Peace at last! Gabriela sat, gazing out of the open apartment window on a hot night in Rio. She could hear the distant beat from the favelas, combined with the soft samba rhythms of Baden-Powell’s guitar coming from the radio.
She wished she were on the street corner in the slums, becoming one with the other percussionists in a giant rhythm, uncaring of social status for that one glorious moment.
The lights of the city shone into the far distance. The hum of the traffic made it seem alive, not just concrete, steel and glass but a living, breathing entity.
Someone knocked on the door and a young woman with long brown hair and twinkling browner eyes entered, even before Gabriela had time to say, “Come in.”
“Olá Gabriela, tudo bom?”
“Olá Lívia, I’m OK, Rafael’s left me!”
Her friend showed little surprise. “How do you feel?”
“Tired, worn out with all the arguing and fighting.”
Lívia threw her a cigarette and they sat smoking, blowing the smoke out into the pregnant night air.
Gabriela felt a warm hand on her naked back and sensed Lívia’s breath. “I can stay with you tonight, … if it helps.”
Their lips met.
Featured in the book, To Cut a Short Story Short: 111 Little Stories
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