On the first day of the first week of the first month of the first year of this decade (depends on where we start counting) she took the elevator to the basement, where she was going to store a box with toys left behind by the former owners of her flat. She was not going to need toys for anyone and seeing them in the living room each day reminded her of the years to come and filled her with nostalgia. On her way back, in the elevator, a man with a sad face was staring at the command buttons as if he wanted to see through the light numbers encrusted on them.
- Are you looking for something specific? The plate with names was removed to be renewed.
- Yes... Is there a coffee house in this building? Someone gave me an address and I lost it, I can’t recall on which floor it was. It’s supposed to be the best coffee house in town.
His gaze was shadowed with sadness, as if all his life was hanging on having a cup of coffee at that particular shop.
- I’m a coffee trader, he explained, I want to see them with a proposal.
- You must be looking for Sun & Deco on the eight floor, it usually opens at noon.
The elevator stopped, and she stepped out on the corridor.
- You are welcome to have a coffee at my place in the meantime, it’s cold outside.
He smiled gratefully and followed her under the yellow lights of the hallway to the front of one door in which she fitted a key. Clitch clitch, clack. They were inside. From the window, one could see in the kitchens of the building on the opposite side of the street. The building had windows on both sides, revealing the dynamics of human interactions of the strangers filling it with everyday life. She wrapped a woollen shawl on her shoulders. The water was boiling and the fresh-grounded coffee was waiting in the espresso pot. You can never make the right coffee for a coffee trader, she thought. At least, she could offer him some time and nothing to sell or to buy. She looks as if she just missed her honeymoon, he thought. The sugar was on a high shelf, too high for her to reach. He got it. There was chocolate on the table. They talked about his children, his ex-wife, her unborn daughter, her brother, their parents. About death. Happening death and just threatening death.
- The coffee shop must be open by now.
- I should go and see them. Thank you for the coffee, for the talk.
- You are welcome. And, good luck with the business!
She opened the door, he stepped on the other side and turned his face at her with a smile. She smiled back. He pushed the button to call the elevator.
- You have a marvellous house.
He turned his face at her and smiled again. She smiled back. The elevator came, the doors opened. He stepped inside, drifting out of her sight. She closed the door and returned to the kitchen. Her cup of coffee was half full, on the table. The black liquid looked cold and bitter like an unwanted, unanswered phone call. She got closer and stared at it the way he stared at the light numbers on the buttons in the elevator, about an hour ago. All she could see was black. From the cup, an empty gaze stared back. Las Vegas, last winter.
The Sage: Black will turn white and white will turn black, in time.
Mira: It's just another lie.