Judging from the porter's furtive gaze, I probably didn’t look so good. I would gladly avoid to exchange pleasantries and usually the thing was mutual, but hearing the unusual, metallic sound of the sport bag hitting the staircase banister, Marta took her eyes off her romance novel and she hissed “Intensive workout?”. For a moment I was speechless but she had no reaction.
“Oh, yes…” I grumbled as I was plodding along phlegmatically to the first floor landing. “I haven’t found the right rhythm yet, I’m a little rusty”.
The worn-out, yellowed clock above the porter’s lodge indicated it was quarter past eight pm. I hadn’t been home since half past seven in the morning. It was a long day.
“But you all are young…”.
The echo climbed the stairwell and those sharp words reached me even if she couldn’t see me anymore. I didn’t bother to replicate but I smiled as I put the key in the door. Maybe I was too young for old people who cannot stand a two hours line bocce match, but I started becoming old in comparison to young people who can stand a two hours ride on a motorbike on a dirt road.
I closed the door behind me using my foot, I dropped the sport bag in the middle of the hallway and I plunged, still dressed, into the bed. I relaxed just the time to realize I was devastated. An unpleasant concern woke me up. In the dark I heard some steps in the hallway. I extended my hand under the pillow.