Benjamin walked hesitantly past a door ajar. He saw a dimmed light coming from the back of the living room.
She was probably sitting near the window, staring into the opaque night, wondering where he was and who he could be with. Lost in her thoughts, she turned around swiftly, sensing a presence nearby. There he was, like an afflicted animal, a victim of his own troubles, his shoulders hunched over and his head directed towards the floor. While sighing, he glanced at her face. Was she smiling? Was she mad? To his surprise, the expression drawn on her mouth and eyes did not reveal any emotion. She felt surreal, like an apparition. This vision frightened him and he shivered.
He decided to act, and as he entered the room, he nonchalantly placed his borsalino on the coat hook, his briefcase on the ground near the door frame. He unbuttoned his jacket and sat on the chair, the one near the piano.
Natalie performed too, the role of the busy housewife. The one cleaning, folding, and preparing her husband’s favourite meals. She picked up his jacket from the back of the chair, folded it in two and replaced it exactly where it had been left. She turned around, still thoughtful, and walked toward the piano which she sat in front of gracefully.
Although the atmosphere was tense, neither Benjamin nor Natalie had wanted to break the ice by leaving the room or emitting a sound. Silence was the name of the game, which both were winning so far. He was now going through the headlines of the newspaper, the sentences, the words and the letters, without being able to understand what he was reading. His thoughts were creating a swirl in his head, going back and forth between Natalie and Giovana. The one present before him was almost invisible, while the one who was so far away remained so close to his heart. His mind was playing tricks on him, questioning his morals and doubting the life he had built for himself all along. Was he allowed to have fallen for someone else? How could he had allowed his heart to beat so fast for someone else? He had made a promise to be faithful to his wife for eternity. At that time, he had believed in his promise, yet there he was, guilty of his reasoning, his feelings, and his regrets.