Even opening her eyes ached… or was it merely the imagined pain that was about to hit her? Deva hauled herself up to a sitting position in bed. There was a split second before her bruises made their presence felt. “Nothing for it… time to face the day.” She swung her legs over the side of the bed and braced herself before standing.
As the warm water from the shower cascaded over her, she turned her arms this way and that to check them. Nothing but the beginning of bruises where she had been grabbed. “Bruises heal..” she whispered under her breath.
She padded into the bedroom wrapped in a fluffy robe and made sure make-up covered any sign of the brawl. “Now… to wear something a little more…. ‘Deva’.” She chose long black leather boots and a black trenchcoat, with long pockets inside it. She grinned as she slid the zips up each boot and took one last look at herself in the mirror. Grabbing her bulging bag, she left the room, locking the door behind her, then sliding a small piece of paper into the gap between door and frame.
She spoke with the maid in the corridor a little, but slipped into the conversation that her room didn’t need cleaning. As she left the hotel, she took the time to smile at the concierge and exchange a few words as he asked about her night’s sleep.
She headed for the cafe and as the snow had let up, she chose a table outside to sit at. It was a perfect spot for a little people watching. Coffee ordered, she opened her bag and drew out a postcard and pen.
‘Dear Mum and Dad, I knew you would be worried, but thought a postcard might help a little. Tavnoc is a most interesting place. The architecture is proving to be an excellent inspiration for some new paintings. I think they will be a little darker than my usual ones.’
Deva paused and placed her pen in the corner of her mouth as she watched people start to mill about. Few caught her eye, but any who did were treated to a beaming smile. She went back to her postcard:
‘…I have been here two days now. I have met a few nice people. I think I will be staying on here for a while, but will make sure I keep in touch with you both. I know how you worry!” She drew a small cartoon in the corner of the card of a love heart with a big smiling face, before pausing, almost signing Deva, but writing ‘Eva’ and adding kisses.
She finished her coffee and placed money on the table. “Time to find the post office and send this back to England.”