Àlima

Plot – A woman follows every move of a man. Every morning.
She’s fashinated by him and can’t stop looking from the window of a very aseptic room.
Who is she? But, most of all, what’s their connection?

Traduzione di Lucia Zaccherini – I’m looking at him. I don’t stop looking at him even for a second. I hardly blink. I have been watching him from the window for three days. At seven thirty in the morning, he enters the café. He almost always comes out eight minutes later, still holding the coffee cup. It’s spring. It’s May. The temperature is 70°F. Exactly one hundred meters away is the entrance to a skyscraper. A few more steps before he disappears through a sliding door.

Every day I look at him and mentally note his every movement, his every glance. Every single thing. I feel like I know him. Six, five, four, three, two, one. He entered the building. I let myself fall on the bed, close my eyes and for an indescribable time I do nothing but breathe and concentrate on my heartbeat, on the speed of my breaths and free my mind. 

It’s been three days. I keep staring at him from my window. Today seems to be a beautiful sunny day, at least, that’s what the weather has implied. I’m nervous. Even though I know that in less than two minutes I’ll see him appear beyond that tree that covers my view on the left side, my heart is racing. I just pull the curtain aside and hold my breath for a few seconds. There he is! Today he is even more charming than usual. Maybe he has an important meeting. He wears a gray suit, a striped tie, black and shiny shoes. And on top, a black raincoat with elegant buckles on the wrists. In his right hand he holds the handle of the briefcase while he grips the newspaper under his left arm. He enters the café. I look at my watch and start counting. Seven minutes and forty-two seconds later he comes out. Today he seems to be in a hurry. It is clear that he has something urgent to do in the office. I follow him with my eyes. He has short, light brown hair. Green eyes. And a small scar on the right side of the forehead. Perhaps caused by hard football training in his teens. I know he was a sportsman; I found the information online. He is tall, athletic and has a romantic and sweet air, even if his expression is always serious. It’s as if he has to analyze everything and everyone to be able to face his life. He walks briskly towards the skyscraper and in seconds disappears through the sliding door. I move away from the curtain and I try to think. I find it absurd to be locked in a room watching a man. Sometimes I thought I’d go to the café to look at him closely, meet his eyes, talk to him, but I know it’s a crazy idea. And again, I collapse on the bed. I get rid of all background noises and focus on my breathing. My body relaxes, slows down, and detaches itself from reality.

Today is the seventh day. Seven. Any number, but with an important meaning. It seems that God created the world and man in seven days. As Almighty as he is considered, it took him seven days to do all of this. No rush, you know. And so, I took all this time for this man. To observe him. To understand him. Imagine him in his everyday life. I find it almost exciting. It’s five minutes past seven. It is still early and I have time to get ready. I get rid of the white t-shirt and put on jeans and a sweatshirt. All black. I drink instant coffee and try hard not to add sugar. It’s bad and making it sweet would be useless, but that thought flies away as soon as I lurk by the window. I glance at my watch. It’s twenty past seven. The next ten minutes are endless. I’m afraid I won’t see him. I’m starting to think that maybe he won’t show up today. I waited so long for that moment and now I’m afraid it was all a waste of time. I panic and curse myself for the way I act, but when I see him walking along the sidewalk, I am calm again.

He walks with his briefcase in his right hand and the newspaper under his left arm. Today he wears a black suit and a blue patterned tie. On top, the usual black raincoat. His short hair is perfectly in place. He looks happy. Maybe he got some good news. He is truly charming. I wish I could approach him without any fear pretending to stumble to get his attention. I guess he’d ask me if I’m okay and we’d start talking. Then he would invite me to dinner in a very luxurious restaurant, I know he would do it because he is a gentleman and I know I am attractive, and he would offer me a dinner accompanied by bottles of very expensive champagne, ending the evening at his house. I’m pretty sure he’s very good in bed, he looks like a great seducer. As soon as I cross the threshold, he would offer me a drink from the well-stocked bar counter located in his huge living room, then he would play slow and sensual music. He would overwhelm me with a hug and take me to the bedroom and there I know he would drive me crazy, several times, possessing me as if I had been his all my life. The temptation is strong, but it stops as soon as I realize that the man who has been crowding my thoughts for days approaches and enters the café.

I can do it; the right time has come. I’m sure. It is half past seven on the dot and eight minutes later he comes out holding a cup of coffee. For a few seconds my heart races but I try to control it. I focus on my breaths, which are getting longer and slower. I squint my eyes without letting him out of my sight as he heads to the skyscraper. He walks down the sidewalk in a crowd of people, just like he does every day. There are about sixty steps before he disappears beyond the office. I clear my mind. I block out all background noises. It’s just me and him. I start breathing slowly, very slowly, so quietly it can’t be heard and I stand still by the window, holding my breath. I get in position and mentally count to three as my finger reaches for the trigger. And I shoot.

One shot and the man falls to the ground. Dead. My eyes smile for my mouth and my breathing goes back to normal. I quickly dismantle the rifle and leave the hotel room, running to the back.
My name is Àlima Dante and I am a professional killer.

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