Dating in 2017

From a female 23 year old’s perspective.

Let me start by saying 23 is an awkward dating age for the very simple reason that you’re too young to be looking for something ultra serious but a bit too old and tired of fooling around for prolonged periods of time. Bit too free but at the same time bit too busy on trying to put your life together, thus, not always having the time to devote to a prospective partner.

On top of the personal reasons of why you yourself are confused in regards to what you’re looking for in a man/woman, it’s also super blurry as to what to expect from others and how to distinguish what the fuck it is that they want.

I personally came out of a two-year relationship around March so I’ve been exploring the “field” ever since and I’ve come to receive a general feeling of detachment and distrust which leads into uncertainty and sometimes distress when it comes to meeting someone new.

Step 1: The meeting method

Let me go ahead and  dare to give an estimate that 2/3 of your potential dates are going to come out of the web; specifically, let’s say tinder-bumble and such or Instagram. The old fashioned “met at the bar” has almost ceased to exist. That by itself means that the element of surprise is absent; sure, you might go to a bar with the sole purpose of meeting someone to bang or potentially date, but there are so many other factors in that scenario to be taken into consideration; in a bar you can’t just assume that everyone around you is looking for something. When you decide to go on tinder it almost always means that everyone you’re matching with IS looking for something, and it’s almost always sex, which is normal, everyone wants sex, but it’s sometimes overwhelming playing the guessing game of “could he/she be interested in something beyond that”?

Again, 2/3 of the online dating world are just looking for sex, so when you go like “oh I actually don’t wanna come over to your house for wine because I don’t know you” or “I do not wanna smash on the first date” you receive an aura of disappointment and you feel like you’ve wasted valuable time. I don’t know what it is but I feel like the circumstances of the era are pushing us towards shallowness and unwillingness to be open to anything that might lead to future complications and bonds.

Step 2: It was going well, you smashed, now what?

Oh well! The first, or first few dates were super enjoyable, the conversation was flowing, the topics were on another level, the atmosphere was sparkly, all of which led you to yours or his/her house where you had some extra drinks and you ended up doing the dead. Now you’re just waiting to observe the after-sex atmosphere because we all know it gives away everything about the other persons’ intentions.

In my experience so far, it varies from him getting dressed and being exhaustively silent, which translates to “I’d like you to go”, to getting some awkward food, which is followed by some awkward conversation. When you go home it could go two ways; he’ll either call  you after a few days to go on another date, or you’ll never hear from him again.

Step 3: He calls again.

SO you got that phone call or text? Congratulations, you’re probably about to get into 2017 dating. It starts by having a couple more of successful dates which always leads to sex and after a week you’ll start wondering where is this going. That’s when you’re gonna have the lovely DTR (define the relationship) talk. He/she is going to say that they’re very busy at that particular point in their life and they’re not looking for something serious but they like you and they enjoy spending time and having sex with you.

“Let’s be friends and just try to have fun”!

So this is the time for you to decide if you’re in the same phase. If you’re not walk away NOW and try your chances with someone else.

Step 4: You agree to “just friends”.

Yayy! You possibly just added in your life something that eventually might become inconvenient and messy. The thing is he/she said they aren’t ready for a relationship but when you spend time with a person attachment comes naturally; FACTS. As you go through more and more dates it’s gonna be fun and that person is going to start expecting and asking for you to do stuff together that are inappropriate in terms of a friendship and would be characterised as “couply”. Like getting food together all the time, sleeping over after sex, sex by itself, cuddling, watching movies in bed and such.

Naturally, you’re gonna start expecting to do stuff together too, accompanied with feeling threatened from other girls/guys and sometimes being jealous. You will struggle not to show it but it will slip out occasionally. That’s when you’ll receive the “you can’t claim me” response, but at the same time he/she is going to be negative and angry when you flirt with others. That is going to make you push away other guys/girls even though you’re actually single. Basically you’re always gonna be making yourself available in case your “friend” decides to ask to spend time together.

The unspoken expectation will be “I need you to be loyal but I’ll do what I want”, and when you get mad because he/she doesn’t follow the same unspoken rules the answer will be “we’re not together, you can’t control me”. You’ll probably catch feelings because the attachment will be growing and he’s gonna be giving you just enough to keep you there.

So, after 2-3 months into this “friendship” he/she is methodically gonna push you away and become distant because you caught feelings. When you question it the answer is going to be…

“You knew what this was…I told you, I’m not ready for a relationship”.

If he/she asked you to stay after you first smashed, if he/she just let it flow and didn’t ask questions, didn’t put insecurities and stupid expectations of this era ahead of the awesome vibe between you, if he/she didn’t lead you on, then he/she is a keeper. Congratulations you found a window out of the shitty modern dating scene. Enjoy!

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Summer’s Last Tango

 tango-lesson

Sometimes life makes you believe in fairytales

Ariadne always loved her name, she always thought it gave her a mythical twist. She was a difficult girl, one could say she couldn’t find love in the face of anybody she ever met. Nothing besides excitement, but she was always drawn by romantic gestures and they were carved in her heart the same way teenager couples carve their initials on old trees. The person usually is not as important as the gesture itself and its certain sweetness and warmth. Maybe she expected too much, maybe she had seen too many movies. No, she didn’t wait for her prince charming but most certainly her standards were pretty high.

Her mother’s hometown was a small town in northern Greece. She didn’t like it much. See, Ariadne was raised in Athens, the magical capital of Greece, the city with the historical alleys and bright, beautiful, majestic lights. She didn’t like going at that town, it was too small, boring, full of people so narrow minded, she only visited for the sake of her family. It was mid-August when Ariadne decided to take the train and go back to her beloved Athens. The closest train station was two hours away, at Meteora so her uncle decided to drive her there. Meteora is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece and they are located on the top of some very high rocks who seem as if they are “suspended in the air” or “in the middle of the sky.” She was very happy that she was going back home, she could already see the city lights in her head and she was looking forward to her sophomore year in college. She felt so fulfilled, that summer had been very generous to her, she felt grown up but young at the same time. Ready to take on the world, in for the big shot.

Needless to say, Ariadne was extremely confident. She was only wearing her worn out jean shorts, a white sleeveless shirt and her hair was on a braid up to her shoulders, but when she walked into that train looking for her seat she could steal a look, or the attention of any man she wanted in there. It was something about how she looked at them. She was more than a distinct face that you don’t see everyday, more than beautiful eyes, nice hair and body. Something about her made people want to be around. She sat next to the window, it was a 6 hour trip and she wanted to look at the window. She always thought Greece was incredibly beautiful, she almost felt bad that she would leave after graduating but it was her dream. She was convinced that she was made for bigger things. There was something else about Ariadne, everything she did, even the simplest thing, like sitting and reading a book, projected “classy.” Just by looking at her people knew she was the kind of person you could have an actual conversation with about something meaningful.

Indeed, there she was, right by the window, reading her book in the train until this handsome man approached. He placed his bags right above the seat and took his place next to Ariadne. He was a man of average height, his skin must have been originally white but it was August and he was in Greece, so he was very tanned. Ariadne took one look at him and she could distinguish his french characteristics. Yes she was sure that he was French. Time was going by and Ariadne was not only bored but she was also trying to find an appropriate way of approaching the french tourist. Maybe because her options were limited and all she could do was sit in a train for the next 6 hours, but he had distracted her. She couldn’t even read her book anymore, she was just looking outside the tremendous window to the fields, all dried up from the warm summer sun. She couldn’t find any interesting topics about talking to him so she decided to go with spontaneity. Ariadne turned her head to him and directly asked him if he was french. He smiled and agreed. His name was Serge, he was 29 years old and he was from Paris. He was travelling the world, sightseeing all the beauties of it. In his judgement Meteora was one of them. He had gone around Greece and now he was going back in Athens for a tango festival and back in Paris the day after. What is more interesting than a handsome, well educated man who loves traveling and dancing?

The two people started having conversations and Ariadne found herself incredibly enchanted by him. Of course, she didn’t show it, she always managed to maintain her rather distant and mysterious veil that made people want to explore her. Thanks to him those 6 hours were over as fast as a cigarette. They talked about everything, their life, their goals and dreams, their passion for elegance and fashion, he told her she was ready for Paris.They discussed about their philosophies, but most of all they discussed about his great passion, Tango. “Tango is like fire” he said, “If you get very much into it you will get burned.” His passion was inspiring and contagious. Ariadne knew that this was a cliche but she couldn’t stop picturing Serge dancing tango in a hot summer night under the Eiffel Tower. The scent of the french cuisine coming from the small bistro nearby, the lights of Paris, and Louis’ Armstrong  “La vie en Rose” smoothly playing in the background. Ariadne’s romantic side has been awakened. The warmness that this handsome stranger was projecting couldn’t leave her unaffected , she couldn’t ignore the fairytale unfolding right before her eyes. It was getting late.

Ariadne was getting hungry and there was not much that you could find in a Greek train. She suddenly remembered the two sandwiches her chef uncle had prepared for her, the mouthwatering sandwiches with chicken and pesto sauce. Serge hadn’t eaten anything this whole time as well so Ariadne kindly offered him one of the two sandwiches and as she had predicted he accepted. He was a gentleman though, he wouldn’t let her kind gesture unrewarded. He offered her a tango lesson as soon as they arrived in Athens and spent the rest of the trip preparing her by showing her tango music. This sexy but at the same time extremely romantic music that indeed makes you wanna dance all night under the moonlight. It was the best possibly way for Ariadne to spend those 6 hours. They had finally arrived in historical Athens. Serge acted like the gentleman he was and helped Ariadne carry her luggage around the underground subway of the city. She accompanied him to his hotel where he requested for her to change into shoes with some sort of heels because that’s the way to dance tango. She patiently waited for him at the lobby while he was changing into sweatpants in his room. While she waited for him the times that she fought to herself what was she doing in a hotel with a French stranger were not few. It was the last day of the summer though and Ariadne could not reject this miraculous event, she wanted to live her magical fairytale.

Neither of them had slept through the night, they were both exhausted by this 6 hour trip, they were carrying around heavy bags in the crowded subway of Athens, but they were still psyched about tango dancing for the rest of the night. They explored the tiny streets of Monastiraki. The smell of evening primrose was hovering in the air but also the smell of different local dishes when they were walking next to traditional restaurants. And then they found the street. It was small and surrounded by Ivy in both the right and the left wall. A bit further there was a small balcony with metal enclosure, a bit rusted from the years that had passed by them. On the balcony you could distinguish the figure of a striking chair. Ariadne could easily picture the image of a young mother putting her baby to sleep on that rocking chair and singing lullabies to it.

Serge set up his small iPod with some portable speakers, loud enough for them to dance; but not too loud. His arms were strong, “Tango is all about leadership,” he told her. And he was, he really was the leader and she followed. He covered her eyes with a blindfold and told her that all she had to do was to trust him, to let him move her body, to let him be in control; so she let him. She let him move her around and throw her back and lift her legs up while still keeping them tight to his body. His arms were strong and no matter how many times he lifted her up she wasn’t scared, she was having fun, she was laughing, she was admiring his passion. They were dancing for two hours until they run out of breath. They were sweaty and tired but they were so attractive like that, two travellers, a dancer with his student, two young people with chemistry amongst them, two people attracted to each other.

When the music was over the magic was completed. Serge let Ariadne slide back and told her to stretch her legs on the front so that she would fall further down and he would be the only one holding her weight. When she did that she opened her eyes and looked at the handsome muscles around his face, which didn’t seem to be struggling, and his smile. “Who is holding who?” he said and then she told him that he is holding her and that she trusted him. That was when he leaned in and kissed her plump, reddish lips. He pulled her back up and gave her another kiss. One on the lips, then one on her cheek, then one on her neck. Soft though, like cotton’s touch, and she just stood there letting him kiss her once alabaster, now tanned skin, giving him control. It was when sharply he pulled her close to his body that she grabbed the back of his hair and kissed him hard, giving him back some of the passion that he had transmitted her through the tango. When they stopped to look at each other Ariadne decided to take his hand and started dragging him around the city.

He was laughing now, he was stopping sometimes when he wanted to kiss her badly. “What is this place?” He asked her. She helped him find solid rocks to step on in order to climb and before he knew it they were up on a hill, under the starry sky, the moon was shinning on her face and her hair and then he pulled her close and danced some more with her, without the music this time. The music was the wind caressing the leafs of the trees, the crickets and their breaths synchronising, that was all they needed. It was there, under the starry sky and the bright moon, under a sycamore tree, that he softly removed her clothes and she removed his and none of them cared that they didn’t know each other because the chemistry they had was beyond all of this pointless little details. Besides, who is the one setting the societal rules? Who is the one telling us that knowing a person for a bunch of weeks makes it okay to give yourself to him whereas a person who you just met but seems to understand your passions and share your spirit is off limits?

“You are beautiful” he told her. It was unconditional, nobody had expectations, all they wanted was to make the best out of every moment they had together. When the shinny moon started to fade away and the sky became red and pink and orange all together they got dressed and left. They stopped at a 24/7 creperie and had chocolate crepes, without caring about how terrible they both looked and then he walked her and waited with her until she found a taxi. Ariadne’s eyes were glowing, she knew what it was and she didn’t want it to be anything more or anything less. For her it was pure magic and when he told her that she is never going to leave his mind and that from now on Greece is associated with her in his mind she gave him one last kiss and whispered in his ear, “don’t get burned in the fire, you have many more starry skies to sleep bellow.”

That was the last time Ariadne saw Serge, she didn’t want to ruin the magic so they agreed not to exchange any contact information. They would always keep that image intact no matter what. I am not saying that it was love on the first time or that they were crazy about each other, but the truth is that they were each other’s summer miracle and they both knew that a movie like experience like theirs doesn’t occur multiple times in a lifetime. After that day every time Ariadne would hear about France or tango Serge’s smile and sparkly eyes would come in her imagination and she would always consider him as her personal fairytale.

The Illusionists’ Safe

A picture is worth 1000 words. This safe has been through a lot. Tell its story.

Image credit: “safe” – © 2007 Paul Keller – made available under Attribution 2.0 Generic

19nth Century.

The night was still young, the two friends were obsessively seeking for new tricks, they were performing in a small pub just a few hours before midnight. They were so not looking forward to seeing all of those drunk faces. Same old faces always, the ones who wanted to forget their concerns and the ones who wanted to create some. They were drinking cheap wine and expecting to be entertained. Their idea of entertainment was the illusion of causing pain to somebody else. But wasn’t them all along seeking for hope of the impossible into non existent realities by trying to create them from scratch? Looking as if they were creating the impossible made the two friends feel they really did. They hated performing for those drunks, in the trashy pubs of London, hidden in dirty, dark alleys, where only middle aged men with missing tooth and disease spreading prostitutes knew the way to. No, they had bigger plans. Theatre, big stages with audience who would wear their haute couture, at that time, clothes and watch their show with their breaths taken away. They wanted the elite but they were well aware of the starting point. They had no family to sustain, but they had to survive themselves. It was hard not to starve at those dark and greasy times of London.

Carter was a tall man around 24 years of age. He was born in a village in Scotland, his mother passed while giving birth to him. His father was a drunken, he gave him away to a millers’ family in order to raise him and when he was old enough put him to work. He was 8 years old when he decided to run away. Ralph was 21 but their main difference was that he was “highborn.” His family was one of the richest of London, invested money in many constructions of the town back in the days. They were on their way back from a construction in Cornwall when they were attacked from thieves. They murdered his parents and stole their carriage. Ralph was 6 years old, the construction they had signed to invest in was completed but they were never able to pay the money, consequently their fortune was seized and little Ralph was sent in an orphanage, that’s where he met Carter, after he had searched for a shelter in some farmers house, they sold him in a traveling group of magicians who wanted him as a part of their show, they taught him about illusions until they couldn’t feed him anymore and one day left him outside of the big wooden door of the London orphanage a year after. The two kids were connected and little Ralph has been given the spark of magic, a gift from his brotherly friend. Once they had come of age they were released from the orphanage, responsible for their own future paths, which they decided to unite into a common road.

It was a rainy night, the dirty men in the pub brought along mud. The different scents of mud, wine and humans who didn’t wash themselves very often were combined and while emerging in the hectic little pub it made it very difficult to work. The screams of the men, the women, usually ugly or mediocre looking, walking around the room with their dress’s torso lowered leaving their breasts exposed and no panties, providing easy, immediate access to any drunk man who could afford the cheap price of a disgusting prostitute. Those scenes always brought back memories for Ralph, memories of drinking tea from porcelain teacups when he was still 5 years old, vain memories. Sometimes he used to look at this scum people and pity them, not for their financial misfortune, because himself wasn’t in a good position, but for their animalistic lifestyle. He did the same that night, he looked at every single one of them and everyone provoked the feeling of vomit except of one. She came in front of the tiny makeshift stage and looked at them with excitement while everyone else was yelling like cannibals and acting like they were in a ancient Roman fiest, only with diseases served instead of grapes. She had a bit of dirt on her clothes but her face was clean. Her breast was covered, she had red hair in curls falling over her shoulders and big but a bit hazel brown eyes with big eyelashes. What was she doing in a place like this? He couldn’t talk to her, he was performing. Soon enough a skinny guy around 30 years of age, young compared to others in the pub, grabbed her arm and sticked some money in the torso of her dress, then he pushed her on a wooden table, pulled up her dress and roughly penetrated inside of her. She didn’t make a sound, she turned her head away from him and looked at the rotten ceiling and Ralph could do absolutely nothing to stop it.

He went back to that pub, did multiple performances but she wasn’t there and he had never talked to anybody about her, not even to Carter, his brother, friend and according to him, his guardian angel. It’s been weeks that internally he wished he would come across her but he didn’t, until that night. Their savings were enough to buy themselves a better equipment and the mayor had agreed to let them perform for an upcoming celebration in the main square. Ralph was coming home late in the afternoon, he had gone to make amends with some constructors of their stage. He never expected he would come home to find Carter with a woman. He always knew that he would pay for girls from time to time, only the good-looking and clean ones, sometimes he saved food money in order to do that, but he had never seen him with one. The woman was completely naked and Carters’ body was hiding her face. When Carter quickly got up to cover himself, Ralph was surprised to see the face of the redhead he was looking for all of those weeks. Her hair was messy this time but her eyes still hazel. He was shocked as he didn’t expect to see her again while a man was paying for her services. She got up, looked at him in the eyes, got dressed and left. She did everything slowly, like she wasn’t ashamed, like a lady, but the look in her eyes was confusing, it showed a bit of shame and a bit of helplessness as well. It was the look that made him follow her out the door, Carter hopelessly tried to stop him by saying it was just a whore but Ralph didn’t listen. He went out, asked her to stop, he said his name was Ralph and asked hers. Her name was Roxanne she was 19 years old and she was from Ireland, she had travelled in Britain on her own, left her family behind and sent them money every month. He asked if she liked this job and he proposed a better one, working with them on their performances. She gladly agreed but they had both forgotten to include Carter in this arrangement.

The world had started to value the extraordinary talents of Carter and Ralph, surely the company of a beautiful smiling assistant was helpful. The income was raising, small theatre owners wanted to purchase performances and the three partners were studying new tricks and illusions. The audience wanted to flirt with danger, to feel as if someone’s life was threatened and in the end achieve the feeling of redemption, that everything was an illusion and nobody was really in danger. Amongst rusty sets, backdrops and other useless broken stuff, there was a metallic safe, about 1.70 tall, in the basement of the small theatre. It was Roxanne’s idea, she had seen it when she was younger while she sneaked in an old theatre back in Ireland. They could make her vanish, she would enter the safe, they would seal it and when they would open it again for the world to see Roxanne would have vanished, only to come back the second time they opened the safe. Carter hated Roxanne, he hated that it was her idea, that she would be the centre of attention in this illusion, but most of all he hated the obvious emotional and sexual tension between her and Ralph. The two of them were having fun modifying the old safe together while Carter was researching ways for the illusion to be conducted and presented. His head was boiling in hatred and jealousy but he had to admit Roxanne was very profitable so he wouldn’t dare fire her, he could only advice Ralph multiple times not to get involved with her.

It was their opening night in the small theatre. Roxanne was wearing a black corsage leaving her well shaped legs uncovered. Her red curls over her shoulders, so long that they were reaching up to her hips. Her lipstick was red too and when she looked into Ralph’s eyes they both knew it was inevitable. He complimented her, took her hand and kneeled while tenderly kissing it. The performance was majestic, even though the theatre was quite small it was surprisingly full of people. Cleaner people this time and better dressed. When Roxanne came out of the old safe the audience was speechless, she was stunning and everyone started cheering out of excitement. It didn’t take long after the performance that a big theatre’s owner came along with his proposal to grant them his space in exchange of 40% of their profits. It was the best deal they could ever find so they signed the contract, which of course included all three of them. 

Ralph insisted to walk Roxanne to her house, the night was too dark and dangerous for a beautiful girl like her. Even though she was used to drunken men, those days of her life were over. Her place was small, but enough for a girl like her, she didn’t spend so much time in her house. They were standing there, right outside her door, Ralph was telling her about how beautiful and amazing she was but when she looked at him with those hazel eyes he couldn’t help himself but touching her lips with his. It was tender the first time but as he looked at her again the next kiss became more passionate and he felt every inch of his body pulling him towards her. She quickly opened her door and Ralph pushed her against the wall without stop kissing her for a second, only when she was kissing his neck. She led him to the bed where he pushed her on while removing each other’s clothes. He touched and kissed every inch of her body before starting making love to her. It was hot and sweaty even though it was cold outside. It was nothing like Roxanne has ever experienced before. He didn’t care about not being her first and she actually felt like he was. It was perfect for both of them. They made love again and again until the morning light, until it was bodily impossible to make love again.

The more times Roxanne was coming out of that old safe looking like a red fire, the more Ralph was falling in love with her over and over again and the more Carter was growing that hatred inside of his heart. He advised Ralph, he told him this is reckless, that they were both kids and that she was a dirty prostitute but in Ralph’s eyes she was nothing less than a red princess who had stolen his heart. Soon came the day of their marriage and Ralph with Roxanne moved in together in a new, bigger house while Carter was left with no smile on his face and even though plenty of women that enjoyed their performances were practically throwing themselves at him he didn’t even have the mood and the energy for them. He himself had started to become confused, why was he feeling such jealousy for his childhood friend? Was it because he was feeling abandoned once again, just like with his father or was it something more than that? Carter brought back memories of how sleeping with any of the women he had wasn’t emotionally fulfilling for him, in contrast with the feeling his friend Ralph was giving him. He became even more confused as it had never crossed his mind that his feelings for Ralph could ever take a turn like that, and how could a man desire another man? Even the thought of it caused him unconditional shame and disgrace. 

The situation was getting worse along with the time that was going by. Carter wanted her gone, he was barely even talking to her when it didn’t have to do with work and even then his words were sharp and rude. A few months after Roxanne’s belly started to grow, her and Ralph were flying in the seven heavens, their happiness was beyond everything they have ever imagined. It has been 2 years after their first meeting and everything was so different, their artistic success was perfectly accompanied from their interpersonal one. Even Carter was happier, not because of their upcoming child but because they would have to find a new assistant which meant he didn’t have to interact with Roxanne daily. The following months went by smoothly in every domain, the performances were not as successful as with Roxanne as the star of the show but they were profitable enough. The nine months went by and a beautiful little girl was brought into this world, spreading some light in dark London, named Bridget. To his surprise even Carter couldn’t resist to loving this child. She was a distraction to him and helped him suppress whatever he was feeling for Ralph. It is mother natures’ way of providing means to survival to every newborn creature of any kind, making them cute, so that they become protected.

That’s pretty much how everything was flowing until Bridget was old enough and Roxanne has gotten her shape back, so she could return in the theatre and the performances with her black corsage and her magic old safe. That brought back the hot spark between her and Ralph but also the spark of jealousy in Carter’s heart. Every time she was coming out of that safe, stunning as she was, and Ralph was looking at her as his own personal goddess, Carter wished she would just vanish as she was supposed to in some alternate reality and never come out of that safe again, because the more time was passing, the more he realised that he was looking at Ralph the same way Ralph was looking at Roxanne. It was the last show of the first week that Roxanne has returned to the theatre. She has gone home right after the performance to prepare her young Bridget for bed, leaving the two friends to celebrate. She always turned her head into Carter’s hatred, pretending she didn’t know. The two friends had consumed enormous amounts of wine, therefore they were drunk, and Carter felt as if his emotions were becoming this huge torrent of water that couldn’t be held back anymore. As Ralph was speaking about his daughter and his love for her his eyes were glowing like amber, Carter couldn’t help it, he followed his drunk instinct and he moved his face towards Ralph’s reaching for a kiss. Ralph was agitated, he quickly pushed him away, they both got up and he punched him, then he left the theatre. His mind couldn’t process such information, that his one and only best childhood friend could possibly view him in that way. How could he look him in the eyes ever again?

After that day they were strictly professional, no further interactions. Carter was slowly dying inside and shutting himself from everything while Ralph and Roxanne were perfectly happy with their little girl. It was eating him up inside, it transformed him, it consumed him, until one day he decided that he couldn’t hurt anymore no matter who else did. The illusion with the safe worked in a simple way. It was connected with the floor and the floor had a trap door to the basement. Roxanne would step in, press a lever to open the trap door and fall on a big inflated bag, then use a ladder to quickly climb up again. Carter was blind of jealousy, minutes before the illusion he removed the inflated bag, replacing it with the big water tank they used for other tricks.

Ralph was looking at his red fire smiling, inserting in her old safe, everybody had his eyes on her, everybody wanted her but he was the only one who had her. He was happy, she was happy too. The door of the safe was sealed and she pressed the lever, but when Ralph opened it Roxanne was nowhere to be seen and gunfire sound was coming from down bellow. Ralph quickly rushed at the basement and what he saw neither his eyes nor his heart would ever forget. Carter’s lifeless body was fallen on the floor while his brains and blood were painting the basement wall in morbid pattern. Roxanne was hovering in the water tank with her eyes opened and her soul long gone from her body. He screamed, he cried, he took the gun and shot at Carter’s body again and again until it was full of holes and the river of his blood reached Ralph’s shoes. He approached his body and wished him to go to hell while he was still sobbing.

Ralph took all of their life savings and his four year old Bridget and vanished from London. He would never return to this graveyard of people he loved or used to love. His daughter looked just like her, her hair were red and curly and her eyes were big and brown. She was all he had now, and he promised to protect her from any pain for the rest of his lonely and miserable life, she would be the only light.

The government took everything from the theatre, all of the machines and the sets along with the old safe which was modified and used from the police as a storage for files. Later it was sold to a junk dealer and was left to be rotten. That’s how this safe, like everything glorious in this world, went from the centre of attention to junk. It went from having all eyes on it, from everyone’s heart pounding while the red princess was expected to pop out, from being the symbol of a great love, from being glorious, to a meaningless junk which was left to be rotten and was found centuries later in a dirty alley of London.