She’s been waiting for this one, for a while now… so in the end…can she pull off the con?
As I walked on the concrete pavement at an ungodly hour of the night, kicking away pebbles and bits of concrete I looked over my shoulder for any new signs of trouble. As far as the lamp shade spread its sepia hands there was none bringing out a weary sigh from my lips, tugging the backpack a bit tighter I marched towards my doom.
Given the time, the atmosphere and my general disposition towards silent nights such as these, the mind went back in search for the one mistake that finally managed to turn me into a hunted fugitive with no place to go. But then again, crying over spilt milk never did me good, and so I moved away not only from the pavement but also from the searing memory that was my wedding night.
As the seconds turned into minutes and they changed hands with the hours, I realized two things. One, dawn was approaching fast which led me to the second and more pleasant one out of the two. In a matter of hours I would finally be a rich woman, whether alive or dead, rich nonetheless.
I could already see the hotel at a distance which strangely enough did nothing to my enthusiasm. As I felt the energy seeping out of my starved body all I could conceive of was some rest, the juicy carrot to my hamster. Heaving a fortifying breath, I had one last look at my backpack and trudged with a slower albeit determined pace.
The trick is easy, but the finesse! The finesse, You stupid girl!! I could still hear him thundering over my poor ears.
Shuddering, I realized, here was a splendid chance to prove him wrong, in fact, if you ask me I had already outdid the master, even surpassed his expectations, to say nothing of my own. Fooled him nice and good as my former mentor would say, if he wasn’t just so angry.
Although if I looked any closer, which clearly wasn’t on my list, trading my life for a fancy con was just the sort of thing he would disapprove of, well…he could go to hell for all I cared. After all this time, I was finally free of his unorthodox (even for a con artist) tutelage.
Oh well, you win some, you lose some, I philosophized with a shrug.
As I walked through the tacky but shiny doors towards the opulent foyer, the concierge , an eager beaver at first and disappointed a little later approached me with a critical eye.
Which was to be expected, after all, even a certifiable idiot like me knew better than to barge in a 4 star hotel wearing torn and muddy pair of tee & jeans with a bloody face to go along with it.
As I approached the wary manager, my eyes roamed around marveling at the grandeur of Italian marble and carved basque statues sublimely complimenting the bold hues of flowing tapestries and matching carpets, I came to the simple decision that no matter if I live or die today there was no way anyone like this pompous ass standing in front of me will ever get the chance to think that I don’t belong in a luxurious hotel, silly as that may sound.
After 20 long years living in complete obscurity with a nameless, faceless identity, I had finally decided that. As the impatient man, waited on an annoyed tapping foot, I tucked away this epiphany for another day.
With practiced confidence and a terse voice I gave out one of the fancier identities I had manged to forge over the last couple of weeks. With a pinch of satisfaction I saw his disbelief change into something akin to holy reverence. Oh! Will wonders never cease I thought with a touch of a jaded smile escaping the hard corners of my tired mouth.
Within a couple of hours, I realized with a horror that even as the time was running away, there was no sign of my esteemed client. The fidgety hands were starting to show, my precious but temporary cargo ready to bring my shoulders crashing down. Just as I had started to feel a touch of paranoia mingled somehow with desperation, the simpering concierge signaled the arrival of my elusive client. Just as I started to turn on my seat to get a better look, I heard the voice of shoes. As I turned with a smile on my face, the familiar scowl threatened to force me to my knees.
I observed him carefully as he walked to the transparent door, my door. I knew that time was running out but suppressed the urge to check my watch. Surely my client would be around soon enough, I just need to make HIM go away. I took a deep breath and started counting in reverse under my breath ”ten, nine , eight , seven…”
Darling girl! what is this business of my bonds on sale I am hearing about? Pray do tell. You know I am always interested in your ventures…don’t you honey? I stared at the master, fooled again!!
Well, he said with a teasing grin, almost reading my mind, I am not your teacher for nothing.