The vision before me was like a suite in some hotel I’d never be let into. The painted shades of white theme had been continued in the apartment; bright white glistened on the walls and the curtains here too were long and sweeping. The delicate florals were repeated here too, in vases, the crockery and the actual embodiments themselves. Roses in red, pink and white adorned all corners of the rooms. As I walked further into the lounge room, I became painfully aware of my own footsteps. The carpet itself was thick and white and somehow reminded me of snow, even though summer had well begun. What had I done to deserve all this?
Not that I was complaining, for this place was perfect. It was like heaven for people who only believe in heaven when it comes into fashion and forget the idea entirely when the belief in the afterlife once again departs the glossy pages. I continued into the apartment, plonking the suitcase down, planting myself upon the bed, by the huge sweeping ivory wardrobe. I must have looked quite out of place here. I was the odd thing out in this room.
I decided to unpack prior to doing anything else. The few items of clothing I had brought I unpacked and hung on the velvet covered pink hangers I the wardrobe and places another few pairs of shoes down in the bottom. I put the battered books on the wooden shelves. There was a large brassy polished gramophone perched upon a small painted side table in the corner of the lounge room with a stack of records beside them in card logoed packets. I looked through them, smiled at the image in my mind of Owen swaying to old jazz records with a crystal glass of matured French brandy clutched in one hand, his other conducting his own imaginary orchestra. It was a funny thought. He seemed to me to be such a serious man: Home Secretary Owen Van Veen etc. etc. his mother was a Dutch born exotic dancer who worked in Amsterdam, which was how she met his father, an older business man who was in his early 30s while she was 18. I couldn’t recall their names.
Come to think of it, I had never met Georgienna, Owen’s wife. I knew little about her and what brief knowledge I did possess was only what Owen had told me. I wondered what I had that she didn’t; was I prettier? Did he like that I was younger than him? Or, perhaps the question I should have been asking was what was wrong with her? Did she not satisfy him? Did he prefer a girl with dark hair? I was snatched back to reality by a sudden knock at the door. Checking my make up in the mirror in the hallway, I scampered to the door. The door was ajar a little. “Hello” a tinkling voice sounded from beyond the door with an accent I couldn’t quite trace. “Darling” it sounded again as I opened the door; a tall young woman with slender legs, reddish curly hair and designer clothes stood in stilettoes upon the threshold to the apartment. “Hi” I started hastily remembering to put on my breathy voice “Sorry to bother you, just came to tell you, to close the door you have to lock it or it falls open again, its annoying thing about this place, I do often wonder if The Press installed these doors” she smiled. I just smiled back, unsure of what to say. “Raphaella” she held out her long fingered hand for me to shake. We shook hands and I told her my name. “I knew you were moving in today, I live downstairs” I smiled again, still blank “Do you want to come in for coffee?” I nodded as I didn’t want to go back outside to buy anything until the midday sun had passed.