The hotel corridor was empty and the lights were dimmed. Hesitating for another moment, Sasha finally decided to just do it. Why not give in to a little craving? She had pulled herself together for the last weeks and had not given in to temptation. It was tennis, tennis, tennis for her. She had worked hard on the practice courts and the gym. And why not reward her effort with a harmless prize.
Dressed in her pyjamas and her morning slippers Sasha walked down the hallway to the elevators. She knew where she had to go. But in the very moment she pressed the button she heard a door open and voices talking. Damn, she thought. It was 2AM in the morning. Why couldn’t people sleep?
The voices came nearer and looking around Sasha saw the fire stairs and decided not to wait for the elevator.
She sprinted up the stairs and thinking about the sweet reward she would soon hold in her hands she had to smile to herself. It was harmless, after all, she told herself. And nobody had to know. It was just one time. Arriving at the next floor she stopped to check her pulse.
Yes, she thought. Nothing to worry about. She was as fit as a fiddle. She could handle the little peccadillo on the side.
She pushed open the door to the hallway. In front of her opposite the elevator doors she could see her destination. The vending machine was radiating a cool, wondrous light as if to promote the sweet temptations hidden inside. Thinking about the candy bars melting in her mouth Sasha couldn’t help grinning. She hadn’t had chocolate since Eastbourne.
She took out the coins from her pyjamas and tried to choose which candy bar to take home. In the end she opted for the small bag of very sweet peanut butter cups and a coconut bar. Ripping the wrapping open she stuffed the whole coconut sweet into her mouth. With a sigh she closed her eyes and leaned against the vending machine, dissolving in the instant explosion of endorphins.
The ping of the elevator made her open her eyes.
Watching the door slide open Sasha was wondering if she was dreaming. The disclosed view on the person inside the elevator didn’t help her to come to a solution.
Inside the grey box, dressed in a single-colored dark red silk pyjama and lit by the pale light looking like she was beamed there from a spaceship was an Ozolini twin, staring back at Sasha.
For a moment it seemed that time stood still. Sasha didn’t even feel shocked. Neither did she feel the urge to run-away from the Ozolini threat. The coconut-chocolate pulp in her mouth seemed to numb her emotions. With curiosity she realized that the twin inside didn’t move either. The elevator doors were already closing again. But then suddenly the Ozolini girl reached out and pushed the button to open the door again. With another ping time moved again and the twin stepped out of the elevator.
“Hey,” Sasha mumbled with her full mouth, noticing that Lulu or Gaga had coins in her hand.
The both had gotten up in the middle of the night to get some chocolate bars. Trying not to laugh as to prevent the manducated candy to spill from her mouth, Sasha curiously watched the Ozolini twin who couldn’t help grinning herself.
Was that Gaga or Lulu, Sasha wondered.
“You want a peanut butter cupcake?” She held out her hand with the opened plastic bag.
“Yes,” the twin smiled. “Thank you.”
Friendly and kind? Must be Gaga, Sasha thought in relief. Not the crazy Lulu, who was very possibly besotted with Sasha and anything that moved. Gaga reached out her hand and taking out one of the sweets she touched Sasha’s hand slightly. It felt like a tiny bolt hitting Sasha’s skin.
“I couldn’t sleep,” Sasha said, suddenly feeling sheepish to be standing there with the twin in their nightwear. Also her hands were beginning to sweat. Was it the chocolate infused high or was there a tension between them? The dark-haired girl standing in front of her didn’t say a word but watched her instead.
Sasha was suddenly aware of all the moments when she had followed the twins, listened in on their conversations and the thrill whenever she had gotten closer to unveiling their secret. Or had the thrill a different meaning? She swallowed down the remains of the coconut candy, thinking about the day when she had crouched in the locker to hide away, but was discovered by Gabriella. The twin hadn’t said a word but had smiled at Sasha. And then there was the frightening moment when Lulu had shamelessly hit on her.
Still lost in confusing thoughts the forward movement of the Ozolini twin seemed like a shadow coming towards her. Only the touch of the girl’s lips on her own felt very real. The following mingling of peanut butter taste with coconut stirred all the feelings Sasha had held under the surface. Grabbing the girl she pushed her against the vending machine, accidentally pressing the little beeping buttons. Embracing each other they kissed for what seemed like aeons but must have been only seconds.
Realizing what she was doing Sasha suddenly broke free and stared at the Ozolini girl in shock.
“Gabriella?” She needed to know who this was! The Ozolini twin hesitated.
“No,” she mumbled. “I mean, yes.” She took a deep breath then looked Sasha in the eyes.
“I mean, no. I’m Lulu.”
Yes? No? Sasha was thoroughly discombobulated. But before she could say another word, the twin had vanished to the fire stairs.