredness.
-‘I really hate it when we start at 9:30.’, sighed my colleague in her pink cashmere sweater. ‘I cannot stand waking up so early.’
I kept my mouth shut. Outside the window, the sky was treating us with white fluffy clouds and some snow for a change.
‘When can I see you for a bit?’ my phone lit up silently. Xander.
‘What?! I have to wait till tonight?’
‘Anything the matter, baby?’
‘No, I just want to see you for a bit.’
‘I have a break in 45′, was planning to go for a coffee. Want to meet?’
‘R u sure everything is fine?’
‘Should I worry?’
‘You should work! See you in a bit.’
How is it possible that I am already sick and tired of winter?, I was thinking to myself on the way to our favourite café. I mean, officially winter has not even started yet. Fighting with my umbrella against the wind and the snow, I thanked our inspiration a couple of months ago to book this trip to Brazil for Christmas. I spat a bit of snow as the umbrella broke in my face. Whatever, I was almost there anyway.
And then I saw him. Outside the café, waiting in the snow, beanie on, umbrella in hand, typing on his phone.
Xander: ‘I am here’, my phone informed me.
I know. I am here as well.
He gave me a cold kiss, snowflakes falling around us. With a swift move he turned his arm, tucked behind his back so far. He was holding a rose. A big, orange rose.
‘It’s for you.’
And the world was all good for a while.