Elena was deeply focused on her work in the comfortable home-office that occupied half of her living room. She had no doubt when establishing a pleasant professional space that allowed eight to twelve hours a day at the computer. Sometimes, she cast a look at the garden through the wide lateral glass door. The heat of the spring afternoon in the city of Green Palms in Southeast Brazil was enough to make her let the door to the garden open. She had abused from gardening in bikini under the early morning sun and the result has been a beautiful tan, despite the reddish sore skin in the shoulders. As the winter just ended, she did not consider the sunlight abuse a problem yet.
She recovered rather well from the second forced separation from Lorenzo, refusing to spend other thirty days crying as she did during the first one, months ago. I’m not in the age to cry like a heartbroken teenager! Indeed, nearly thirty days after the new forced break-up, Elena started to accept that the touching, but problematic love story with Lorenzo had to come to an end for the good of all persons involved: mainly both exes and grown up sons and daughters, despite all absurd selfishness expressed without any constraint by the exes. This is revolting, but ruthlessly true! The words that Elena said to herself were the only thing to occasionally divert her from the professional focus.
The phone rang. Accelerated heartbeat started when she saw the identification on screen: ‘Lorenzo's Office’. The demands of the blackmailers had been clearly stated: no telephone contact whatsoever! Their threats had been frightening... God, help me! The fear that dominated Elena was greater than any happiness she might feel seeing Lorenzo’s name exhibited on the cell phone. She was a woman of her word, never having contacted him. Lorenzo, likewise.
“Hello.” She answered, trying to act naturally.
“Hello, Elena.” The deep voice of Lorenzo echoed in every single nervous cell of her body and the silence that followed seemed endless. The maleness of his voice timbre had a touch of subtle harshness that Elena perceived in the split second that took for him to say those two words.
“Is everything alright?” was all she could say.
“You are a very good actress, aren’t you!?” Lorenzo asked. “Performed really well and I can tell that everything you’ve said and done seemed so fucking real!” His rage escalated, “I was made a fool of, wasn’t I!?”
“Lorenzo, I have no idea about what you are talking.” The serenity of Elena’s words put an immediate end to the increasing rudeness in Lorenzo, also because something seemed strange in what had been told to him. From all she imprinted on his soul, he recognized the serenity, indicating that something might really be wrong. He explained:
“I was told that you are working as a call girl.” Lorenzo only could not explain why Elena had never asked anything material, money, expensive or cheap jewels and favors. He also could not explain why he never felt he had to compensate her materially for making him feel so fulfilled and overjoyed as he had never been before.
Elena could hardly believe in what she just heard. If the accusation was not so serious, she would make fun of it, thanking for being called a call girl at the age of fifty, despite the slender beautiful body of the woman who spent many years of her life playing beach volleyball even before it became an Olympic sport, not for the sake of any fitness wave, but for the sake of always having enjoyed to be out in the open.
“Lorenzo,” she had to utter his name, “I am working a lot in the same occupation of the last twenty years: my editing agency.” not losing any of her serenity. “And you know very well that I am the only one in my micro company, just as you know the giant corporation for which I have been providing services for all these years!”
“But, Elena, the information that you were seen entering a luxury black car yesterday evening was confirmed by two trustworthy persons from the church. She told me that everybody knows it, but me! So tell me: when we’ve been together, was there at least one single moment in which you were true?” Lorenzo’s voice was broke and over the phone, Elena suspected he was actually crying.
At that moment, Elena felt once more how important she was to him. I love you, Lorenzo! She did not say it out loud due to her fright of being monitored in some trap set by those that threatened them. He is in pain! However, her chance to be trusted would be little if the persons involved in such dreadful lie were the ones she suspected: women who attend church service every day, with his ex-wife, religious leader of the community, among them.
I miss having your mouth in mine, Lorenzo! She wanted to scream it out to the world. Elena felt anger increasing inside; her face was reddening and she struggled to keep control. I miss your hands grabbing my hair, Lorenzo! She had to think fast. I miss feeling the scents in every inch of your body, Lorenzo! Lies could not win over truth. I miss every single drop of what I got from you into my body, Lorenzo! There must be something she could do to defend herself and reduce his suffering. I long for your hands fondling my breasts, Lorenzo! She had to take the opportunity as it presented to her. I miss how you own me when you penetrate embracing me, Lorenzo! She suffered too, forbidden to see her Lorenzo. And it all became even more painful as she noticed the torment inflicted on him, in the other side of the line.
There had to exist a limit to pain caused by others based on lies. Aware that Lorenzo would be hurt anyway and having decided not to allow unfair disappointment in her, she finally proposed:
“Lorenzo, I can prove that I am no prostitute without a word against anybody who is part of your history. And I am already sorry for making you see where the deceit comes from! Let’s go to a motel room tonight!”
Elena knew that both continued to be monitored. Lorenzo called from the office regular telephone because his cell phone had been tapped and his place, surveyed by the cleaning woman infiltrated by his ex-wife. Thus, before he could express any concern with such a proposal, she took her only chance to describe the plan:
“I’ll tie my hair on top of my head to be disguised as a man in my son’s volleyball team winter outfit. I can pick you up two corners from your place at nine p.m., when monitoring will be less likely in these still chilly nights and you’ll see the truth, once and for all!” Lorenzo noticed the slight indignation in her voice before replying:
“I’ll be by the green telephone booth two blocks down then turning right, at nine.” Although Lorenzo had accepted Elena’s plan, he was now sure she told the truth. Elena truly loved me whenever we were together! He just felt it. I miss your openness to me, Elena! He knew that, in the forthcoming night, one of the most important people in his life would deny other important one, in a different manner, with irrefutable evidences. I miss the way your body receives mine, Elena! But there was no other option left to him.
“Lorenzo, if I was to be a prostitute, I would want one client only and that would be you! My price would be to see the diamonds in your eyes when we are together!”
Lorenzo was aware of the risk to be on the telephone. I love you, Elena! “I have to go, my girl. Be aware that I may be a demanding client...”
“Well, I will have to excel then…”
“Oh, Elena!” he whispered.
“Lorenzo, Lorenzo, don’t say my name!” she warned him. “I miss you so much…”
“Almost thirty days, Elen… My girl! I miss you, every single minute of the day!”
“Lorenzo, do you realize the danger of what we are about to do? Risks will increase if you say my name by accident. Chose a codename for me, please?”
“I can’t. You are my Elena.”
One of the most intense feelings was to say Lorenzo’s name and hear him telling her name. But he was defenseless against moral and emotional control by his ex-wife, even living in distinct places months after their separation. Elena was aware of the danger, if he betrayed himself. She would have to pick a codename.
“Lorenzo, Elena will not meet you. Tonight you will know Úrsula.”