waking up in hospital.

by s.m.

After Bruno had left Timo came back, bringing Francesca her bag.

“About last night,” he began.

“What about it?” she asked, digging through her bag with her right hand to find her phone.

“You and Bruno–”

“I have a horrible headache, Timo.”  She pulled her phone out from her bag only to find it was dead.

Timo took the phone and plugged it into the wall.  He really did think of everything.  “I saw you last night.”

“I imagine you did,” she replied.  “I don’t see what–”

“You said he had a girlfriend,” Timo interrupted.

“Really?  You, of all people, you’re going to give a lecture on the finer points of morality?”

Her phone buzzed to life.

“On the contrary.  I think it’s good,” he answered.  “I think you were getting a little obsessed with Paolo.  You need some sort of distraction.”

“I think you’re more obsessed with Paolo than I am,” she countered.  “And Bruno wasn’t a distraction.  It was a mistake.  We’d been drinking, it was late–”

“So it made perfect sense to get on a scooter,” Timo interjected.

“How did you get home?” Francesca asked him.

“I rode with the models.  We hired a G-wagon.  Everyone got home fine.”  He raised one eyebrow imperiously.

Francesca could tell she wasn’t getting anywhere with this conversation.  “Will you find out when I can leave, please?  And pass me my phone?”

Timo tossed the phone onto the bed and walked out of the room.  Francesca gingerly typed in her passcode and checked her messages–missed calls from her mother and Elena, a string of emails, and a couple texts.  One from a number she didn’t recognize.

Cesca, hi from Firenze.  Hope you’re enjoying Capri.  I’ll be in Milano on Friday.  Can I see you this weekend? X PR.

Firenze.  PR.  Paolo.  She looked at the details and saw that he had sent it this morning.  She saved his number in her phone as Paolo, just Paolo.  She’d remember who he was.

She leaned back against the pillows and closed her eyes.  He was coming to Milano for the weekend.  He didn’t say why.  He was obviously coming for some other reason than to see her, but he wanted to see her.  She wondered if her head injury was making her more confused than she ordinarily would have been.  As she drifted back to sleep she began composing her reply.

Ciao Paolo.  Capri was beautiful.  I’m free for dinner on Saturday if you want to meet then. xx Francesca.

Cesca, great.  Saturday is great.  I have a request–can we eat at your place?  I’m not trying to presume, but I’d like to be somewhere private. X PR.

That is presumptuous, Paolo.  And you assume I can cook.  Why all the secrecy?  xx.