I Turisti

Weekly Writing Challenge: (A picture is worth 1,000 words):
couple-embrace-WWC

The walk to the plaza was long and uphill. If he had the money to waste, Anton would take the trolley instead of the tiered cobblestone sidewalk. At least on burning hot and humid days – like today.

The alleyway was shabby in daylight. The tall buildings lining the strada were worn and dirty from decades of weather and graffiti.  Automobiles, motorbikes, and bicycles were forbidden here.  Technically,  Salire in Cima, Climb to the top, was not a street.  Just trolley tracks and cobblestone steps flanking them.

A pretty girl in a flowered summer dress caught his eye. She walked down the steps from the top of the plaza.  As he watched,  the trolley screeched to a stop behind him, and chatting passengers began to exit.

Suddenly, the girl was standing directly in front of  him. She wrapped her arms around him, pulling him close.  He felt her breath on his neck and her rapid heartbeat against his chest.  What the Hell? Did he know her?

“Please,” she whispered. “My ex-boyfriend just got off the trolley and I don’t want him to see me!”

Anton put his arms around her, going along with her ruse, even though he had his suspicions.  Things like this didn’t happen to him. Ever.

“Sei un ladro?” he whispered in reply. He asked her if she was a pickpocket.

“Cosa?”  She replied in Italian “What?”

“My apartment is nearby – you could hide there,” he said softly, in English, while his fingers played with her hair.

So, Italian was not her native language. She pronounced words correctly enough, but her grammar made a mess of them. Normally this would irritate him, but this was not an ordinary day. Not at all.

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