Word Bohemia September Writing Challenge: Day 3

Based on the below picture prompt, with thanks to WordBohemia.co.uk.

(via David Vale)

(via David Vale)

My first day in Naples. So tired I couldn’t unpack. Instead I stuck my head out the apartment window. The smells of food, heat, drains. And then I saw him. Dark and tall, sitting at the window across the street from mine. He’d been writing, in a small notebook. He shot me a smile and then returned to his work.

Days passed. I found the way to my school. Laughed with the children, tried to let some English sink into their brains. I came home after drinks with colleagues, trying shots of Strega. Drinking cups of coffee at the cafe, Casa Giovanni. Eating big meals. I didn’t see him again for almost a week.

That day, I surprised him. It was a wonderful Italian autumn night. Still warm, a big harvest moon in the sky. Even with competition from the electric lights of the city, the stars put on a magnificent show from all those miles away. He was gazing up at the night. I glanced out the window and found my eyes drawn up to the same moon. Then I spotted him. He jumped, slightly, as he realised I was watching him. I waved, embarrassed, and drew my curtains.

The next night I found myself at the window again. And he was there too. This time, we smiled with familiar recognition. He got his notebook and wrote, in big looping continental handwriting, “Caffe?” I nodded, “Si,” I mouthed. He grinned. “Casa Giovanni”, he wrote. I grabbed my jacket and walked away from the window, glancing back to see him do the same.

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