HIDDEN HEART– Excerpt
“Since when what?” Tessa said, losing her patience.
“Since when do you two hang out together, silly!”
“We don’t hang out. We work together, it’s different. Sometimes we have lunch together, sometimes dinner. It’s really a lot of work to put together such an event, you know, especially when it has never been done before. And quit asking all these crazy questions. There are other more important things I want to talk to you about.”
“So, how long?”
Tessa sighed and rummaged through her brain, trying to remember when she first went out with Cristian.
“About five weeks ago.”
“How often do you see him?”
“Chiara, I’m going to hang up on you. What are you trying to find out? There is nothing else, but two people that have something in common with the same goal. Quit drilling!”
“I’ll call back, so you might as well answer anyway. Now stop getting mad, and answer my last question: how often?”
Tessa shook her head. “Almost every day, depending on what we’re working on. The days we don’t see each other, we speak a few times on the phone.”
“Is he cute?”
Tessa thought for a second and said, “Yeah, I guess.”
“You just guess, you’re not sure?”
“What’s your point?”
Tessa heard a teapot whistling in the background, a cup placed on a saucer and the sound of liquid pouring into a cup. The noises came so clear through the phone line, she got up and walked mechanically to the kitchen to start a cup of green tea for herself, still waiting for Chiara to respond to her question. She heard Chiara blowing in her tea, taking a sip and then, “Gottverdammt!”
“Wow, nice language,” Tessa said, laughing.
“I just burned my tongue,” Chiara laughed, too. “Going back to our discussion. The reason I asked all those questions is because when the construction crew came to work on your house for the first time, you freaked out. Remember, you called me from your bathroom, after you locked yourself in and I tried for how long to convince you that no one would harm you?”
“Uh-huh . . .”
“Now, four months later you are actually able to be in the same room with a man, without feeling threatened, talk with him and behave normally. You’ve found something you’re passionate about, maybe not as rewarding financially as you were used to, but it gives you a new goal and perspective on what really matters to you. My point is that you might not see it, but you’ve made progress. You renovated your house, and at the same time, you’ve also healed. Maybe not completely, but you’re on your way to a full recovery.”
“Do you think?”
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