YOU WOULD NEVER IMAGINE
Yeah, it was November now, he said himself, glancing at the window, At nine in the morning that thick, smoky fog that did not let the sun’s rays pass through. It was Monday again, a Monday like so many others. Bill called Monika, her secretary, and said her that she had to take care of the mail. He, Bill, had an appointment with a Swiss client, who(m) he would meet in the private room. Ah, he recommended, he shouldn’t have been disturbed for any reason for the next three hours, he said to Monika, gazing under his frowning eyebrows. “ Okay, I understand” the young woman said, leaving the room. Bill looked at the watch on his wrist. Ten past nine….his Swiss client, Dr. Calimeri, would arrive at nine thirty sharp, of course. It was only to pass the time that Bill, rather listlessly,opened his E-mail.
There were the usual advertising emails, an email from his cousin Stephan, who invited him, with her wife and their children to dinner. Oh, but that email with that unknown firstname.lastname@example.org____whose was it? from where, from whom could it come?
“ I’m a friend, even if you don’t know me. Here, let’s say that I ‘AM YOUR UNKNOWN FRIEND. And precisely as a good friend, I would like to inform you of….SOMETHING that concern you, your life, your family….something that you, poor man, all busy with your work commitments, you completely ignore. Oh, Bill, you would never imagine what is happening under your nose, my dear…” When Dr.Calimeri arrived, Bill was not sure to be able to meet him. He had just finished reading the email of that one who claimed to be a friend of him, even if unknown to him, and he, Bill was left out of breath, out of strength . Even getting up from the chair cost him a huge effort. In the two hours that followed, during the negotiation with that important client he was tempted several times to ask Dr.Calimeri for a referral, as he could not cope with his client’s request for information, for clarifications, he couldn’t do it, answering the questions of the damned Swiss. So much so that that Dr. Calimeri too asked him, more than once, if he was okay
( if he felt well). The third time his client asked him: “ Do you feel okay, Mr. Spencer?” Bill couldn’t help but mutter that, yes, he was okay, but, oh , he was very worried about…about his family , he had big concerns… family concerns. “ Ah, who do you tell…the family! Uh, the headaches the family gives!” Dr.Calimeri (had) said, almost cheerfully. And, after a moment of silence his client had added, with a smile, that he was much better since he had lived alone. Ah, he wasn’t married, he hadn’t children, Bill had said. Dr. Calimeri, all seraphic, all smiling, had told him that, oh, he had been married at least ….twice, but he had not been married for a long time, and he would never marry again. “ Then you don’t even have children” Bill had said. “ Ah, instead I have two children….Oh, but it’s as if I don’t have them. I never see them” Dr. Calimeri had answered, with a great smile on his face. In the end Bill had made it to the signing of the contract, he had made it to sell the villa and the land to that wealthy Swiss. Dr Calimeri had not tried to lower the price, he had only insisted on deferring the payment. And he , exhausted, had to accept the payment requested, indeed imposed by his client. At the end of the meeting with Dr Calimeri Bill phoned home, anxious to speak with his wife Matilde. Anne, his youngest daughter, answered him, and told him that her mother had gone out shortly after he had left home, in the morning. No, Anne did not know where her mother had gone. The little girl told him that she had asked her mother to go with her, but Mom had refused. To that detail Bill felt a thumb in the stomach, he missed his breath. But Mom would go back for lunch, wouldn’t she? He managed to ask, even if his throat was tightened .” Ah, no, Mom said she would stay out until dinner” Anne answered. “ But how? Doesn’t she even come back to prepare lunch for you guys?” Bill asked, more than worried now, definitely alarmed. “ Oh, Dad, don’t worry. Mom left lunch ready for me, Alex and Julia” The little girl said, who had to have perceived the breathlessness in his voice. Yeah, don’t worry! Bill saw again, as if they were in front of him, the words of the email from the unknown friend he had received a few hours ago. Those words, it was as if they appeared enlarged, even magnified on a large screen, or even engraved on a marble tombstone, those huge words were dancing in front of him, and meanwhile they were beating, shooting in his head. “ My dear Bill, your wife, the sweet, delightful Matilda has been cheating you since time. She has a lover with whom she meets every Wednesday afternoon at the Flora hotel..” At the Flora hotel, the most elegant of the city….This certainly meant that everyone in the city knew that he was a horned husband. But, one moment….that unknown friend had written ( said) about Wednesday…..today was Monday instead, and he had just learned that Matilde had gone out home and she would stay out all day….Then maybe she didn’t meet only on Wednesday afternoon with her lover. Bill could not stay in the office, he felt himself bursting . Very agitated he went out, and , driving at very high speed, rushed to the Flora hotel, which was in the city centre. He drove at such reckless speed that he risked hitting a group of people on the pedestrian crossing, and colliding with a truck , since he was unable to stop in time at a stop. When he reached the Flora hotel, he had just gotten out of the car, that he saw a young woman come out of the hotel, wearing a flowered dress exactly like a dress of Matilda (that Matilde was also wearing). The young woman , whom Bill did not see in the face , also had her physique, even her hair that resembled those of Matilda. Above all we must take into account that while he looked at that woman, it was to his wife that he thought, it was Matilda that he had in mind. So he was not really able to stop for a moment to pay attention to what in the appearance of this young woman differed from the appearance of his wife. For Bill, as soon as he saw the young woman ( coming out of the hotel), since she looked like Matilda, she had to be Matilda, of whom the unknown guy had emailed him that she met with her lover right in that hotel. Yes, in the email the unknown one had written that his wife’s meetings with her lover took place on Wednesday afternoon. Oh. but even if today was Monday, and it wasn’t yet afternoon, he knew that his wife had gone out in the morning, shortly after him, and she would have been out all day. Without a moment of hesitation Bill rushed behind the woman , who for him was his wife. “ Matilda! “ he said aloud, almost screaming, grabbing her by an arm. The woman who turned towards him, with an annoyed face, waving her purse on his face, she was not Matilda. Bill very embarrassed to say the least, that he would have wanted to sink, apologized. The woman blamed him more with her eyes than with her words, giving him a look of contempt and, at the same time, of pity. She seemed to be in a hurry to get away from the hotel. Oh, but yes, Bill thought, might be that woman too had gone to the hotel for some clandestine meeting. And soon after, as if for a kind of self –comfort, of self-reinsurance, he thought that, but of course, it could be that the unknown , who had sent him the e-mail had been wrong, that he too, as Bill had done, had mistaken another woman for Matilda. Ah, of course, it could have been like this, Bill said himself. He went back to work in his office, and he tried not to think about that email. However every now and then he thought about it, and he could not help but think : very that day Matilda had gone out in the morning and she would be out all day. And she hadn’t even said him she was going out. When Bill came back home in the evening Matilda had not yet come in. At dinner time she phoned to say that she would come later in the night.
Bill, very alarmed, asked her what had happened. But did that seem to her the way to behave? She, Matilda said him that he didn’t have to worry, and promised him that she would explain everything when she returned, since she couldn’t at the moment.
Bill couldn’t fall asleep, he stayed awake waiting for her. The hours passed and Matilda did not come back. Inevitably during that unnerving wait he came back to thinking about the mail he had received in the morning from an unknown friend, as the anonymous sender called himself. It happened to Bill thinking back to that morning, to come back to his meeting with Dr. Calimeri, to whom he had sold the Villa of the Rosen garden, which Matilda liked so much. How many times she had said that she would like to live there. What Bill did not even remotely suspect during that very long night, with the time never passing , and Matilda never returning, was that his wife’s lover was Dr. Calimeri, to whom he had sold the Villa. Matilda would go to live with him in the villa of the rose garden.