Monday, July 17, 2006

The Lost City, a Continuation - Chapter 12

Index of Chapters (to start at the beginning)

Chapter 12

Aurora couldn’t believe it. She was now standing at the front door of Fico Fellove’s house as Susan fumbled for the keys. Scarcely 48 hours before she was all alone in the U.S. and now she was being welcomed to dinner at Fico Fellove’s house, by his wife of all people.

Susan had come by Aurora’s boarding house earlier than planned that day. Aurora was still in her robe trying to decide what to wear when the doorbell had rung. The money Susan had given her had been put to good use. Aurora had asked her landlord where she could purchase some good, durable, and inexpensive clothing. The old woman explained which buses to take to “el mall.” That there were plenty of stores there with clothes for all styles and prices to be found there. When Aurora arrived at the shopping center she could hardly believe it. There were so many stores with racks and racks of clothes. The different fabrics were so nice to touch. Silk, linen, cotton, it didn’t matter. She had had the benefit of having better clothes than most Cuban women thanks to Sasha and Yuri but that didn’t mean much. She passed through the fragrance department and wanted to sample each and every perfume. For a brief instant she was a little girl again, picking out a new dress or scent. She spent the better part of the day looking at all there was to see at the mall. She was afraid to buy anything. It all seemed so expensive to her. But she had to buy something; she was determined to make a good impression on Fico and his family, besides she didn’t like the idea of carrying around so much cash. Her landlord had told her to be careful, that pickpockets and muggers were everywhere these days. She had hidden the rolled up money in one of her undergarments.

Finally, after hours of wandering and window-shopping a helpful saleswoman at one of the more reasonably priced stores helped her pick out some basic items. Bras, panties, shoes, a simple but elegant dress, a skirt, a couple of blouses and a pant suit. She couldn’t bring herself to spend so much money on a bottle of perfume, but the lady at the counter offered her several tiny sample bottles and Aurora gladly accepted. All told Aurora managed to buy herself a new wardrobe and still save almost $100 for whatever else she might need in the coming few days. And now, at least she had some clothes that she could look for a job in.

Now Susan was knocking at her door and she was nowhere near being ready to go. Aurora let her in and offered her a drink. Susan followed Aurora in the kitchen and sat at the table while Aurora poured two cups of cold Coca-Cola from the bottle that Susan had brought just the day before.

I thought you might want to talk before we go for dinner,” said Susan with a sincere smile.

“You tricked me,” said Aurora seriously. “You didn’t tell me who you were.”

“I know my dear. After Fico told me about what happened with you in his classroom and how terrible he felt about it, I offered to help him locate you. And it turned out to be much easier to find you than either of us had anticipated. I wanted to get to know you, see what type of person you are. Can you blame me?”

Aurora realized that Susan was telling the truth. And she made sense. Aurora began to ponder whether she would have done the same for Susan if the roles had been reversed. “I understand,” said Aurora. “Still friends?”

“Still friends!” replied Susan. “Now let’s see about what you are going to wear.” They settled on a pink silk blouse with the white pleated skirt Aurora had purchased. Aurora put her long brown hair, with its shock of gray, back in a ponytail. She dabbed a drop from one of the perfume samples behind her ears.

“How do I look?” Aurora asked.

“Beautiful. I can see why the Fellove brothers fell in love with you,” smiled Susan.

“Very funny!” Aurora snorted with mock indignation and then let out a laugh.

1 comment:

beckie said...

Keep 'em coming, Henry! I'm enjoying the chapters of the Lost City continuation. Now I've got to alert the andygarciafans yahoo group I belong to that your up to chapter 12.