Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Silly things you do for love in Christmas (II)

As soon as Hellgirl had cast her spell on the shop assistant, he fell into a state of lethargy and torpor; almost in a deep sleep. She pretended to smack him in the face, but he didn't even blink.

- Good. This one is out for the count. I dated old Breuninger three centuries ago, and he was stingy and bloody tight when he opened this shop, back in 1740. No wonder he amassed this astronomic fortune over the years. Let me introduce you to Crichton, his most promising and talented pupil. –she said, pointing at the shop assistant, who stood still, his eyes rolling back into his head-.

Hellgirl started telling me off, as she had threatened to do some minutes before.

- Listen Leni, I told you a zillion times not to give your heart away like that. If I hadn't stopped you, you would have bought him the million G fountain pen and would have surely gone to jail for insolvency fraud. That sounds terrific, doesn’t it? Well… don’t overdo it! What if he gives you just a pair of socks for Christmas? -asked Hellgirl-

- He won’t do that. -I answered, very annoyed-.
- He might do that, silly. I’ve known him for more than two hundred years and he has done much worse things. You’re missing the point here, giving him everything of yourself. You’ll get hurt. I can smell it.
- And what do you care???
–I shouted, angrily-

She shook her head in disapproval.

- Some time ago I warned you not to fall in love with Ed. He's an old crock with his old funny little ways. You're too young and innocent to understand his changing moods. One day he'll tell you you're the apple of his eyes and the next day he'll rip your little heart off without even blinking. His soul is dead and numb, but yours is full of life and fire. He has a terrible past but yours is clean as a breeze.
- So what? He’s good, decent and steady. He’s clever, tender, thoughtful, has a good sense of humour and he loves me. That’s enough for me.
- It’s pretty obvious that in spite of my calls on your good sense, you’ve fallen in love with him like a fat loves cake. Don’t come back to me next month with your achy breaky heart.
-she said, pointing at me with her threatening finger-

She took a short pause and continued with the sermon.

- We don't have the same taste in men, that's pretty obvious. But it's ok, Leni. Do you want to give Ed the magic fountain pen that will make his dreams come true? There you go then. It’s as easy as stealing candy from a baby. –she said, laughing loudly, showing me the fountain pen and withdrawing it immediately-. But first… for your own good: I suggest you impose one condition on him.
- What condition?
-I asked very intrigued-
- Ask him to publish your books.
- I don't want to impose any condition on him. That's not fair play!
- No buts, hon. Wanna be a famous writer? Then, don't be silly: you're shagging the editor. Make the most of it and ask him to read and publish your books. Just like Misty McGuire did twenty years ago. He fucked her and she became a best seller. It was just that easy.

Misty McGuire was a sensitive point. Ed’s old lover, who still seemed to feel something for him, had become the most valuable asset of Kynkybooks, his now burnt publishing company. Hellgirl spotted the concern in my face.

- Use both your womanly wiles and your intelligence to get what you want, Leni. My august and sublime mother, Hellwoman The Great, used to say: "Keep a man satisfied, and that will be the end of your romance; keep his heart struggling and he will follow you like a lost child". That's an unquestionable truth.
- That's emotional blackmail.
–I protested-
- That's the acid test, Leni. You better wise up, or you'll be a born loser in life. If you fall into his clutches, your little heart will start aching like hell and you'll feel trapped. And this will be all that's left from your honest pure love.
- Oh stop it.
- Ok, but don't say I didn't tell you.

I took the green jade fountain pen, hid it in my pocket and dashed out of the Breuninger House slamming the door and leaving behind me Hellgirl and Crichton, the catatonic shop assistant.

As I walked downstreet towards my car, I couldn’t help thinking of Hellgirl’s words. I had nothing to lose by asking Ed to publish my books. Actually, Hellgirl was right: I had a golden opportunity of becoming a published writer and there is no such thing as a second chance. So sure enough, two minutes later I was calling him.

- Hi Ed.
- Hi sweety.
- Have you already decided what you're gonna do in Christmas?
- Yes. I’m flying to Paris. I have booked the Ritz Imperial Suite. Would you like to join me?
- That would be lovely, but what would you say if I invited you to lunch on Christmas Day at my place? Just you and I.
- What about your family? Your mom and granny will hate me.
- No worries. I’ll speak to them.
- Oh no, I don't think I'd like that.
- I'll make a delicious meal.
- I don't know, Leni... I told you I don't celebrate Christmas.
- It won't be a Christmas celebration.
- We'll see.
- Please.

There was a dead silence. I heard him sigh deep.

- You won't stop insisting until I say yes, right? -he asked-
- Right.
- Ok, then. What's the point of discussing it?
- I don't want to force you.
- Oh go on then, if you twist my arm.
- No, no obligations.
- You're being quite pushy, love. But for once in a lifetime, I'll give in.
- Excellent. Come home at 1PM then.
- I'l be right there.

I smiled, happy as a lark.

The days passed excruciatingly slowly. I had a fight with my mom and granny, just as Ed anticipated. They didn't like to hear I wouldn't be having lunch with them on Christmas Day. But it passed.

On Christmas Eve I bought the best rack of lamb in the butcher's shop and roasted it.
I got my flat perfectly tidied up.
I arranged a beautiful flower centerpiece and laid a wonderful table, where I brought the food piping hot.
I wore my best dress.
I clenched my fingers around the green stolen fountain pen.
I sat on a chair and patiently waited for him to arrive.

At 1PM sharp the belldoor rang. Before I opened it, I looked at the mistletoe hanging over the front door and whispered quietly:

"Merry Christmas to you, my love. Whether you like it or not".

"Christmas Day" (Dido)


Dick said...

Hi Leni

Good writing, do you have a magic fountain pen too? lol
I like the pictures, they are perfect for the story, did you create them or some of them?

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Dick!

Unfortunately I don't have a fountain pen and I have to struggle hard to make my dreams come true, hahaha.

Thanks for your comment on the pictures. I didn't take them, I just borrow them from the internet. The only copyrighted material here is the text. There are some pix of mine in the blog -at the post where I wrote about the tennis match, in july this year.

Have a Merry Xmas!

Crazy Ro said...

Felices Fiestas, Leni!

Beso grande


Leni Qinan said...

Hola Ro!

¡Felices Fiestas y Feliz Año también para tí!

Muchos besos. ;)

PS.- Aunque no siempre hables, sé que estás. Y me encanta.

rebecca said...

Oh, that was a lovely song by Dido. It's been awhile since I've heard something from her. I bought her first CD...I'll now have to go and look for it. She has such a lovely voice. Now, you see, why couldn't the hubz play something along these lines yesterday?

Love the story! Curious to see what road it will lead to next! I just love, love, love these little stories you create...little, delicious morsels of thoughts and juiciness....


Nahuatl said...

Merry xmas and happy new year Leni!
:) Wish you fantastic holiday!

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Rebecca,

Thanks for your lovely comment! I really appreciate!
I never know what the outcome of my stories will be. Usually, when I drive my way to work, when I'm shopping for food, when I'm about to fall asleep, ideas start coming up and I have to note them down before I forget. (So come back in a few days and you may find the next instalment posted)

I like Dido too. Some of her songs are beautiful -I've posted a few ones here-. I thought 'Christmas Day' is also tender and naive -which is cute too.

But hey, if you're having a migraine, it's not better than Sigur Ros, hahaha.

((abrazos y besos))


Leni Qinan said...

Hey Nayan!

Happy holidays for you too! I'm free until the 7th of january!!!
All the best in 2009!

Take care!

Grass said...

"Keep a man satisfied, and that will be the end of your romance; keep his heart struggling and he will follow you like a lost child".

i see wisdom in what hellgirl told you.. though really, what's important is doing what you think is best for you or what works for you and Ed. hellgirl may know Ed very well indeed but things do change. what Ed was 50 years or so ago may not be the same person now, perhaps because of you or some lessons learned from the past.. oh geesh, i feel like an angel trying to advise you against listening to hellgirl..LOL