Shirley Temple

Plaça Santa Eulalia

It took some time before the conversation with Patricia had sunk in. What exactly was her point with treating her like a cultural outcast? She may hail from the Netherlands, but the truth was that she could not afford the cultural life that Patricia led. As she was strutting along the streets of Palma de Mallorca, she saw the City Hall and knew Patricia’s home was close.

The Santa Eulalia square was downright beautiful and against this backdrop she would love to celebrate Patricia’s marriage. Or was she jumping too far ahead? Patricia may be drop-dead gorgeous, her interiors were puzzling and delicately intense - to say the least. Anyone - someone from the male persuasion, to be exact - would have to approach her with the utmost care in order not to upset her treacherous dispositions.

Patricia walked out of her town house and yelled: ‘I am here, Misses Séu.’

Begonia did not like to be called like this. Not only did Séu remind people of an imaginary family member that took the appearance of Allison the clairvoyant, even though she would have preferred this comparison, but it reminded people of her French background. And there were quite some misconceptions about the French, she had learned throughout the years. ‘What’s the matter. Did you roast yourself in the sun today?’ said Patricia, aiming to be friendly to her old friend.

‘No, Patricia,’ said Begonia. ‘I am really not in the mood for sunshine, today. You know that very well from our talk this afternoon.’

‘Oh, please, we only scratched the surface in our conversations. I never said anything that could even remotely upset you.’

Technically, this was true. But the psychologist did not like her hypocrisy and countered it tactfully: ‘You may believe that nothing glimmered through, but I am quite certain that you and your fiancé have pernicious issues.’

‘Pernicious? And I was under the impression you had a thorny lifestyle, with your patients and all.’

Ca'n Joan de S'aigo

They were still out on the street, Begonia realized. Maybe she should move in, because people were beginning to notice. Although Spaniards, or Mallorquíns as they would prefer to be called in this area, pretended not to comprehend English, they magically understood every problem of the human heart, no matter the language. ‘Should we go inside? I am kind of thirsty,’ she tried. Just at that moment, a blonde and dangerous creature entered the building, who stopped short of Patricia and Begonia. Was this her tantalizing neighbor? Begonia decided to greet her goodbye. The blonde creature wiggled her toes, which were perfectly manicured. Going up, Begonia realized that everything about this creature spoke a certain decisive elegance that both of them lacked. Finally, the woman uttered in a powerful mezzo-soprano voice, following an irritable dactylic rhythm: ‘Bon giorno, I am seeing two ladies here, please introduce yourselves.’

Begonia did understand Italian, but knew that such a language in these streets was an emblem for subversive activities. At least, she knew nothing about Sicilians that were on this island for recreation. In their eyes, Mallorca was far less attractive than their own country.

‘We are not going to introduce ourselves,’ said Patricia. ‘You are an outsider.’

‘That is not for you to decide, because you are not Mallorquíni yourself,’ the blonde lady answered coarsely.

That hair must have been dyed and chemically enriched, thought Begonia. She gestured Patricia inside. There was business that needed to be discussed and she wanted to get it out of the way as quickly as possible.

Inside, Patricia turned her keys in the lock. The lady was still peeking furtively to the both of them, Begonia saw. But what difference did it make? As a lady, she probably was not as dangerous as a mob leader.

‘What are you thinking about?’ asked Patricia, while she shut the door.

Begonia answered stoically: ‘Nothing in particular.’

‘Come on, I saw you look at that poor woman.’ Patricia paused and pulled up the curtains. During the evening, it was no longer necessary to close them, as there was no sun. ‘Were you thinking about crime? Because that is just a misconception.’

‘Please, let us talk about urgent matters.’

‘Such as?’

‘Well, I remembered that you had scheduled a date with Antonio?’

‘Yes, the merchant, could you perhaps meet with him tomorrow evening?’

Begonia knew she couldn’t say no, but wasn’t it a bit awkward that she had to go on a date? It was Patricia’s fiancé after all.

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