Codename: Úrsula

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Readiness for War

Precisely at seven in the morning, Lorenzo arrived at Marces & Marces Architecture Office. He wanted to take his belongings, leaving before the arrival of Veitena. After all that had been said over the telephone, there were no conditions to work there with her anymore. Fifteen minutes after eight, he left with three full cardboard boxes and the disassembled beautiful working table in the trunk of the old car.

At noon, Lorenzo finished rearranging his apartment to accommodate a well decorated temporary architecture office. At that time, Veitena should have noticed that Lorenzo took everything that belonged to him: his working station with computers, external hard drives, paper appointment books, the pictures on the wall and a beautiful vase with artificial roses that he purchased only because the flowers mimicked perfectly natural salmon-colored roses. No contact had been made by Veitena until that time.

Happy with the esthetic result of the apartment whose living room had been now split into a living room and his office, he pressed the quick dialing to Codename Úrsula.

When Elena saw Codename Úrsula ringing and exhibiting Lorenzo at that hour, she became frightened after having spent her morning continuously startled with the information that Veitena had called her ex-mother-in-law on the day before, informing to want her husband back. She was furious with the nerve of Veitena to contact her ex-mother-in-law and even more with the ex-mother-in-law’s belief that she would have some authority over her four years after divorcing her son.

“Hello.” she did not want to say his name because it could be a trap.

“Hey, Codename Úrsula! Is it everything alright?” the initial joy in his voice changed as soon as he noticed the shadow of doubt and concern in Elena’s ‘Hello’.

“Oh, Lorenzo, I love hearing your voice!” the concern dissipated when she perceived the excited tone of his voice, “Yes, it is everything fine with me! Is it everything fine with you? Your call now is so unusual that I feared some trap…”

“Well, you better get used to it because I will call you a lot! I am in my brand new home-office! Better than this, only if you were here with me…”

The world seemed perfect after some seconds talking to Lorenzo. She rejoiced with the news, but it did not affect the underlying worry with the recent acts of Veitena.

“Listen, Elena, have you had lunch already? I was thinking that we could maybe have lunch somewhere…” he was starving, in no mood for cooking after setting up the new office. Completely caught in surprise, Elena laughed:

“Are you out of your mind, Lorenzo? We cannot be seen together!”

“Let’s have lunch in a restaurant inside a fishing club, near Green Palms, but along the highway. Veitena always hated fishing and plain people who fish. But I’m afraid to tell you that I will drive the old car again. If she seems me driving it in town, she will be sure that no woman will be involved in my current route.”

After explaining his plan, Elena believed that it could really work. Rejoicing for spending time during the day with Lorenzo she replied:

“Oh, Lorenzo, I am in love with this old car of yours! I owe my happiness to it…”

Lorenzo laughed flattered, remembering the woman who once wrote him about cars.

“OK. Within twenty minutes, park at your usual place here and I’ll pick you up there.”

Elena regarded life as a constant opportunity of learning. And the new learning of the day was to get absolutely stunning for Lorenzo within sixteen minutes, in order to cover the short distance to her usual parking place near Lorenzo’s within four minutes. She ran to the wardrobe to fetch a white casual dress suitable for the restaurant of a fishing club.

A quarter to nine a.m., Veitena arrived at Marces & Marces Architecture Office going directly to her office to prepare the strategy for the day. She knew that Lorenzo would arrive exactly nine o’clock as he did after the separation in order that at least one of the assistants was already there. I must excel in the scare I have to imprint on him today… It is now or never…

Precisely at nine, Veitena got out of her office slamming the door, walking in furious footsteps to Lorenzo’s. He would surely have already arrived. She noticed a weird gaze from his assistant as well as the exchanged looks between his assistant and hers. She had a pair of scissors in her hand. She did not knock on the door of Lorenzo’s office, as she never did. As soon as she entered it, she stood still, pale, reactionless, hand paralyzed on the door handle. His working table was gone, with everything that used to be on it.

The distance to the fishing club restaurant was covered with Elena lying down on the backseat. As the radio was on Lorenzo’s preferred Brazilian Music station, they sang their duets. Lorenzo made the first voice and Elena did the backing vocals or the contrary, depending on the song. This became very funny because the backing vocals came from behind. As Elena sang, Lorenzo burst into laughter followed by her, before resuming their melodic lines.

On that full Monday as soon as they entered the restaurant in the fishing club, they met the insurance broker for the houses, the office and the cars of the Marces, who walked to the bar attached to the restaurant to request one serving of fried potatoes and a beer to be taken to his fishing position by the pond number two. He complimented the couple with a smile, briefly talking to them, before returning to his position.

“Oh, Elena, I almost forgot that there is a very important thing I must do now!” Lorenzo said, picking up the cell phone from the shirt pocket, turning it off, “OK; it will be turned on again at two p.m. only!”

Lorenzo was a celebrity in the area of Green Palms. Not all people who recognized him in that fishing club greeted the couple.

Veitena spent that morning trying to regain emotional control in order to be able to think coldly. After she left Lorenzo’s office slamming the doors of his and, afterwards, her office too, she only thought about striking Lorenzo with the scissors, once and again and again and again and again. To inflict bodily harm to herself would be useless if he was not there to watch it. I am not THAT stupid…

Trembling in anger, she could not call to her son or daughter screaming on the phone, as she firstly intended, because they could consider the need to rescue her to the Emergency Department. No, this would only make me lose time... If they rescued her to Father Joseph’s attendance room, it would be even worse after that meeting at Lorenzo’s apartment. I could call that man and his two accomplices from my hometown to definitely get rid of that Elena, but I would create a problem with her ex-mother-in-law… Cursed be the hour I called her yesterday!

If she called any of her laywoman’s friends, she would not be able to declare that she acted without any planning in court… Not that I intend to do something that leads me to face justice, but… Just in case…

After some more minutes of emotional control and strategic planning, Veitena draw the conclusion that she had to be careful in order not to jeopardize herself whatever she did, in the first place. Think, Veitena, think, carefully… It has to be an efficient measure with guaranteed result…

At one p.m., with her action plan well defined, Veitena quick dialed Lorenzo’s cell phone. Over those seconds to complete the call, she recapitulated what to say in her mind: “Lorenzo, I apologize for what I said on Saturday when you were at the beach. There are things in our lives that we simply have to accept. I now accept all of them. You have your rights. Let’s have dinner at that French restaurant in town and talk as open-minded adults.”

The recapitulation finished as soon as Veitena listened:

“This telephone is out of area or switched off. Please, leave your message after the tone. Beeeeeeeeeep.”

Immediately, Veitena returned to the emotional state of hours ago, looking at the pair of scissors on her workstation desk. I’ll strike him, once and again and again and again and again, And Again, AND AGAIN!

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