I sat comfortably at my balcony watching the busy streets of London while drinking hot chocolate. It was very
early in the morning and I figured I’d just clean up my apartment and wait for Hal since she was coming with
Stephano. A part of me was really excited to meet him but the other part was simply too afraid of the
awkwardness there would be between us when he arrived. I kind of disliked meeting new people especially if it
was the opposite gender.
I felt the cold breeze hit against my curly and uncovered hair making it fly about in the air but I enjoyed it while it
lasted. I grabbed one of my favorite books of Ben Carson’s and began reading without letting my worries and that
jerk called Arsenio bother me in my head.
I hadn’t realized I had been reading for more than two hours until my doorbell rang and I glanced at the clock. It
was just 11:00am. I ran to the door and peeped through the peephole and saw that Hal was standing right beside
a man with a small light brown moustache and a pointed nose. I couldn’t see the rest but I’m pretty sure I
would’ve stood there staring if Hal hadn’t clicked the doorbell switch again in frustration. I jumped away from the
door at how incredibly loud the bell was when so close to it.
I threw a scarf over my head and unlocked the door. As soon as it was opened, I was met with Hal who was
glaring at me already. ‘’you’re lucky I didn’t use your spare key.’’ She hissed.
‘’buongiorno’’ Stephano waved at me childishly but shyly. I smiled nodding my head.
I rolled my eyes at Hal. ‘’come in’’ I gestured for Stephano to come in.
He nodded and walked in taking off his coat. I took it and hung it on the rack.
‘’grazie’’ he said.
They both went to sit while I went to the kitchen to find them both something to drink. It was until I got inside
that I realized I didn’t ask them what they both wanted or preferred.
‘’what would you both like?’’ I shouted.
‘’coffee would be fine’’ Hal yelled back. She was such an annoying mouthpiece.
After making them both coffee and me a hot chocolate, I waked back to the living room and made myself
comfortable in front of them. I handed them their cups each.
‘’so……how’s your family?’’ I started but I guess I cut him off guard there. he nearly choked on his coffee. ‘’oh I’m
sorry if you mind’’ I apologized. I didn’t get what was so wrong in asking about someone’s family. Really, some
people just get pissed off when you ask about their family or even ask you what your business was. I guess it’s
kind of a dangerous world so they probably think everyone is secretly involved in the mafia. Its dumb but that’s
probably most people’s reasons.
‘’ its fine, Carmella.’’ He said. ‘’I was just astonished by the taste of the coffee. It’s too strong’’ he confessed. His
statement got me embarrassed but I could do absolutely nothing to change it. I blushed in embarrassment. ‘’no need to be embarrassed. No one ever seems to make the type of coffee I like except- ‘’ Hal nudged him at the
shoulder not to continue mid-sentence and I immediately knew what was up so I couldn’t keep quiet at that. Hal
actually never told me where they first met.
‘’ I think I just figured that you guys met at that cafe close to Hal's house where you make you coffee yourself” I asked innocently hoping
I was right.
He nodded vigorously like a kid. I could have him around all day if Hal of course didn’t mind.
We talked some more about random things until he had to leave for a meeting by 1:00pm.
‘’he’s the most handsome person I’ve ever met.” Hal all but squealed.
I rolled my eyes at her childishness.
‘’you’ve already made this whole thing cliché, Halima. I know what’s going to happen next so you wouldn’t have
to update me on that” I shook my head feeling a smile grace my lips upon seeing my sisterly friend so happy.
She wobbled her index finger in front of me with her other hand on her waist while she shook her head as well.
“ah ah ah I’ll be the one not needing an update. Yourself too, you can be cliché, you know?’’
‘’It’s kind of sad that you’re my closest friend but you still barely know things about me that are related to the
opposite gender.’’ I exclaimed throwing up my hands in the air before placing them both on my hips.
“say your prayers and get some rest. I know what I’m saying, Carm” she assured waving me off not wanting to
listen to any further argument I had to bring up. Sometimes I disliked that she thought she knew me so well
although ninety-two percent of the time, she was right.
She literally pushed me to the bedroom while I argued on the way. Well she wasn’t going to let me go even if I
won the argument anyway. I said my prayers and hopped on my bed. I had only planned to take a two-hour nap
but as I would usually have it, I overslept.
When I woke up, Hal was out. I had absolutely no idea where she went but I could hardly care. I felt my phone
vibrate beneath me so I moved over and saw that it was Hal indeed.
‘’Hal where are you at?’’ I asked after sliding the green circle.
‘’thank God you’re finally awake, Carm. I’m at our favorite mall and guess what?’’ she exclaims.
“whhhhaaaaaattt?’’ I dragged exhausted.
‘’parts of it have been renovated so it’s now a building for Leo Luca’s first collections that hit London. You
need to see them!’’
‘’ I-I-I…y-you know I don’t care about that” I stuttered.
“mmmm Okay’’ she said at first. ‘’but I want you to come”
‘’no way. No Hal’’ I literally whispered though I had no idea why I did.
‘’I ain’t asking, Carmella. I’m demanding. ‘’ she speaks louder and I can suddenly feel my eardrums on the verge of
bursting. I was hesitant and silent for a while.
“Dai! Carmella’’ she pleaded.
‘’fine. there’s no way in hell I’m going to wear anything Leo Luca before I end up looking like one of their
advocates.’’ I groaned. While getting up to change. I ended the call before she could say anything else.
I changed into a casual silk turtle neck and long sleeve top, slid on a straight black skirt with a short back slit and
tied up a scarf on my head. I put on some black ankle boots and grabbed my DKNY handbag so nothing I was
wearing claimed to be designed by the jerk, Mr. Leo Luca.
I checked the time on my phone and it was just 3:00pm. I greeted the doorman who pulled out the door for me
before walking to my car. I drove sluggishly to the mall.
Once I was in, I looked around to see if I’d find Hal close by but luckily as I was in the process, she called.
‘’I’m at the third floor, right after you come out of the elevator- ‘’
‘’what?! Elevators? Halima?’’ I shouted. ‘’are you kidding me? I’m going to embarrass myself and do you know
how many people they are in this building?’’
‘’sorry Carm but you’ve got to come right away. It’s about to start and I can’t leave our seats or someone else will
occupy them. I’m in the hall that has ‘runway’ written on the huge doors ’’ she pleaded.
‘’uhhhhhh!’’ I groaned in annoyance. ‘’fine. You owe me’’ I said while getting out of my car and heading towards
The mall had really changed and to be honest it was better than ever. The door of the entrance was now bigger
and marble followed by a glass one in the inside that had a sensor that made it automatic. On it were the words
‘LEO LUCA ALLA MODA’ meaning ‘Leo Luca in Fashion’
Upon entering, I saw that the mall had now been turned into a semi-formal office. I walked up to the elevator
which had some formally dressed people waiting at its door. I figured I could easily fit in since I looked just as
formal myself. It was as soon as I had reached that the doors opened up. We boarded it and seemed to me that
there were equal number of women and men in the elevator with me. I ended standing beside a guy dressed in a
royal blue suit with a plain black button-down shirt beneath. I shifted slightly as I was already feeling uncomfortable. He gave me the side eye immediately after he’d noticed and i shifted even further but not in a
way that I would be noticed by the others.
The elevator was indeed spacious. It could contain fifteen people to be precise because I saw on the corner wall
a sign that indicates with a large ‘15’ inscribed on it but that fact still didn’t make me less frightened.
The guy beside me finally turned to me and I began to think he was tired of giving me the side eye or his head
began to ache or something. As funny as it was, I kept a straight face to prevent him from seeing the fear that was
in me from being in the elevator.
A grin graced its way upon his lips and I realized he was holding out his right hand for me to shake. I nervously
took it and he kissed the back of my hand instead. Well that surprised me because I had barely expected it.
‘’ciao, Signorina’’ he greeted. I wasn’t surprised that he was Italian too. He looked it.
‘’ciao’’ I replied with a half-smile plastered on my lips.
‘’do you work here?’’ he asked.
I shook my head. ‘’do you?’’
‘’yes’’ he paused and seemed to have been contemplating on something in his mind and I knew just exactly what
‘’ I’m Carmella” I told him. He only wanted to know my name. he turned to me in surprise.
‘’and I’m Enzo…. Enzo Emilio’’
‘’nice to meet you Mr. Emilio’’ I said graciously and he nodded. ‘’so what department are you in?’’
‘’first of all please call me Enzo. I’m in Arts and design’’ he shrugged but before I could say anything else, the
doors of the elevator opened up and we had to go.
‘’where are you headed?’’ he asked.
‘’oh the runway hall? Are we on the third floor?’’ I asked looking at my watch.
‘’indeed we are.’’ He said while opening his arms in the air. ‘’and the runway hall is just where I was headed too
so come on we don’t want to be late’’ he added. There was something about his long and full eyelashes that
made him look absolutely beautiful when he flipped them playfully at me. I chuckled a little and we both took fast
strides to the runway hall.
As soon as the men on the higher chair saw Enzo, they all began to walk towards him and that means me too.
‘’Mr. Emilio, you’ve just arrived three minutes before the show starts’’ a lady in glasses dressed in a grey suit said.
She held a notepad in her hand that was clutched against her chest.
“Enzo, you look fabulous son” an elderly man said. He looked very much like Enzo so he was definitely his father, I
I tapped Enzo who was attending to the group of people on his arm lightly. He immediately turns to me and
shoots up his eyebrows.
‘’I’m supposed to meet someone so I’ll just get going’’ I mouthed and gestured with my hands. he gave me a nod
of approval and a small smile.
Before I walked off, I spotted the elderly man I assumed to be his father staring at me while giving Enzo a smile. I
ignored their antics. Before I could even look for Hal within the small crowd, I saw her hand wave from the front
middle seat. There was an empty chair beside her. I rushed over and sat.
‘’I thought you’d never make it’’ she said rolling her eyes. I let out a sarcastic laugh.
‘’Anyways you look fabulous. I think when the models are off the runway, you should come up and- ‘’ she paused
mid-sentence. ‘’nothing you’re wearing looks Leo Luca. I though you couldn’t go anywhere without your precious
Leo Luca handbag. You did this on purpose, didn’t you?’’ she scolded me.
I nodded happily like a kid while crossing my legs.
‘’you’re such a douc’’ she said in annoyance and we both couldn’t hold up our laughter. We had to let it out.
A douc is a yellow-faced Asian monkey. I couldn’t believe she actually called me that.
‘’you have to repent’’ I said in between laughs. It took us minutes to calm down and realize that the show was
indeed about to start.
The whole was now quiet as a group of me walked in and sat on the front high seats at the other side of the
runway. We all watched as the man in the middle took his seat last. He was sitting right across from me. I felt my
guts wring at the sight of him That must’ve been the declaration that the show may start because the lights went
off and the ones for the runway went on so we could only see the models.
I shifted uncomfortably in my seat as I saw him dressed in his usual black suit except this time he looked more
alluring in it.