CHAPTER III: The favourite view

Pic: Hospes Puerta de Alcalá

* Music during reading (to feel better the atmosphere of this chapter I recommend this song in the background)

The sunshine sneaked like intruder into a cosy room in the Jeronimos neighbourhood to awake the young resident of that house for a new day. She never left the blinds totally down, she loved waking up with the morning light. She got out of bed and opened the window to feel the sunrise on her face, closing her eyes and smiling at the sky. The girl pressed “play” to listen beautiful music with guitar chords and saxophone melody while she was disappearing behind a glass door to refresh her body, but especially her mind, with a cascade of cold drops that felt like rain.

Just a few streets away, a young man with the hands in the pockets of his knickers signed by Brioni, which fits perfectly his body, was watching through the window the passing of cars at the roundabout of Puerta de Alcala. His flight was leaving in three hours. Glancing around a roomy and luminous room, in classic, but contemporary style, he headed for the door, picking up his suitcase on the way.

At this moment, the early riser girl was already hurriedly putting on one of her sneakers without even untying the shoelaces, while she was jumping on the other leg. With a beige nylon bag on her shoulder and another one in her hand, she ran out the door, previously giving a smile to her reflection in the entrance mirror. She was late, although she could still be on time, if the time turned in her favour, but it stops only for those who respect and appreciate it, if not, it flies away and never comes back.

‘‘She was late, although she could still be on time, if the time turned in her favour, but it stops only for those who respect and appreciate it, if not, it flies away and never comes back.’’

The Nordic-looking guy crossed a glamorous reception in light colours and designer sofas in the direction to the Hospes Puerta de Alcala * reception.

‘‘How was your stay, Mr. Sommer?’’

‘‘Very well, as always, Rita. Thank you,’’ the guest replied with a naughty smile.

‘‘Too bad you could not go to our SPA this time, it is a wonderful place to relax. By the way, someone is waiting for you at the terrace of our restaurant – “Malvar“.’’

‘‘I hope the next time I come. Thanks for everything and see you soon, maybe,’’ he said, picking up his credit card and winking at the girl.

‘‘We hope so, Mr. Sommer!’’ She replied nervously.

Heading toward the exit down an elegant hallway, he turned making the farewell sign to the poor victim of his charms. He went out to a large terrace with the same views he had the last night with his sister, and approached to the table where another young man of the same age was waiting for him.

‘‘That’s what you came for!’’ Said Sommer, throwing the car keys.

The other guy got up laughing without taking his words seriously, and gave him a strong hug.

‘‘How is your visit going?’’ Asked Sommer’s friend. ‘‘Not the best days to come, actually,’’ a tall dark-haired guy continued. He seemed to live the same lifestyle as his friend, but somewhat more conservative.

‘‘Business has no schedule, Alex,’’ the Nordic-looking replied, raising his hand to call the waitress.

‘‘I don’t understand why you stay here, having your flats and your sister’s house.’’

‘‘I have contacts here,’’ he laughed, looking in the direction of the hotel entrance. ‘‘It’s not what you’re thinking about,’’ he continued, noticing the look of his friend, who already imagined ‘the conquests’. ‘‘In Hospes they have that personalized treatment that I like. The size of the hotel is perfect, and also, the location. For me, staying in a hotel is a similar feeling to when you put music or a film in the background to create that company atmosphere, but without being disturbed by anyone. Until I have my home, I don’t want to stay in houses.’’

‘‘A croissant and a cappuccino with soy milk, please,’’ the young blonde took the advantage of the presence of the staff and sat in a cosy rattan chair, after greeting a skinny brunette with straight hair and small dimples on her cheeks.

‘‘What punctuality!’’ Said the brunette, showing the time on her phone.

‘‘Today the time is in my favour,’’ the newcomer smiled, giving her friend the bag she was carrying in her hand.

‘‘What is that?’’ asked the owner of the phone with surprise and confusion.

‘‘Something you like a lot.’’

‘‘And so do you!’’ She replied, looking into the bag without removing its content.

‘‘I know, but I will love more that you have it to remember our friendship while you will wear it at the Marina.’’

They hugged each other knowing that in an hour they will have to say goodbye. When the distance between two people increases, the separation becomes longer and harder.

The minutes flew between conversations full of memories and plans, and the time did its thing again: It loves to run when you want it to stop for a little while, and makes you wait when you need it to speed!

‘‘…the time did its thing again: It loves to run when you want it to stop for a little while, and makes you wait when you need it to speed!’’

They got up without knowing when their next cappuccino will be, but with the complete certainty that their friendship was stronger than the purest Italian espresso. Farewells are always harder for those who stay because a great emptiness appears in a life what continues its usual rhythm, but we must don’t forget that any emptiness is a free space for something new. They let go their hands with a bittersweet feeling, and took different paths to the same destination.

‘‘Farewells are always harder for those who stay because a great emptiness appears in a life what continues its usual rhythm, but we must don’t forget that any emptiness is a free space for something new.’’

The temperature was increasing with every hour, but that did not stop the lovers of the terraces to enjoy their midday apéritif. Crossing the Alcala street, towards Retiro, with the same melody she was listening in the morning in her headphones, the blonde watched all those residents who have not yet left the heat of the capital, the curious tourists who took photos with her favourite view, Puerta de Alcala, all those automobiles waiting to start, … ‘‘And there it was!’’ The same black sports car from the last night, stopped, with the same guy who stole her attention yesterday. The traffic light was about to turn red while she was walking along the zebra crossing, following with her gaze the young man who was talking to his friend without realizing who was in front of him. Her temptation was escaping again with the same speed with which it came into her life.

‘‘Her temptation was escaping again with the same speed with which it came into her life.’’

I NEED MORE

 * Due to the measures taken in relation to COVID-19, the schedule and access to some spaces may change.

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