Lola didn’t open her eyes as she felt the sheets move, her lover rolling from the bed. She steadied her breathing, listening as he used the bathroom and dressed quickly in the early morning light. The apartment door squeaked, hinges worn with age, the tell-tale sign that once more a man was leaving her life.
“And thank god for that,” Lola said out loud, stretching decadently in the sheets that tangled around her still-naked body. Lola adhered to a strict “love ’em and leave ’em” policy that suited her lifestyle down to the bone. The few times she’d danced too closely to the flames of love, Lola had pirouetted away, with only a few singe marks on her heart.
It was better that way.
With so many men to sample, and so many places to visit, Lola approached life like the smorgasbord it was – with gusto and great enthusiasm. So what if she rarely stayed in one country or kept a relationship for longer than a few months? If anything, it provided her with diverse life experiences and enough knowledge of men to know how to get while the getting was good.
She’d been restless of late.
Not that being restless was anything new to her – it typically signaled that it was time for her to move on.
Lola leaned across the bed and unlatched the arched window, its wood dented and splintered with age and use, and swung it open. Propping herself on the pillows, she casually rolled a cigarette – a habit she only indulged in when visiting France or Italy. Lighting it, she watched as a thin curl of smoke danced in a slim ray of sunlight. Below, a child called out in rapid Italian, his mother responding harshly, and slowly the small fishing village hugging the coast of the Mediterranean sprang to life.
There were worse ways to wake up, Lola mused. And yet, the scene had lost its charm for her. For a brief moment, Lola allowed herself to wallow in melancholy as she listened to friends and family greet each other on the narrow cobblestone street beneath the apartment.
The life she’d cultivated was a rich and fascinating one, Lola thought, as smoke curled into the air around her.
So why did she feel so empty?
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