"My name is Soula,” she said. “Soula.”
A wisp of her hair had wrapped itself around her necklace. Pollen, from the flowers she had decided on a few moments before, powdered the tip of her nose and upper lip and gave an extra glow to her fancy-free smile.
It had always been this way, she fancy-free, and everything else clinging to her. The boy in the flower shop was no exception.
He was cute, she thought. Lean and strong. Such pretty eyes. So gentle and sweet. It had never occurred to her, as perhaps it should have, that those eyes would follow her into the rain, watch her sundress as it wrapped around her breasts, belly, and thighs. The rain was coming down slow and warm.
She had forgotten her umbrella and his eyes were glad.
The flower shop had been packed that morning. Soula Granger had spent over an hour picking out flowers for her new apartment. “The perfect finishing touch,” she agreed with herself. There were no more boxes to unpack. All her furniture was arranged. She had even bought new bed sheets. Her proudest purchases, by far, were the carefully picked new books for the coffee table. And she even subscribed to a few magazines. As for any of the reading material, it was all for show, of course; it was doubtful whether she would ever pick any of it up to read, not even out of curiosity. Leafing through did not constitute reading.
Fruits were chilling in the refrigerator. Glasses dipped in water were chilling in the freezer. The only thing that had been missing was fresh cut flowers, and she had those now. All that was left to do was to wait.
Waiting was something Soula was accustomed to doing. She found things to wait for, and did not much more than the simple task of waiting. It was one of her handpicked hobbies. She loved the luxury of it. She immersed herself in it. Feeling the passing of time impassioned her, as did ignoring it. It was another one of her care-free quirks.
When she got home, she placed the flowers on the kitchen island beside the waiting vases. She took each vase, one by one, to the sink and filled them with fresh water. At the counter she took the packets of powder and carefully scissored each open, then poured their contents into their new home. The soft crystals floated at the tops and slowly trickled into the water, one after the other. She leaned in to look as, consecutively, each vase began to cloud. With a wooden spoon, she carefully stirred until all the sand-like granules melted. When flowers and vases were in position, Soula looked around and, quite pleased with herself, she took in a satisfied breath.
She then went to the bathroom. There, she looked into the mirror and smiled. It was one of the things she liked to do… smile, into the mirror, at herself. She checked her teeth. Perfect, but it wouldn’t hurt to brush them again. She looked into her eyes and made them sparkle back at her.
next: Part 2