Saturday, May 24, 2008
Next day he visited her right after she came home from school.
This soon became his habit. Every day Roma was watching out of the window and waiting for him to come. They spent afternoons, evenings and whole weekends together. It started with just talking, laughing and having pillow fights,
but they soon realised that their friendship is something special. And that made them even happier. They couldn't get enough of each other. They strolled the streets hand in hand, danced to imaginary music
and shared their first kiss.
They soon were named town's most perfect couple. Adults and elders smiled at memories of their own first loves when they saw Roma and Bill together, and Clones' eyes were aflame with hatred and envy. Some of them didn't limit themselves to just watching and tried to make them break up. Bill's twin sister Bella (one of the Clones) tried to spread some nonsensical rumours about Roma's past, but Bill didn't believe a word she said. It only spoiled the so far good relations between the twins.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
The younger, one on the other hand, helped her with having fun. Together they plotted against The Clones, as they started to call the blond girls, together played, laughed or spent long hours talking on the phone.
And suddenly something disturbed that pleasant routine of Roma's life.
She was doing her weekly shopping at the local grocery when her whole world collapsed, the flames of hell arouse around her, icy cold wind embraced her and she heard angelic voices in her head. In other words: she saw Bill Board. She was unable to move until he was around.
As soon as he left, the strange sensations stopped. She went back home with his image before her mind's eyes. She couldn't sleep that night.
The next morning she decided that she should go shopping more often. She forgot to buy butter yesterday anyway. So she went to the very same place that witnessed her private apocalypse the day before.
She bought butter, as well as a bunch of things she really didn't need. She examined every little thing she found around just to stay there longer. It was when she started to run out of excuses that someone tapped her on her shoulder. She turned around to see just the person she wanted to see.
- Excuse me, you're the newcomer, right? Roma Castillo?
She couldn't say a word and just nodded.
- I'm Bill Board – he said shaking hands with her. - I talked with Adam D'Lottery and he told me you're rather fun and don't know much people around here, so I thought that maybe I'd chat with you for a while - he said and smiled.
She smiled back and nodded again.
- That'd be lovely.
Apart from occasional lacks in homework department on her side, Roma did rather well at school. The first couple of days she was really treated like 'a colourful addition' to the neighbourhood, especially by other kids at school. Pretty much all of them were exactly the same, and very predictable. Especially girls. All they were interested in was fashion, their hair, boys and gossip. What is more, almost all of them were blond, like some kind of clones, which freaked Roma out when she noticed that.
It has been almost a week since she moved in. She was in the small living room of her house, painting as usual. Suddenly she heard a doorbell. She looked out of the window to see who that was and saw a vaguely familiar face. She opened the door.
- Hi! My name is Adam. Adam D'Lottery. We go to the same school. - the boy said.
- Hi! - Roma said, looking at him suspiciously and not moving a bit.
He looked a bit uneasy.
- Well, it's Friday and I was wondering if you would like to go out and see a bit of our pretty little town.
- Not really - she said. He was turning around to go home when she added:
- But maybe you'd like to come in?
- Sounds good.
She let him in.
- I'll be back in a minute – she said entering the bathroom. When she came back, he was no longer in the living room. She entered the kitchen and saw him swinging on the fridge door.
- What are you doing! - she cried.
- Sorry, just couldn't help it. I love doing this, but my parents don't let me. You should try it yourself!
- You're definitely not as boring as I thought. - she said, laughing. - Let's occupy ourselves in a more civilised way.
She took a kicky bag out of her pocket.
- I was the best in this back ho... where I come from.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Roma got off the school bus and slowly went into her house grabing the newspaper lying on the lawn and yawning on the way. She dropped her bag on the floor and went into the kitchen. She opened the fridge and took the first edible thing she put her eyes on. Equiped with that she sat at the kitchen table and began to read “The Challengeville Gossiper”.
She was trying to find job advertisements when she came across something that caused her to almost choke to death. It took her a while to calm down, and than she read again:
“Yesterday me and two other citizens of Challengeville had the pleasure of welcoming a new member of our community, Roma Castillo. We visited her in her house at Ulica Główna 100. We had a very interesting conversation over the strangest jelly I have ever eaten. We are sure miss Castillo will make a very colourful addition to our society. We wish her luck!”
The text was signed by Adam Dzwonko.
She found the piece of paper Baśka gave her the other day and dialed Adam's number. After a moment she heard:
-Hi, colourful addition speaking.
She heard him laugh.
-So you've read the article already.
-Yeah. Do you do this to every newcomer?
-Yes. I've told you yesterday, we love gossiping.
-You guys really need something to occupy yourselves with. A hobby or something.
-You know, we all have our goals here and we're working very hard to achieve them. So we want something to help us relax and forget about all that stuff we have to do.
-Yeah, whatever. In case you want to write something about me in tomorrow's issue I inform you that when I'm done talking with you I'm going to do my homework and finish cleaning the house. I'm sure you're able to write at least two pages about that.
-Wow, that's sensational! - he said, laughing.
-Isn't it? OK, I'm not going to disturb you any longer. Go write that article. Bye!
She put down the receiver and went to the kitchen to do her homework. It's been a while since she did some serious studying, so she was struggling with it. When she finally finished she was too exhausted to do any of the cleaning she planned. She sat at the table for a while doing nothing and then she finally remembered there's one place in her house she never visited. She got up and climbed upstairs to the attic.
There was hardly anything there. When her eyes grew accustomed to the limited lighting she walked closer to a big shape in the corner. There was something covered with a huge piece of white cloth. Roma removed it with one swift move. After the dust fell down and she was able to see everything again she saw an easel a couple of blank canvases and a big box with tubes of paint and brushes in it.
-Now that's interesting.
She struggled to carry all of these things downstairs and after an hour she was standing in front of a blank canvas with a paintbrush in her hand.
After she finished cleaning bathroom and bedroom, Roma half-consciously fell into her new bed and fell asleep immidiately. She opened her eyes early in the morning and at first didn't recognize where she was. When she tried to move, she suddenly remembered everything. Her every muscle was screaming about that whole cleaning she did the day before.
- OK, there's no time to hurry up – she said to herself and decided to stay in bed for a bit longer. Fifteen minutes later her stomach let her know that it was awake too.
- Geez, bodies this days! They are so demanding! - she complained to the walls around and shuffled to the kitchen, where she made herself a bowl of cereal.
She was just finishing eating it whe she heard a doorbell. “Who's that?” she asked herself and moved towards the front door as fast as she could.
When she opened she saw Adam Dzwonko with a happy smile on his face.
- Good morning young lady! I hope you slept well. Now hurry up and go take a shower, the school bus will be here in about... - he paused and looked at his watch – forty five minutes.
She gave him a strange look.
- What do you mean “a school bus will be here “?
- And what do you think it means? To me, you don't look like a person who got all the necessary education, so I called the headmaster of our local high-school and asked if he would be so kind to find a place for you there. He said he'd be delighted to welcome you there today.
She was still standing there, looking at him as if he started to speak Chinese all of a sudden.
- Don't give me that look young lady. And go take that shower!
Roma slowly turned around and went to the bathroom. She returned fifteen minutes later. Adam gave her a critical look.
- Are these the only clothes you have?
- No, I have five shirts and three pairs of trousers more, but all are exactly the same.
- Oh well, we'll have to take care about that later. Now take this – he said giving her a small package with sandwitches in it – and off you go! Remember, be nice to to other children, listen to teachers and behave yourself.
- Oh shut up! - she said with a smile in the corner of her mouth.
They left the house, she locked the door and got on the school bus.
When she finished cleaning the kitchen and decided to take a short break before going on with her work in the bathrom, she heard a doorbell. Her heart stopped for a second. “They found me already?! But how?” was her first thought. She silently aproached the front door and carefully looked out to see who was standing outside. She was a bit relieved when she realised she didn't know any of the three people waiting for her to open the door. One of them came close to the door and rang the bell again.
- Open the door! We know you're there! - she shouted.
She decided to take the risk and slowly opened the door.
- Ah, there you are! My name is Baśka Misiurka, this is Adam Dzwonko and Beniamin Wystrzał. We came here to welcome you in our little town.
- Hello! Nice to meet you. I'm Roma Castillo. Come in! - she said with a nice smile on her face.
But she couldn't help herself and looked suspiciosly at her guests when they passed her as they where entering.
- Come to the kitchen. It's the only decent-looking place in this house for now. Sit down wherever you want, I just finished washing the floor. Do you want some jelly? That's all I have right now.
When they all sat down around the table with lumps of strange substance in front of them, Roma began her investigation:
- Are you guys always this nice? I mean, the whole welcoming thing?
- Well, yes. It's our local tradition to welcome any newcomers. We just think it makes people feel better if they know there are some friendly people around that they can ask for help. Actually, someday you may also be a part of a welcome wagon - Beniamin said.
- How exciting. I hardly can wait – she said with a sarcastic smile on her face.
- To tell you the truth, we don't give a damn for this whole supportive community thing. We are extremely nosy. All we really want is gossip. And everyone coming to live in a place called Challengeville have to be pretty special, don't you think? - Adam said.
The way he looked at Roma made her feel uneasy. “Maybe it was a mistake to let them in?” crossed her mind. She quickly finished her jelly.
- It's really lovely chatting with you, but I have some more rooms to clean before I go to bed. I hope you don't mind if I ask you to leave.
- Oh, not at all! Here are our phone numbers. - Baśka gave her a tiny piece of paper. - Just call any of us if you need help. Or someone to talk to.
- Thanks guys. I really appreciate that.
They all shook hands and as Roma closed the door behind her guests, she let the second sigh of relief this day.
A taxi stopped outside a small two-story house. A woman and a young girl got off the car.
- That's the house I told you about earlier – the estate agent said.
The girl put her suitcase on the ground, staring at the house. It was just what she wanted.
- Let's go and see the interior, shall we? - the woman asked, taking the keys out of her pocket.
- Mhm – the girl murmured, coming back to reality.
The estate agent opened the house and entered, the girl followed.
- As I already mentioned, the house has a kitchen, a bathroom, two rooms and an attic. Everything is pretty new. The former owner had it redecorated and moved out shortly afterwards. One of those artsy souls as far as I know, just can't settle down. There are some furniture left. We were not able to contact the owner, so they are staying here for the buyer to use.
As the estate agent was saying that they both strolled around the house. The girl paid little attention to what was being told. She already knew she HAD to buy this house. It felt as if every day of her 15-year life was just a step drawing her here.
- I'll buy it – she suddenly said.
The agent gave her a suspicious look.
- Excuse me, but I have some doubts as to whether you're old enough to buy a property. May I see your ID?
- Of course – the girl said and started to search for documents in her bag. “Just stay calm, just stay calm,...” she heard in her mind when she handed the fake ID to the woman. The lady examined the documents for a while and returned them with the I-know-something-is-not-right,-I-just-can't-prove-it look on her face saying:
- Alright, let's sign the papers then, miss Castillo.
So they did, in a dusty kitchen, on a dirty kitchen table. The woman passed the keys to the girl and they shook hands.
- Congratulations and good luck! - the estate agent said with a hint of a smile on her mouth.
When the door closed after her, the girl made a deep sigh of relief. “That was the best 100 simoleans ever spent “ she thought to herself kissing the fake ID.
She sat down on HER floor in HER room in HER house and enjoyed the feeling. It was amazing!
At least until she realised it's so dirty in there that her fingers leave traces in the dust on the floor.
- OK, now it's the time to tidy this place up! - she said aloud.