After more than two decades of going it alone, something brought them together. Celibacy by choice for Selma and by chance and error for Manny was the gamble that placed them in close proximity. It was an experiment to see if at least one small spark might ignite a flame of passion out of the smoldering embers of egocentric avoidance and rambling. Fusion or fission, just any eruption or explosion would end the long drought of measurable emotion.
Selma, that was the sound that overshadowed the others Manny was hearing. The soft, attention-getting sibilant start with the almost kiss-like Latinate ending; saying it aloud brought a new, precious and meaningful sound to his ears. It was like saying and hearing his voice utter an exciting and attractive word with a foreign tongue.
Having zoomed past the point of no return on both their flight to Amsterdam and their blossoming relationship, Manny and Selmawere trying to plan ahead.
“Are you going to be staying with family or friends when we get there?”
“No. No family or friends. I was just planning on checking in with the VVV at the airport. They are some sort of Dutch tourist and travel specialists. How about you?”
“I’ve got an address for the law offices that sent the letter and I was thinking about trying to find a room or pension within walking distance. One that I could afford, of course.”
“Yes, I understand. I’m on a pretty austere budget, too.”
“I hope I’m not being too pushy, but would you by any chance consider maybe sharing or splitting space and costs?”
“What exactly are you suggesting, Manny?”
“I was just thinking that since we are both going to be in the Netherlands for different reasons, whatever accommodations we might be able to find will be in use at different times. So, we might be able to find a pension with two rooms and a restroom down the hall. With the costs of being a transient in one of the busiest cities on the planet, it would save both of our budgets.”
“Well, Manny, I guess a prudent answer to your suggestion, in light of what we don’t yet know, would be; I’ll get back to you on that.”