This short story came to be after going through my journal entries from a trip to Rome in early 2015. Don’t get me wrong — Rome is a stunning city. Maybe the bad experiences at the hostel and train station and being yelled at by shopkeepers for standing near the entrance of their shops was just bad luck. Maybe the kindness of the two old ladies who gave us directions to the right bus stop in very slow, clear Italian is actually the norm.
But the feeling of being unwelcome remained, and it inspired the short story below.
Breakfast in bed – A short story
She hated Rome.
Even as she got lost in the Forum imagining the lives of the people who walked there while those buildings were still standing, she couldn’t help but feel unwelcome, uncomfortable. She walked ancient ruins alone
“I just want to go back to Amsterdam,” she sighed, eating the last of her breakfast. She also hated wasting her mornings and having breakfast in the room, but after a long night he was keen to spend time with her before going back to work.
“We’ll go back soon, I promise,” he replied, smiling as if he knew what she was trying to say. He looked beautiful that morning, she thought. Dark hair disheveled by parties and pillows; dark eyes shining with the excitement of a new day; warm skin inviting her to run her fingers over it. “Any plans for the day?”
She shook her head, smiling tightly.
“Not sure, yet. I might go to the Vatican Museum today.”
“Well, let me know, okay?” He stood up quickly and kissed her forehead. “Gotta get ready for work. Long day today.”
As he headed to the bathroom, she grabbed her phone from the table and started typing a message. “Hi! I’ll take you up on your invitation to hang out today. How about the Vatican Museum and then coffee?”
As she sent the message, she heard the quiet sound of the shower competing with his singing voice.
It didn’t take her too long to get a reply. “Hey! Great, how about we meet at the café outside your hotel in an hour?”
“Perfect, see you there.” Beaming, she put the phone back on the table. She couldn’t remember the last time she was so excited about meeting someone. But this man was different. He had kind eyes, a good laugh, and he was new and full of possibilities.
It was just one morning. Nothing would happen between them in one morning unless the morning proved too short and they felt the need to expand their little adventure to the afternoon. But what if an afternoon with him wasn’t enough?
She might grow to love Rome, after all.
Liked what you read? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Image: Accurata e succinta descrizione topografica delle antichita di Roma, Ridolfino Venuti (1705-1763)