An American Executive travels to China to solve the mystery of funds drainage from the company he works for.
Once in Shanghai, he finds himself tangled into a world of mysticism, into a world of traditions going back hundreds of years, into a world of philosophical meanings meant to close cosmological paths and previously set destinies.
Action, romance, drama, humor, History, Geography and Philosophy – they all come together in an attempt to blend the dynamic western way of life onto the rich Chinese culture and uncanny traditions.
A night at the Theaters – Sweet home
John got in, adjusted his rear view mirror and started his muscle car. The engine roared again, the fuel gauge went all the way up to full level, the check lights onto the dash board turned on announcing him that the brain of the beast is systematically doing what it is supposed to be doing. When all the check lights went off, John shifted into the second gear and left the gas station in the sound of squealing tires while waving with his left hand to Andrew.
Andrew smiled then waived back and said to himself: “in a hundred yards, he is going to do 20 over the speed limit. He, he, he…Johnny boy, be careful! I can’t bail you out indefinitely!”
John’s only thought was to get back home as soon as possible. Speed limit posted on the side of the freeway was none of his concerns anymore. One by one, the exits started being familiar and a feel of comfort embraced him making his reflexes and the whole body relax from all the tension accumulated during this so unusual night.
Soon he pulled into his driveway and didn’t even bother taking the car into the garage. Got out of it and walked straight to the front door. Linda opened the door as soon as she saw the head lights lighting up the drive way. She had been anxiously waiting for John to arrive and she was so eager to find out what happened!
She tightened up the robe around her waist as the night got really crisp. The look on her face was saying everything: everything she had been through since she got home, all the attempts she made in trying to reach John, the phone call she made to 911, the conversations she had with the Operators, the time she went through waiting for an answer…all those horrific scenarios she had in mind while waiting to hear back from either Police or John himself.
When the phone call from the Police came, her heart stopped for few seconds. She couldn’t breathe anymore. Her heart was pumping blood at a level that was making her chest going up and down and the lungs grasping for air. The good news made her drop on the couch while trying to thank for the call to the dispatcher. She hung up and dropped the head into her cupped hands resting the elbows on the knees. Soon Linda started crying softly, from all her heart. This day was ending as badly as it started in spite of all the fun she had at the Theaters.
– Where you’ve been? I was worried sick about you! What happened? Please tell me that everything is all right. They told me that you ran out of gas…she was asking all these questions hugging him while trying to pull John inside the house.
Once he got in, Linda realized that John’s clothes were all ripped and his face was full of clotted blood. A shout of fear and anxiousness came out of her chest making John understand what she’d been through.
– It’s OK honey. It’s OK!
– What do you mean: “it’s OK”? Your clothes are all ripped, you are full of blood, and your face is all covered in dust and blood. What happened, John?
– Long story. Long story.
– Then you better start telling me the story for Goodness sake!
– Can I just take a shower and slip into something more comfortable?
– I’m sorry. I just wanted to find out as soon as possible what happened. I will help you out. Get into the Bathroom. I have to clean up your face first of all.
John took his coat off. The elbow area was ripped off through the shirt all the way to the skin. The pants at the knee had the same fate. In one word, his nice Office attire was a ruin. He took then the shoes off which were all scuffed from the ground fight he had with the tow truck driver. The pants came off and he was left in his boxers and socks. Threw the socks off and headed upstairs for the bathroom. His elbows and knees were all scratched from the incident.
– Get into the bathtub. I’ll make a tea for you.
John didn’t hear her. His mind was wandering from event to event, from scene to scene, from morning rush hour and Leo event to the fight with the truck driver. But most of all, the image of the hart – staring at him with those two huge red eyes – just couldn’t come off his mind!
He filled the bathtub with hot water and got in. A sharp pain felt at all the wounded areas made him realize that maybe the water was a little too hot. But overall, the warmth he was filling was so comfortable, so relaxing, so “welcome home” that he preferred to take the pain without any hesitation.
– Let’s see what the damage is, said Linda entering the bathroom with a cup of tea in her hand. She grabbed a soft hand towel and dipped it into the water, then gently started wiping John’s face. A fairly deep cut starting from the base of his nose towards the left cheek bone was all clogged with blood, while traces of blood mixed with dust made his face look like the face of a coal miner just finishing his shift.
Linda put the towel away and from the cabinet built into the wall pulled a small first aid wooden box. Grabbed a readily available sterilized kit and with a soft and caring voice made John mellow down and subdue completely:
– Now I have to clean the cut, it will hurt.
– I’ve gone through worse, said John with a large smile.
With very precise and skillful motions, Linda removed the crust of blood formed on the top of the cut, then with another kit started cleaning the wound.
John closed his eyes and while gritting his teeth from pain asked himself again: “why did all of these happen today?”
– Done, said Linda. Let me slap a band aid on top of the cut. Keep it on while you are taking your bath. If it falls, put on another one after you are ready taking your bath. I’ll go downstairs and prepare something…a quick bite. Hungry?
– Thanks honey. Yes, please make a grilled sandwich.
– OK. Let me throw same bath salts in. It will help you relax.
While Linda was heading downstairs, John deepen even more into the hot water, leaving just his head above and trying to enjoy every single bit of the pleasure the combination between the hot water and the scented bath salts were giving him.
After a good half an hour of soaking, he decided to get out. He was hungry! Got out of the bath tub, wiped the water with a nice soft cotton towel, replaced the band aid, put the bath robe on and opened up the door to head downstairs. Before getting out of the bathroom, took a look into the mirror: his left eye was swelling up.
“This is great! How am I going to show up at the Office like this? Bastard! You filthy coward! You sucker punched me, you son of the bitch!”
He slowly walked down stairs. Before heading for the kitchen, John stopped in the Living room by the place where he kept his fine drinks. Set his eyes on a nice bottle of Cognac that has been opened. Grabbed a glass, poured the fine liquid in and while performing circular motions with the glass, took deep sniffs of the select drink trying to absorb every single bit of the cognac’s wonderful aroma. Finally took a sip. It felt like a drop of heavenly made liquid. Then took one more and another one until the glass went empty. It felt so good, so relaxing, so comforting!
The smell of toast and grilled chicken that was coming from the kitchen sharpened up his senses and the nostrils were already dilated by the effort to catch every bit of the enticing aromas produced by the dinner which Linda was preparing. He put the glass down and hurried for the kitchen. As he expected, she was preparing an already marinated chicken breast he saw in the morning in the fridge. The meat was cut in thinner slices and the grill just did the rest of the job.
John grabbed a jar of pickles from the fridge and a pack of sliced cheese, pulled a chair and made a sandwich for himself with the freshly toasted bread. Took a bite and closed his eyes. “This is Heaven!”
Linda pulled a chair by the dinner table too. She was looking straight into his eyes, waiting for John to finish his sandwich and eventually start telling the story of that strange night.
– You don’t eat?
Linda silently shook her head side wise signaling that she was not hungry. John was half way done with the sandwich. Stood up, opened the fridge and grabbed a beer. Poured it into a glass, took a sip then put the glass on the table in front of him while cupping it with his both hands.
– Where do you want me to start?
– I suggest you start with the beginning, said Linda in an attempt to crack a little joke. However, the tonality of her voice betrayed a deep sense of worry, of uneasiness and why not, a typical feminine curiosity.
– Well…after we split up at the Theater, I got on the freeway. The events of the morning at the Office made me miss the exit…made me miss exit after exit, actually. I found myself way up North in an area I have never been before – or at least I couldn’t remember being there. On top of this, I was running out of gas. I got out at an exit hoping that I could find a gas station. I drove few miles assuming that I could run into one of those small country gas stations. It was a mistake. I turned around and headed back when…John stopped for a moment. The image of the majestic hart (which defied him by simply crossing the road without even rushing to get to the other side of the road) and the image of those hallucinating big, red, frightening eyes looking straight into his eyes came back and made him pause the story. He wiped out an imaginary sweat that was dripping off of his forehead and looked at Linda. His eyes were showing fear, freight, hesitation which couldn’t have gone unnoticed by Linda.
– God, John! What happened? Now you are really scarring me! Please talk to me! Her hands took John’s left hand and started rubbing it in an effort to get him focused to her request.
John looked at her, but his sight was protruding through her aiming at nowhere. His beautiful blue eyes were looking at her, however she understood that his mind was somewhere else.
Linda stood up, took a kitchen towel, deepened it into cold water and with a swift motion grabbed John from the back and covered his eyes. The effect of the cold water was immediate.
– What are you doing?
– I am trying to bring you to the real world, this is what I am doing!
– Where was I?
– You were heading back to the freeway after you realized that there is no chance of finding a gas station…
– Oh, ok…John took another brake. Linda was looking straight into his eyes.
– John, please! Let it go!
– His eyes petrified me! So bold, so impressive, so intense! I sweated bullets, swear to God!
– Whose eyes, for Goodness sake? Talk to me, John!
– I was about to hit a huge hart on my way back. I stepped on the brakes as hard as I could. He wouldn’t even move! I stopped probably five feet away from him. He was so big! And he was looking straight into my eyes. Is this a sign?
– What sign? John, you are delusional! You have to go to bed! You have to go to bed, now!
– I didn’t tell you the rest of the story…
– John, you are already scarring me. I am not sure I want to hear the rest of the story.
– Yes you do. Just listen…John’s face lighten up. It took him few minutes to narrate the tow truck story when he got punched into the face, the unexpected help he got from an old rival (Andrew) and the fight into the gas station.
Linda was covering her mouth with her palms continuously shaking her head. Initially she sympathized with him when he was punched by the aggressive trucker, then her eyes sparkled when she heard the story of John meeting Andrew. However, at the end, the bottom lip dropped in a sign of disappointment hearing the gas station story.
– So, you just figured out that you have to take revenge and punish the guy!
– Hey, he punched me into the face! I didn’t want to get into a fight!
– Regardless! You are a professional, you are a different caliber man. You just don’t go fight people left and right! Look at your face! How are you going to show up in the Office on Monday morning? What are you, a street fighter?
John realized that there is no point in arguing with her. So, he took his beer and headed for the living room. “It’s no point in fighting them, but it feels so good in breaking their arms. Ha, ha, ha”
This last comment he made for himself made him relax and eventually lay on the couch grabbing the remote control and trying to catch a Sports Channel.
– This is it? I was worried sick about you and you just take off and pretend that nothing happened while flipping for one of your Sports Channels?
– What do you want me to tell you, Linda? I got punched into the face, I reacted, and you tell me that I shouldn’t have acted like this. Now what?
– It’s not about this incident, John. It’s about the fact that this is not you! I did not expect something like this to come out of you. You are a balanced, calculated man. What you did it’s the work of a teenager looking for revenge because his buddy stole his girlfriend – to say the least! What made you change so severely in the last few hours? When I left you at the Theaters you looked like a normal man. All of a sudden, you turn into this street fighter and you come back home all bloodied and with your cloths all ripped off! What happened to John I know?
– You are over reacting…nothing happened to old John.
– Are you sure? Linda’s voice picked up an interrogative and questioning tonality, a timbre she mastered during so many years of teaching.
John looked at her and murmured with a low voice:
-His eyes were so big and red and he was looking straight into mine…
A cold sweat went down along Linda’s spine. She grabbed John’s hand and forced him to stand up.
-You are going to bed, you are going to bed right now!”
When they reached the bedroom, John took off his bathrobe and slipped under the thick quilt. Linda straightened up his pillow into a comfortable position – the way she knew John would like it.
– I need you to take a sleeping pill. I will bring it to you. She headed for the bathroom. Thirty seconds later, Linda showed up with a pill in her hand and a glass of water. John patiently bent from the waist, swallowed the pill and dropped his head back on the pillow. Linda turned off the light and graciously slipped out of the room taking the stairs towards the living room. She started flipping the channels until she found a movie she had seen before. Didn’t really have much patience at that moment to look at a new movie, didn’t really have the desire to even try to find something that would require a high intellectual activity. She was worried on what was going on with her husband. “Commercials! Let me go check on him.” She took the stairs back up to the bedroom and opened up the door carefully. John was deeply sleeping. She took her pillow, closed the door and headed for the living room couch. A thick blanket was always present on the couch, so she slipped under it with the remote in her hand while a big sigh of relief came out of her chest: “Tomorrow morning he’s going to be alright”.
Positioned her head comfortably on the pillow and started watching the movie. “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen it. Hmm! Let’s see if I can judge it with the same pair of eyes.”
Slowly, the events of the day caught up with her and she fell asleep dreaming at the deer herd she saw in the morning. All of them were in the motion, running, with their ears pointing up and she was running with them, bare foot, into a circle of madness joy, into a circle of sisterhood like gathering, into a circle of unknown, mystic initiation.
A Saturday to remember
When the first rays of the sun flooded her face, Linda turned around in a sign that she did not want to be bothered on a Saturday morning even if it was already late in the morning. She wanted to sleep as much as she wanted, so she pulled the blanket all the way above her head in an attempt to block any light intrusion from reaching her eyes. There was no way she even remotely considered getting out of the bed to close the shades or at least pull the curtains.
A sigh of relief and complacency came out of her chest. However, she couldn’t fall asleep again. The events of the previous day and especially the night, the worries regarding John’s well being made her get up, put the sleepers on and headed upstairs to the Master Bedroom.
John was still sleeping. The eye was not that bad – she expected a more sever swelling – but the upper portion of the chick almost became one piece with the arcade on the side. At the sight of her husband, a barely perceptible shout of concern came out of Linda’s chest. She covered her mouth with the back of her hand in a sign that she does not want to disturb John’s sleep with any sort of noises anymore.
Slowly closed the door and took the stairs down to the Living room.
“I think I am going to make a coffee” and Linda walked to the kitchen already inhaling an imaginary exceptional taste of the coffee she was about to grind. Usually she was having a tea in the morning, but this time she had a naughty idea: “I am going to steal some beans from John’s stack and make myself a nice coffee”. She never tried that fantastic blend which was supposed to tickle your senses and make your imagination wander through the unexplored places of those mountain sites where the exquisite coffee beans were harvested from.
She giggled like a teenager who found a way to hide from his parents the fact that after they were gone for the weekend, he would throw a big party for his friends.
She pulled the coffee bag from the cabinet, grabbed the grinder, filled it up and pushed the button. The kitchen filled up right away with aromas one would say were: “forest scents into a coffee grinder’. The smell of those crushed beans was exquisite. Both the Living room and the kitchen were now the prisoners of an aroma which immediately brought back memories: their honey moon in the Islands, their morning wake up on these scents (in spite of the fact that they still wanted to sleep) – as the whole street was invaded by irresistible flavors none could resist. “Why did I quit drinking coffee?” She just raised her shoulders in a sign of “who cares?” and took the coffee maker out of the cabinets. All of a sudden she remembered that during weekends, John was making his coffee into a Turkish coffee pot. “Aha! It must be a trick with this way of making your coffee!” All these years, she never questioned him, why he is making his coffee this way. Now, her natural feminine curiosity kicked in. She always thought that the morning liquid which gives you a kick and keeps you going for the rest of the day, is brewed into the coffee maker.
Linda tightened the robe around her waist and started digging through the kitchen ware down into the cabinets. She couldn’t find anything. She remembered that John was always keeping a small flash light at the entrance. Walked to the front door, grabbed it and started looking for the magic pot.
“Bingo” said Linda shortly after spotting an unusual object she couldn’t remember buying herself.
She pulled it out and when it was brought to the light, the object stunned her! “I saw this pot before…how come is so different now?” Actually she pulled out of the cabinets (without knowing) a masterpiece of the hand making coffee pots. The object was stunning: the handmade hammered copper coffee pot was presenting itself into such a bright and favorable light and color that made Linda completely freeze, holding the object tight without being able to say a word. The hammer hits of the master pot maker could be seen on every single spot of the pot. They looked like fish scales, all being the same size, all being displayed in uniform layers giving the impression that they interlock each other and thus creating the illusion of a knight’s armor. The bright polished red colors of the recipient, the “silver like” inside, the sharpness of the shades thrown back by the mirror polished surface of the skin, made her whisper: “It is magic; how do they call it? Oh my God! I used to know it! I knew it! I had every morning coffee made out of this thing called…what do they call it in that city we bought it from”?
More memories invaded her memory…an imaginary sight of them travelling to: Turkey, Armenia, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel.
It was a trip her father, Reverend Wilson, asked her to take on his behalf. She clearly remembered her father saying: “Linda, please go and say a prayer at the Church of Trinity in Bethlehem and make a donation on our behalf. While there, you will have a chance to learn a bit about the world of Levant. You read a lot, but you can very well compliment your studies with travelling. That is the area where civilization started and Judea was the place where our Lord was born, where he lived and where he died for us”
A tear dropped down her cheek. “Great! Now I am getting emotional over a pot!”
It was actually not “over a pot”. It was over so many memories of her youth and early adult life spent together with John, it was over so many happy times she spent with her father in the Parish caring for poor and needy, helping abandoned kids, trying to guide her life based on the Christian morals and teachings, trying to understand the teachings of the Apostles and absorb the wisdom of the Bible. Involuntarily she started rubbing the coffee pot between her palms when she felt something her fingers could barely perceive. “What is this?”
She looked closer and she realized that there were some very small markings on the pot…her curiosity kicked in again and looked closer; those were some inscriptions into the thick layer of copper made by the master who produced the pot. Now she completely forgot about making coffee! She brought the flash light and looked at those markings: it was clearly a writing she could not understand. Linda grabbed her temples between her palms and tried to recall how that writing ended up on their pot. She simply couldn’t remember. “John must know for sure. He knows everything”.
She turned the TV on and set it to the weather Channel.
“Great! It will be sunny but cold. I will take that anytime! We will take a walk through the Heritage Park and then through the wild life Fox Park and it will be such a nice Saturday!”
She filled the pot three quarters of the way with water and was ready to get things going by dumping the ground coffee into the pot, when a firm hand grabbed her right wrist and whispered into her ear: “you are not supposed to use an electric grinder if you want to make a real coffee!”
This was a complete surprise. Linda elevated her hands letting John grab her hips and squish her breasts in an insatiable lust of love making…
-Hey, are you ok? How is your wound?
-You really want to ruin this, huh?
-Did you see yourself in the mirror?
-Why? I’m a good looking guy! And John’s chest started vibrating from his typical natural, healthy, undisguised laughter.
-Well, think again. Go take a look into a mirror. How come you woke up?
-I didn’t even make it…
-Yes, but you took the beans out of the bag and ground them! Can’t resist that!
-Right! Now do me a favor, please: go to the bathroom and take a look at your face. Linda’s voice was no longer vibrant and clear and articulate. John realized that something was not right and immediately headed for the downstairs bathroom. Flipped the switch and a cry of anger filled his lungs.
-I can’t believe that bastard hit me this hard, yelled John from the bottom of his lungs!
-This is your concern now, asked Linda while looking at John, into the same mirror? She followed him into the bathroom after hearing John’s scream of disgust. You have to take it easy now and get some rest; eventually put some ice on that eye. We have the weekend in front of us and if we do the right thing, by Monday morning the swelling could substantially retire.
-Man, if I run into that bastard again I am going to break his neck!
-Yeah, sure! Now let’s try to get an ice patch over the eye. Linda returned to the kitchen and opened up the freezer. A gel pack was always there. She took it out and with short and precise motions tightened the Velcro strap behind John’s head in a way that would cover the swelled portion of the face.
Linda looked at her husband and in spite of the fact that she wanted to keep a straight face, burst into a huge, healthy laugh that was making her whole chest tremble of happiness.
-Great! Now I’m your Mickey Mouse, your Goofy, your: “laughing at” thing, your: “look at yourself Mister”…
-No, you are not! How did you get all of these crazy ideas?
-Your laughter said it all!
-Are you listening to yourself? I laughed because you do look weird with that eye patch over your eye…that’s all!
John returned to the bathroom and flipped the switch again. The sight of him with the gel pack covering his eye made him burst into laughter. Turned the switch off and returned to the kitchen.
-I do look like a pirate! I have to admit…
Linda simply burst again into a big laughter that was now free of any sort of inhibitions, free of any sort of fear that she would hurt John by simply laughing at his situation.
Her robe cordon came lose, her chest was trembling of emotions, her bare feet were inviting the sight of the curious eye to scroll up and guess the wonderful forms of a body some of the teenagers were dying to have. The breasts came free from the soft touch of the silk robe and her Goddess like type of body was almost fully exposed.
John’s senses were all stretched at the limits and with a short and calculated move, dropped his robe, grabbed his wife by the hips and pinned her into the wall of the kitchen that was still free of kitchen furniture. Linda’s legs locked around John’s hips and her back was now against the empty wall of their kitchen.
He started kissing her neck, her shoulders, her breasts, her nipples…Linda tried to resist, but finally gave in and eventually kissed John back. It was a moment of lustiness, a moment of: “I want you” from both sides.
Slowly, John pursued the opportunity and the next twenty minute frame was probably the wildest love making scene they have ever done together. The panting, the screaming, the continuous search for a better penetrating position made John bring Linda’s legs up his trunk into a locking position so the pleasure would be mutual. Everything was now coming down to John’s stamina, to his ability to sustain a repetitive penetrating motion in a demanding position, as Linda completely gave into submission.
It had gotten so wild and loud into the kitchen that John felt like maintaining a high level of male dominance during the act was crucial, was part of showing himself first of all that he’s still got it. Under the effort, his whole muscle system was stretched to the maximum showing his well-toned arms, chest muscles and veins pumped up at a level that would make any man at any age be jealous.
His mind was completely absorbed by the sexual activity, by the immense satisfaction of trying again something they haven’t done recently.
Linda’s arms were tightly locked around his neck feeling like she would never want to let go. His lips were systematically kissing her neck then dropping to the chest and grabbing the nipples in a motion that was making Linda scream from lust and pleasure.
The high effort level sustained by John made his whole upper body look like a drenched rain forest tree trunk, thus turning both of them into two slippery entities tighten up into a long embrace only to be swiftly broken up from time to time by the countless kisses.
Linda’s hands were completely tightened around John’s neck, holding with all the power she could put into that hug. John could barely breathe…
-You gotta’ let go, whispered John into her ear…you are choking me!
Linda’s mind was not there anymore. The pleasure of the sexual encounter, the emotional connection to her husband (which made her recall the College years), the emotional roller-coaster of the last twenty-four hours made her hang tight on that grip around John’s neck.
Eventually, John dropped on his knees under the weight he was holding and under the intense effort he had been under for the last twenty minutes.
Linda found herself on the floor, with her legs still tighten up around John’s trunk, only this time with her husband all the way on top of her, panting and still whispering into her ear: “You gotta’ let go!”
It was that very moment she realized that she was choking John. Immediately Linda un-tightened her arms and John took a much needed fresh breath of air.
-Sorry. I didn’t realize I was hurting you, whispered Linda into John’s ear! Her voice was soft, smooth, carrying, loaded with the emotions of an unexpected sex act she has just gone through, with the feeling that old times were brought back, times when they were making love all over their dorms and in whatever position they felt like doing it.
Eventually, the intercourse reached its climax with both Linda and John screaming from the pleasure of long and intense orgasms.
Linda still had the silk robe on her, open in the front, while John was completely naked. John rolled over and found himself on the floor, with the hair all messed up, almost leveled to the skull, all soaked in sweat.
For a minute, they held hands while looking at the kitchen ceiling, trying to catch a breath and recover.
-It’s cold on the floor! We need to get up, said Linda kissing him on the lips.
-Yeah! It is cold, said John and with a calm and calculated motion helped his wife get on her feet. He grabbed her breasts once again and kissed her with passion, with love, with tenderness.
Linda tightened up her robe and slowly, slipped away from John’s embrace, like a serpent trying to hide into the bushes from an imminent attacker. She headed straight for the bathroom they had beside John’s Office. On her way, she turned her head back and asked with an extremely persuasive voice, a voice that had a tonality no one could resist:
-Are you going to make that famous coffee of yours when I’m back?
-That remains to be seen, said John showing his head through the opening of the kitchen that was showing into the Living room.
-I see. There is some hand writing on that coffee pot…you may want to squeeze your brains and remember what that means.
-I can tell you right now.
-No. Please surprise me while we are having it. And Linda disappeared into the Bathroom while John tightened up his robe and started making coffee.
He dumped the coffee grounded by his wife with the electric grinder, picked up the hand grinder, and started turning the solid brass handle of the hand grinder. Soon, the famous Island crushed coffee beans filled up the whole Living Room with a scent that nobody could resist without taking a deep breath, a scent of the morning dew, a scent of freshly bloomed mountain flowers, a scent of the mist from the water falls splitting the luxurious vegetation of the jungle, a scent of the rich black soil mixed up with the tropical rain drops, a scent that would drive your senses to the ultimate test of endurance.
“All right, now let’s look for the pot, said John” and immediately opened up the cabinet. He knew the place of the coffee pot with his eyes closed. To his surprise, it was not there. “Hmmm! It is strange! It’s not in its place. And what is this flash light doing on the counter?” The very next second he saw the famous pot on the counter and realized that Linda looked for the pot herself and used the flashlight to find it. A smile came up on his lips and grabbed the recipient with his both hands. The cold feeling of the copper and the feel of the scratched hand writing of the pot maker made him crack a smile. It brought back the memories of the trip they took to Turkey, Armenia and then to Israel, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan. “Those were good times…really good”, said John to himself; he filled up almost three quarters of the pot with water, and turned on the stove. He carefully measured two spoonful of coffee and dumped them into the pot; then added another half and constantly stirring waited for the water to boil. All those wonderful scents came up again and when the water level started rising, he turned the heat down, took the pot on the side and let it set. Once set, he put another half a spoon of coffee in, turned the heat back up and stirred again into the pot to keep the coffee from spilling on the stove. “It’s ready”, said John with a great satisfaction on his face. That was a sign that a well-made coffee, a coffee to die for was expecting its customers. He covered the pot with a small ceramic plate he grabbed from the cabinet. The scent of the perfectly made coffee was only coming out now through the little peak the master maker made into the pot in order to aid with pouring the liquid. Now he patiently waited for Linda to come out of the shower. Linda showed up shortly. She changed the robe (now she was wearing a fleecy one); she was bare foot and her long beautiful blonde hair was now tighten up into a knot.
-You didn’t wash your hair?
-No. I am planning to take a walk. I will wash it afterwards. God, it smells heavenly in this kitchen!
-Because I made coffee, honey!
-I know. I can’t wait to have it, said Linda rubbing her hands against each other in a way only a kid in a candy store would do it. There was so much joy on her face, so much expectation of perfection knowing that her husband could only reach perfection when making coffee.