It was an old apartment complex, from around the 20's or 30's from the looks of it, tucked away between similar ones, facing some ever narrowing street in the alta of Coimbra . 5 stories of floor to ceiling windows, with respective balconies, overshadowed the main door which seemed to recede into the building, as if trying to camouflage itself from the prying eyes of foreign tourists. Aroa slid the key in, and in one turn of the wrist, the door propped open, revealing a small hallway, badly illuminated by flickering yellow lights evocative of a bygone time.
AROA - Are you ready for the climb? The flat is on the last floor, and as you probably guessed, there is no elevator!
Matina just sighted, as they both started the steep climb up the tight spiral that served as a staircase, all the while pushing and pulling, as best they could, the heavy luggage that insisted on slowing them down. After what seemed like a lifetime of drag, they got to the top, a slender walkway blue with the trembling moon through the vintage glass ceiling. At the end of it, the door, which was hastily opened and, with the bags safely pushed inside, Matina was able to catch her breath and finally open her eyes to her new home.
AROA - Mi casa es tu casa! I'll show you around real quick!
And as she grabbed her by the wrist and started the tour, Matina was surprised to see her expectations suddenly destroyed. In sharp contrast to the outside, the house's interior was brand new, with a modern yet subdued style, the large open spaces painted white with accents of color in the form of seemingly levitating red bookshelves, a large yellowish puff stranded against a wall, or a large black leather couch occupying the focus of the living room they now stood in.
AROA - My god, you look really tired though! Maybe we should catch up better tomorrow, while I show you around the city! You need some sleep badly! Here, let me show you your room! It's right here, the second door on the left. I think you have everything you need there, if you need something just call!
MATINA - Oh, thank you so much! I really need a rest, but tomorrow we'll be up early and I'm anxious for you to show me all the great things about the city!
After goodnight kisses, Matina was alone again. Closing the door and turning on the light, the room seemed warm and comfy, even if sparsely furnished. Just a bed, a big closet, and a desk with an old television on it. She undressed, slipped into the sheets, and turned on the tv. Some news show was on, a middle aged woman speaking rapidly in portuguese:
"Resta saber agora o que é de facto praxe e o que não o é, e que efeitos pode ter esta prática que ao nível da integridade física e emocional dos que nela participam assim como que medidas tomar para um maior controlo da mesma. Noutras notícias, a crise continua em Portugal, com o governo a anunciar um novo aumento de impostos que será, segundo o ministro da economia, completamente inevitável..."
*sound gets progressively unintelligible*
Sleep came and took her, softly but deeply. This time, she did not dream.