Listen, Mr

She heads towards the passageway and as she’s walking past him, he puts out a hand to touch her arm. She gasps and turns furiously towards him.

‘What on earth….?’

He retracts his hand, lifting both in a sign of surrender.

‘Signora… I just wanted to say that … if one day … you would like to …,’ he pulls a saccharine smile, ‘have a coffee together … I’d be pleased to oblige.’

Beata’s face is red with anger and embarassment. ‘How dare you?’ she hisses quietly. ‘Listen, Mr whatever-your-name-is…’

His eyes widen in hopeful anticipation.

‘You and I share nothing. This house…. is pure coincidence. Do not speak to me. Do not look at me. Don’t waste your time or mine. I do not want your coffee. And I don’t want to make your acquaintance. I’m a married woman.’

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