Without Renan expecting her, Valentina appeared at his apartment as if she were a hurricane. She arrived as the tempestuous rains come on a calm night, or as the slack blowing winds soon thicken and transform themselves into great loose gales.
From a distance, the Camaro's powerful engine could be heard roaring into the building's parking area; the tires skidding over the gravel, the brake pads only ceasing to squeak when at last the roar emitted by an aggressive slamming of the door, exposed the extreme fury that came out of it.
The environment of the condominium, before calm and peaceful, was now disturbed by a din of grumbling added to its sequential uneven steps, aggressively trampling the stairs and the hallway, while emitting negative vibrations that soon replaced the remnants of the last ones, that engine sound that had gone out for good under the sturdy yellow hood of her car.
After ringing the doorbell of Renan's apartment, Valentina remained exactly like that: her eyes closed, breathing and inhaling deeply while her porcelain nails went up and down, and then down and up, sequentially starting from the pinky to the thumb, hammering non-stop on the metal banister at her the back.
“You’ll pay for this!” she grumbled.
At that the door opened. Renan soon creaked when he saw her in front of the door, “Who told you where I lived?”
“Why did you leave without telling me?” Valentina cut him off, “What were you thinking, Renan?”
“I needed a break...”
“A break from me?” she said, “When all I did was loving you?”
“Love me?” Renan said, “Valentina, you don't know what love is.”
“Don't say that, baby...”
“Don't call me baby!” Renan exclaimed. But as some residents appeared in the parking lot, heading to the hall to take the elevator, Renan fell silent.
“I’m sorry Renan. It's just that I thought you liked it when I called you that.”
“I like it, I mean…” Renan gasped, “but not like this, right? Can't you see we're fighting?”
“It's true, Renan, we're fighting.” She said, trying hard to hide the smile that slipped from the corner of her lips. “But you have to agree with me that every couple who really loves each other, argues from time to time, right?”
“From time to time?” he retorted. “We argue all the time!”
“Why are you doing this, my love? All I want is to make you happy.”
Renan rolled his eyes when he heard her, and that encouraged Valentina even more.
“You should learn, my love… a couple who never fights, doesn't want to improve the relationship either,” she said.
“For me, that’s a bunch of crap.”
“Bunch of crap? Why would you say that, my love?” She defended herself. “Don’t you believe me anymore?”
Renan fell silent. Then he stared at the buildings around him. He whispered to himself, as if in a lament,
“I'm so tired of this life.”
Noticing that her arguments had finally started to weaken Renan, Valentina — with the sole purpose of knocking him out at once — continued hammering old things at him, mainly with the intention of not letting him think straight.
And, meanwhile, Renan listened to her in total silence, but it turned out that in the end, that hum made his psyche fall asleep. Valentina nudged him, “Do you hear me, Renan?” but didn't hear the answer back.
It was only after Valentina nudged him for the third time, repeating “Do you hear me, Renan?!” and also pulling his shirt hard, that Renan was transported back from that private world of his. He just mumbled:
“You take away my peace... That's why I came to São Paulo.”
“Excuse me?!” she exclaimed. “Repeat what you said!”
And before she could claim anything else back, Renan intervened brusquely:
“I don't fucking love you anymore! Is that so difficult to understand?!”
Suddenly, all that conviction that at first inflated Valentina to bring up old things, in the blink of an eye, waned altogether. And after that, what was left in his heart was just a mixture of insecurity and fear, combined with a beginning of despair.
To be continued...
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