Her hair was dark, dark brown,
her eyes even darker.
She took the big bed, I had the small cot.
We ate our breakfast in the coffee shop,
the two of us chatting our way through eggs and bacon.
Sometimes she looked off into the distance
and when she seemed to get lost there,
I’d ask, “What you looking at?”
“Nothing, just staring,” she’d say.
I knew nothing of staring,
refused to believe there wasn’t something
beyond the coffee shop’s peach colored walls
demanding her attention.
I heard the low buzz, the clink
of coffee cups meeting saucers.
The beach was wide and white,
our umbrella green and yellow striped.
We unwrapped our box lunch, sandwiches
nestled in thin waxed paper,
Milk for me, Coke for her.
Boys talked to us when we waded into the ocean,
the water well above my head.
One pretended to be a crab,
dived under and pinched the other’s toe.
We jumped the waves.
I wished those boys would go away.
At night after dinner
she read to me from the green fairy tale book,
tales of dancing princess wearing out their shoes,
a boy left with a swan’s wing,
a pauper lad who picked all the scattered millet seed
from the king’s garden by dawn.
I saw words on the page but could not unlock the story.
I fell asleep on clean white sheets
my dream overtaking the tale’s end.
In the morning we were like princesses.
We did not make our beds.
We left the rumpled sheets
for the servants to contend with.
*Originally published on December 1, 2015, in Moonsick Magazine, http://www.moonsickmagazine.com/hotel-majestic-by-lynne-viti.html