The Sixth Angel


Dedicated to Olga L.


Only a bar counter separated the kitchen from the living room. It was smoothly verging into a kitchen unit shaped like a bottomless rectangle, made out of bright wood. The sink was full of dirty dishes. There was a jar of foie gras on the counter and a bottle of Bailey's standing next to a snifter, semi-filled with the very same Bailey's. Violetta was sitting on a high chair and was thoughtfully staring at the snifter. I approached her and took a seat across her sitting with my back turned to the family room and with my elbows on the tabletop.

- To drink or not to drink? - I asked.

The woman raised her eyes upon me.

- I'm sorry, who are you?

- An angel, - I introduced myself.

- Who?

- An angel, - I replied patiently.

- Am I dead? - the woman asked.

- Do you see a scythe in my hands? - I replied sarcastically.

- No, - Violetta replied after reflecting shortly - you have no scythe. You're an ordinary man. And you don't really look like an angel.

- Have you seen a lot of angels thus far?- I asked again.

- On most images they are naked and have wings, - she answered.

- Well, I have wings, - I said.

- Then show me.

I raised from my chair, took off my jacket and threw it on the couch. Then I unbuttoned my shirt and took it off trying to retract my belly. Then, I turned my back to her.

- Woooow, - I heard from behind of me, - can I touch them?

- No, - I replied and put my shirt back on.

I sat back down on my chair, cupped my chin in my hand and started to examine Violetta off-handedly. She was around 35, bleached blonde, with pouches under her eyes. B-cups, not more. Average body composition. Her belly was sticking out. Not much, but it did. At least her legs were well-shaped. Brown eyes. Dressed in some top and a pair of ripped jeans. She wore no bra. And she didn't have a lot of bling-bling, just plain earrings and a tiny white-gold ring.

- Then why is it you're here? - Violetta finally broke the silence.

- I've been sent, - I replied, meaningfully raising my eyes.

- What for? - she asked again.

- How would I know? - I answered. - I've been told to, so I rushed here. To fix your personal life. Somehow you can't manage to get married and have kids on your own.

- And why am I supposed to be so special that somebody decided to send an angel to me? - Violetta was visibly surprised.

- Why do you think it's because of you? - now I was surprised. - Maybe it's because of your future child or even grandchild. Or your future husband. As I said - I know nothing. I've been handed a job sheet: to get you back in shape and to fix your private life. So I rushed here.

- Strange, - she said, - job sheets, angels, children... My boyfriend broke up with me yesterday. I'm going crazy here. And now you with your job sheets.

- Yes, I know about your ex, - I waived it away - I read your profile.

- Jesus, you guys even have a case on me, - Violetta was suddenly scared.

- What's your Wi-Fi password? - I interrupted her.

- Violettalove, - she spelled the password confusedly, letter by letter.

I took out a tablet computer from my travel bag. After connecting to her Wi-Fi, I wrote and sent a message upstairs.

"I'm here. Came in contact with her. Getting to work".

After reflecting shortly, I added: "XXX. The Sixth".

Some seconds later, I received a reply: "I removed the XXX. Don't be a naughty boy, Sixth. Referent M".

I chuckled happily.

- A woman? - Violetta asked me.

- Yup, - I nodded, - assistant of the big boss. She's hot. Well, I understand, no office nookies. But I just can't resist the temptation to troll her.

- So, why was a man sent to me and not a woman? - Violetta asked curiously.

- First things first, I'm an angel, so don't see me as a man, - I started, - next, why send a gal to you? So that both of you start boozing liquor and crying bitter tears together? Finally, I have my own ways of how to get someone out of a personal crisis.

- What possible way out can there be? - she sobbed. - I love him, and he dumped me. Without saying a word. Even changed his number.

- Hold on, - I interrupted her, - forget your ex. That's it, he is no more and never has been. Are you even aware that he is married?

- What do you mean „he is married“?- Violetta started to yell.

- To his wife, - I told her taking away her bottle and snifter with booze.

- I saw that he had a ring mark on his finger but he said that he recently got divorced, - she whined.

- He was on a business trip. Oh, and the apartment belongs to his company, not to him - I continued, - would you like to see the evidence? Or do you trust my word?

- I trust you, - Violetta gave up on her hope, - for some reason I trust you. Are you an angel indeed? Will you really help me?

- I really will, - I answered and added: - But now you will wash your feet, brush your teeth and go to sleep. Everything else will come tomorrow.

- Fine, - Violetta agreed surprisingly easily and tried to stand up.

She didn't manage to. She was drunk. An empty Bailey's bottle rolled out from under the table. I helped Violetta to go to her bedroom, deployed her snoring corpse on the bed, pulled her pants off and delicately covered her with a blanket.

Then I turned on the TV and started to watch the hockey match in Zagreb. It was "Zagreb Medvedchak VS. Magnitogorsk Metallurgists".

Violetta woke up late. She left the bedroom in a dull bathrobe. Her hair disheveled, her face rumpled. I was sitting at the very same counter and was preparing some tea.

- And I thought that I was just dreaming of you, - Violetta said upon seeing me.

She approached, sat down across me, suspiciously looked at the tea which I brought here from the tea shop.

- But I have teabags, - she said.

- Only losers drink tea from bags, - I replied and immediately added: - Get your ass to the bathroom and fix yourself. I never want to see you again in a shape like this.

- But I’m at home and just got out of my bed – Violetta started to poor mouth.

But she stopped. My fingers were drumming against the counter, and there were sparks passing between my fingers. Quite a primitive method of intimidation but with women it always does the job. The ladies are afraid of electricity. Almost all of them are.

- I’m coming, I’m coming, - Violetta rose from her chair and slipped into the bathroom sideways, her eyes still staring at my hand.

I waited until the tea was ready, poured this divine drink into my cup and started to sip on it without hesitation.

Violetta came crawling out of the bathroom after twenty minutes or so. She was still wearing the very same bathrobe but this time she had a towel around her head.

- What about your make-up? – I asked her.

- But I’m home, - she complained.

- Your home make-up, - I answered patiently.

Violetta sighed, got back to the bathroom and swiftly applied some foundation and made-up her eyes. Then she returned into the room.

- Throw away this bathrobe, - I ordered, - take it off and never ever wear it again. No bathrobes.

Violetta sighed and threw off her bathrobe. She stood around naked, exposed her leg a little and was looking at me. She was waiting for my reaction.

- Turn around, - once again I ordered her.

She turned around. I took out my tablet computer, connected to the Wi-Fi and started to look for the nearest gym. Violetta stood around for some time shifting her feet, then she turned to me.

- Put on something light and sporty, - I told her.

Violetta went to her bedroom. After five minutes she reappeared in a white sports shirt and shorts of natural color.

I tipped in some tea for her, pushed up the plate with sandwiches towards her. She drank the tea but declined the sandwiches.

- Well, time to take care of the cleaning, - I said joyfully, - your task is to clean up this shithole of yours. Wash the dirty dishes, the floor, polish the loo and the tub. Oh, and the windows could use some washing, too.

- But today’s Sunday, - Violetta complained again, - and why are you bossing around here?

- I think I explained yesterday, - I told her, - we have a task to fix your personal life and to make you happy. That’s why you’re going to obey and carry out all my instructions and orders.

- But what does that cleaning have to do with it? – Violetta asked again. – Let alone the fact that I have been dumped by my boyfriend yesterday, the cleaning is the least of my concerns. My love is torn apart. You understand?

- You didn’t love him, - I replied looking straight into her eyes, - you just wanted someone to be close to you. That’s it. In the end you were bullshitting this guy for almost half a year. Or he was bullshitting you. You exhausted yourself. I mean you were guessing that he is married. I know that, don’t try to argue with me. And you will have to clean every day. You live in this hole like a pig. No man who respects himself even a tiny little bit will want to live in this dump. And we will have to take care of your body. You have a training in the evening. I already arranged everything. Personal trainer‘s Misha.

And I played with the sparks on my fingers. Violetta shivered, skewed at me and took off to deploy the dirty dishes into the dishwasher.

The cleaning up took us quite a while. Violetta had to clean the bathroom twice as after the first attempt I wasn’t happy with the result. While she was cleaning the floor, I went to the shop and got her some cleaning agent for the windows and a rubber scraper. Some food at a time out of which Violetta cooked a chicken soup. It was tasty by the way.

- Well, you can if you want to – I praised her.

Violetta brightened up in her smile and morphed. From a twisted sour woman in her mid-thirties a beautiful girl suddenly rose with large eyes and a dazzling smile.

- Stop! – I yelled. - Freeze and smile every five minutes. You are magnificent when you smile. You’re damn hot when you do.

- Really? – Violetta smiled again. – Won’t I look like an idiot if I smile all the time?

- Really, - I confirmed. – This is your mightiest weapon. Your smile. Please remember: every five minutes. And now get dressed. Let’s go to the gym.

- Damn, I’ve been working my ass of the whole day, - Violetta started to whine again, - What gym? It’s still the weekend.

- It’s a day for some work out, - I replied, - every day is, without weekends and holidays. Oh, and it would be a good idea to have some jogging in the morning. Any questions? None, thought so.

The two of us went to the gym. I asked the personal trainer for a word face to face and I put up a task for him – to get Violetta’s body in shape. The personal trainer turned out to be a smart one. Asked a couple of questions. We talked about the diet for the woman and the drinking pattern.

- And who are you to her? To her I mean – the personal trainer asked.

- I’m her guardian angel – I answered.

The personal trainer nodded and asked Violetta to the machine. The whole work out took one and a half hours. I wasn’t wasting time either. For around twenty minutes I took care of the fitness cycle. And after that I went to pump my back and legs. These are my weak spots. Then I took a shower and saluted an exhausted Violetta at the exit of the locker room. I ultimately examined her and sent her off to fix her make-up.

- I have no more power even to raise my hand, - she wheezed.

- You shouldn't have boozed liquor yesterday, - I came back with a vengeance, - Moreover, we could meet the man of your dreams any moment. And you even have no make-up.

- Will I really meet him? – Violetta shook up.

- Are you stupid or what? – I replied to her question with another question. – I’m an angel after all. I’ve been sent here specifically for this.

Violette turned around and vanished in the female locker room. She was back after a couple of minutes with decent make-up and not so tired anymore.

Though, when we got back home, she literally collapsed in the corridor due to her fatigue. I barely managed to wake her up, made her brush her teeth and wash off her make-up, then put up some lotion on her face and hands. She fell asleep almost instantly after her head hit her pillow.

I took out my tablet and reported my obligatory daily log: „Taking care of the exterior of my ward. She is open to improvement but we have a difficult candidate here. I’m tired as hell. XXX, Sixth“.

After a couple of minutes a reply came: „Big Boss said that you are doing great and that you’ll get it done. Your case is under surveillance. Status „overarching“ has been assigned to it. Referent M.“.

I paused to think. What’s so special about this gal that she received „overarching“? „Violetta, Violetta, tell me about this, will you?“, - I curred. After that I reported back upstairs: „Task understood. I will stop at nothing in order to fulfill it. As a reward I accept six dates with Referent M. XXX, Sixth“.

No reply followed. I drank some tea, played chess online. I woke up Violetta at six in the morning. She took a look at her watch, unhappily shook her head but made her way to the bathroom obediently. She took a shower, applied her make-up. And she appeared in the kitchen in a grey suit. I sat at the counter and poached bread crumbs.

- You want tea or coffee? – Violetta asked me. – I only drink coffee in the morning.

- And I have breakfast in the morning, - I answered.

- So is it me who has to cook breakfast for you? – Violetta confusedly mumbled. – And I was already wondering why you would wake me up that early?

-Yes, to cook, - I confirmed, - your man always must be fully fed. These are the fundamentals. And should your man be hungry, then he will always find a woman to feed him.

- But you’re not my man, you’re an angel, - Violetta argued.

- So you’re going to practice with angels, - I said, - in return, when you’ll bring a man in your apartment, you’ll have the experience and you’ll have the food. We’ll get the food after work. For now I have found some oatmeal. You’ll manage to cook it?

And I put a dazzling smile on my face. Violetta sighed and started to cook the oatmeal for me.

We got to work within half an hour. There was almost no traffic jam. A young guard stopped me at the reception. But I said that I have an appointment and fixedly looked at him, and then I’ve been allowed to pass. Violetta and me ascended to the fifth floor. Her work station consisted of a desk and a box separated from others with a plywood division. A computer was standing on the desk. Her box was filled with some files and a couple of HDDs.

I was hanging around at her agency, went to see Violetta’s boss. Talked to him about the development of his business, had a coffee with him and promised to connect him with the right people. Then I returned to Violetta. A chalky wench, thin as a rail, was standing next to her with an evil facial expression. After she saw me, she tidied her hair and asked playfully: „Who do we have here? Why haven't  I seen you before?“

- I’m from the audit company, - I replied severly, - and I’m here to check how the funds are spent and whether the staff is used to capacity. Why aren’t you at your desk?

The wench squealed and vanished behind the division. I sat down next to Violetta.

- Who’s that? – I asked her. – A friend or just a colleague?

- She’s a friend, Elena, - Violetta replied.

- Married?

- Do you like her? – Violetta smirked. – But what about your Referent?

- Answer the question, - I insisted.

- Divorced, lives in a two-room-apartment in the house next to mine, has a daughter, six years old, - Violetta reported like a soldier to her general.

- Thanks for the info, - I praised her. – Sever all contacts with her. For good. You don’t need such a friend. Any more divorcees with children among your friends?

- What do you mean „sever all contacts“? – Violetta outrageously replied. – Are you going to instruct me with whom to be friends and with whom not?

- I will, - I nodded, - and you, in turn, will obey to all my instructions. Are there any more divorcees with brats among your friends?

- Yes there are, - Violetta said, - Masha. But we meet rarely.

- You’ll also throw Masha out of your life, - I instructed her, - I hope that you’ll endure the absence of these two losers?

- I will, - Violetta answered, - but I’d like to ask why?

- This isn’t according to my procedures but nevertheless I’ll tell you – I said, - because they will drag you down. They will only interfere with their advices and with their personal examples. Because they weren’t able to have a happy family and will prevent you from having yours. Questions? None, thought so.

According to Violetta’s facial expression she had questions but she didn’t say anything.

It was lunch time. We descended to the first floor, to the eatery. Elena wanted to force herself to our table but Violetta said that she has an important conversation with me and asked her to eat alone. Elena was in a huff but sat down at another table nearby.

I went for the utensils. When I got back, there was a man standing next to our table with a tray in his hands and was talking about something with my ward. She was kindly smiling at the stranger.

- This table is already occupied, - I said.

- I’m sorry, - the man said and bid farewell to Violetta.

I sat down.

- You’re going to scare away all my grooms that way, - Violetta said, - there he went, a decent guy. We exchanged glances with one another for a long time and today he approached me. Single, handsome, working one floor up.

- Nah, - I interrupted her, - not our cup of tea. Office nookies are only good in the movies. In real life it’s a nightmare. Together all day long. At work and at home. And mutual interests. Nope, this is not our hero.

- So, who is my candidate then? – Violetta silently asked me after leaning towards me. – Where should I look for him? And how will I know that he’s the one?

- He will find you, - I said after pushing back an empty plate, - don’t bother about looking for him. The time will come and he will make his way into your life. You will recognize him by his fragrance. Your man will have a fragrance which will give you the creeps.

- So, do I have to, what, sniff on every guy I see? – Violetta cheered up.

- Yup, - I supported her amusement, - but be sneaky when you do it. Unless you want to scare everyone off.

- So I have to walk around in the streets and move my nose from here to there or how do I look for my man? – Violetta continued to amuse herself.

- Don’t look for anyone on purpose, - I gravely said, - just carry on. Live your life, enjoy it. Don’t waste it on futile searches.

- But how will he find me then? If I won’t look for him, - the smile vanished from the woman’s face.

- He will, don’t worry, - I waved her off, - with your searches you will only scare everyone off and attract nothing but scum. Your lewdness is visible. That’s bad. You mustn’t  be a desparate hag who is running after each man she sees in the hope he might want to marry her. Instead, be a beautiful and self-confident woman. Thus, forget about the opposite sex for some time and take care of yourself. Do you want some stewed fruit?

- Yes please, - Violetta replied, - and put my glass back. Should I now only work, clean my apartment and go to the gym?

- No, - I answered, - you could also do other things. Do you have hobbies?

- I do, - Violetta said after thinking for a moment, - I used to paint a while ago.

- That’s lovely, - I cheered up, - then you’ll paint. In fact, cleaning and cooking don't take so much time. Provided if the apartment is clean and is not so messed up like it was the other day.

Violetta paused to think. She finished her stewed fruit drink. She carefully put the glass back on the tray.

- In other words, if I follow all your recommendations, I will find my one and only? – she finally asked me. – What is the probability that this will happen? What if I don’t meet anyone? And do I even need this? I’m so sick of all these relationships.

I stood up. Went to get a second round of stewed fruit. It was unrivalled in this canteen, even with some smoke. I sat down on my place. I squinted while looking at Violetta.

- I’m the best, - I said, - I can inquire with the Big Boss. They will send you your one and only. And if you will obediently comply with everything I ask you to do, then yes, you’ll have everything you want. A beloved husband and beloved children with your beloved husband. You’ll have a family. And as for whether you actually need it: As an angel, I declare that this is a woman’s calling. This is her meaning of life. To love and be loved.

- There you go, - Violetta sighed, - people argue about the meaning of life all the time. And here comes there goes the Sixth Angel and explains everything. By the way, why are you the „Sixth“?

- Because the day of the week ends in „y“, that’s why, - I answered her, - that’s a serial number, I have it since Morocco. And the meaning of a woman’s life is indeed as simple as that. The gents have a tougher time with that. Do you plan to return to work after lunch or what?

Violetta took a glance at her watch, sweared and rushed off upstairs. I removed the dirty dishes from the table and went off for a walk. In the evening I met my ward, drove her to the gym, worked out myself. After the gym I drove her home where we spent the evening arguing about culinary nuances.

Violetta really tried to obey all my instructions and direct orders. Although, she tried to get wasted with her favorite Bailey‘s. When she had her second shot, she was caught and punished. Working out served her well. She got rid of a couple of pounds which were definitely excess ones. Her face assumed a healthy complexion.

I introduced myself as her older brother named „Sixth“. For some reason, nobody had questions about the name. About our relatedness everyone said with one voice, that we don’t look alike. But I tried to appear in public with her as little as possible. Although I had full control of it.

Mostly Violetta spent weekends with her friends. They went outdoors, visited concerts, went to the cinema. Piece by piece, her appetite for life awakened. Sometimes on weekends or in the evenings, when she had the time, she painted. I bought her canvas and frames. These were the only expenses from my side. In my humble opinion, her paintings were „meh“. I didn’t like her work. Although with every painting she could convey her condition on the canvas even better. I examined another one of her masterpieces with a critical eye, mumbled „not bad, not bad“ and rushed off to the shop for another batch of paint.

One evening after around one and a half months we first met, Violetta told me: I want a man. It was in the kitchen after dinner.

- What do you actually think we are doing? – I asked after taking a break from chatting with Referent M.

- I mean sex, - Violetta paniced, - on a purely physiological basis. I had no sex for a long time. But I want to. But don’t laugh, okay?

- Why would I laugh? – I answered. – All fine. Do you need a link to the nearest sex shop or can you look it up yourself in Google?

- I don’t need your sex shops, - Violetta waived me off, - that’s not what I need. I might as well do it with my own hands. I need a live one. A man. At least for a night in a week.

And she blushed which truly amused me. At first sight, she’s an adult woman. But when it comes to THIS topic, she’s instantly ashamed and blushes. I put away my tablet and fixedly looked into the woman sitting across me.

- Here’s the thing, - I started, - either you do what I say and finally find your Mr. Right, or we go with your wishes.

- I just need sex, - Violetta said looking down, - no strings attached.

- Okay, - I said, - be it your way, no strings attached. Today you’ll have one man, in a week you’ll have another. To find someone is not a problem. There’s plenty of pickup artists on different dating sites. But before you know it, you’ll turn into just another bimbo. But physiologically you’ll be fine. Is that what you want?

- No, - the woman covered her face with her hands, - I don’t want that. But what do I have left then?

- I already told you. Sex shop or the good old way, - I smiled.

- Then I’d rather have it the good old way, - Violetta nodded, - in the shower.

- Oh, so you’re doing this in the shower? – I cheered up.

- Fuck off, - Violetta got angry, - you disgrace me. Better tell me what’s with your Referent?

- Nothing, - I nodded towards the tablet, - I've been asking for a photo for like three weeks. She’s just not playing ball. But at least she got rid of the officialese in her messages and she signs with „your M“.

- Aren’t you afraid that she’ll send you a photo and she turns out to be a plain girl? – Violetta asked.

- No, - I said after thinking for a while, - I don’t think she’ll have a human face. Referents often pick something estranged. She might be a mermaid or just a computer.

- Then why do you need these chats with her? - Violetta asked me again.

- To stay in shape, - I replied, - and why are we discussing me? Get your ass to the shower and then to bed!

Meanwhile, the spring came. Trees and flowers blossomed. So did my Violetta. We updated her wardrobe a little. I insisted on the morning jogging mainly motivating it by saying that men crave to get to know a pretty jogging babe. Indeed, more men wanted to get to know her. The first couple of times Violetta asked me: mine or not? After that she started to make the right diagnosis and to fend off her new followers on her own.

Thanks to her hobby, Violetta found a lot of new friends. At some point someone even bought one of her paintings. Of course I grumbled that someone bought this just to sleep with her. But deep inside of course I was happy for my ward. And then I told her to assemble all the paintings for the last couple of months. I sorted out a couple of the very first ones. All the others I put together and took to an acquaintance of mine named Katya. Katya and her mother were the owners of a small gallery. For about two hours I was having coffee with Katya, in the end I persuaded her to exhibit a couple of Violetta‘s paintings. Instead of a couple of Postovit’s sketches.

The paintings were up. After three days Katya called me and said that one of the paintings was sold. And the others were said to be considered in the next couple of days.

- Triple the price, - I told her.

- You’re out of your mind, - Katya argued, - nobody knows her.

- No, - I replied, - quadruple it. And put „reserved“ on the girl with the dog. I will collect it for myself afterwards. And when Violetta gets old and dies, I will sell it and get bloody rich.

- You’re a daredevil, - Katya said after a moment of silence, - but there’s really something about her paintings.

- Just ordinary smearing of an unsatisfied woman, - I mumbled and hung up the phone.

After a week Katya called me again and said that all the paintings have been sold. And if I would consider giving away my painting for her regular customer. I declined. The next day I went there with Violetta to collect the money and to pick up my painting.

- Nice hobby you have, - I cheerfully told my ward, - bringing lots of money. And I always believed in you. Bought the canvas, the paints.

- No you didn’t believe in me, - Violetta replied confusedly, - you always grimaced, when you looked at my paintings. Anyways, what are we going to do with that pile of cash?

- Let’s go travelling and let’s indulge in laziness, - I replied.

- To Athens, to sail on a yacht, - Violetta suddenly announced, - a friend of mine lives there. In Lavrio. She has a house and a boat there.

- I have never swimmed under sail, - I protested.

- You don’t swim under sail, you just sail, - Violetta replied, - and even if you haven’t, you’ll have the chance to learn it. Questions? No questions.

So we went to Athens where Julia welcomed us. Eternally smiling Julia who took care of us all the way. Picked us up at the airport, drove us to her home, got us dined and wined.

- Sunny woman, - I said while sipping on the homemade lemonade.

- With two brats, by the way, - Violetta said sarcastically, - however, they are already adult. Don’t live with their mum.

- Adults are no brats, - I said kind-heartedly, - these are independent people.

- So am I allowed to be friends with her? – Violetta cheered up.

- You really should, - I nodded.

As it turned out we didn’t just get on some sailing boat, we were part of a race. Six yachts. Six crews. I asked to be part of the sixth, of course. Violetta was on the first one, with Julia. The whole week we were swimming, I mean sailing from one Greek island to the next. We ate octopuses from grill, giltheads baked in foil and were rinsing it all with local white wine. In the afternoon we raced with our sails to see who’s in charge. We bathed. In the evenings I did my daily log attaching photographs of yachts, dolphins and Greek monasteries.

Before we knew it, the week was over. Julia drove us to the airport. Kissed us goodbye.

Violetta and me were sitting in the departure lounge and awaiting our boarding. Tanned and refreshed.

- So good, - Violetta sighed, - I want home but I don’t want to leave this place at the same time.

- Yup, - I supported her, - thanks to you and Julia I fell in love with yachts.

- And so did I, - Violetta smiled, - maybe I don’t actually need a man? I might as well live alone, paint my paintings, go to work, do jogging in the morning. I’m used to solitude. I’m better off alone.

I wanted to reply something but in that moment my tablet peeped. There was an incoming message. From Referent M. With an attachment.

- Violetta, - I said silently, - Referent sent me her photo.

- Open it, now! – Violetta yelled.

And I opened it.

- She’s so beautiful, - my ward whispered in my ear.

- Oh yeah, - I answered.

- She’s jaw-dropping, - Violetta didn't stop, - unearthly beauty. Her eyes alone are divine.

- Look at the hair, - I recommended.

- Oh, - Violetta said, - these are snakes, are they alive?

- Yup, - I replied, - alive. Now I see why she wouldn’t send me her photo. Told you, that referents don’t have a human shape. This one obviously loves Greek mythology.

- Are you disappointed? – Violetta asked me. – But you said yourself that this is not supposed to be a committed relationship and that you need this flirting with Referent M to stay in shape.

- Well, I’m not disappointed, - I said slowly, - I got sick. I’ll go and have my flight changed. You fly back without me. Be a good girl. Call Katya when you’re back and give her your earlier paintings. I already arranged everything as for the costs.

And I went to Amsterdam in order to be sick there. I love being sick in this city. I rented a room on the outskirts of the city, curtained the window and went to the next pharmacy to get some medicine. After that I was drinking vodka with pepper for three days and was sweating under the blanket. A chambermaid, black as the night, brought my food.

After three days I went outside. Went downtown by tram. Took a walk across the canals. And then I went to Violetta after reporting upstairs: „Was on sick leave. Back on the grid. XXX, Sixth“.

I took a cab from the airport. It was already getting dark. It was warm. I took the elevator. Rang the doorbell. Violetta opened up. With wild eyes. She fell upon my neck, kissed me. I understood everything at once.

- The one? – I asked.

- The one and only, - she whispered in my ear, - I’m sure. My fragrance. My taste. Mine.

- Well, show me that nugget of yours, - I said and went to the kitchen after waving Violetta aside.

There was a man behind my well-known favorite bar counter. Smallish man, slightly bald. Average guy. With a cup of tea in his hands. That was the cup which I normally drank tea from.

- Michael, - he introduced himself.

- Sixth, - I nodded, and added, - that’s sort of a name.

- And why? – Michael was surprised.

- Well, we were six brethren in the family, - I replied, - so my mum wasn’t too worried about names. Just gave us all numbers.

- I’m also the youngest in the family, - Michael’s smile blossomed.

- And I’m the oldest, - I replied with the same kind smile.

- But why? – Michael started.

- I’m out of time, - I interrupted, - I stopped by just for five minutes to say hi to my cousine. And to pick up my painting. Because I’m leaving. Far far away. To an expedition. Violetta, could you wrap it up tightly?

My ward regained consciousness, squealed and went to the room next door to start wrapping it up. After all, I did a good job taming her. Command - execution.

- And how do you like her smearings? – I silently asked Michael.

- They’re good, - he replied cautiously, - but I’m no expert when it comes to paintings. I like your cousin. A very interesting and beautiful person.

- She’s a very special specimen, - I answered scratching my designer stubble, - don’t do her any wrong.

- Never, - Michael replied seriously.

Violetta appeared in the room with the painting wrapped in paper. I looked at the woman. Then at Michael. They were standing next to me and looking back. He was a couple of inches smaller than my ward. He had a round face, average body type with a little excess weight. But it was perfectly clear that this was a couple. My mission  was suddenly completed.

- Accompany me, - I told Violetta.

Michael and me shook hands, then I went out to the stairwell landing. Violetta buzzed at my heels. Looking straight into my eyes she eagerly whispered:

- You won’t believe. He’s my neighbor from upstairs. Got divorced a year ago. He’s a great guy. He’s everything you said he would be. I feel it. I already thought that I don’t need anyone. And there he was. We were in the elevator. He helped me out with the paintings. Katya took them. And he waited for me. So, why are you not saying anything? Is he the one?

I started to laugh. Then I unglued Violetta from myself.

- Yeah, yeah, he is, - I replied, - it’s as clear as day to anyone. Have you already had sex?

- Yup, - Violetta blushed.

- Good job, both of you, - I nodded.

- Are you leaving? For good? – she asked.

- Yes, - I answered, - I did what I had to do. Now I could use some vacation. And a bonus.

- May I call you every now and then? – the woman requested.

- Phone calls are a definite no but you can write me some SMS, if you want, - I told her, - my cell is simple: seven sevens, six sixes. Message me.

- Thank you, my angel, - Violetta said silently.

- You’re welcome, - I replied and added: - Go, he’s waiting for you. And remember, I’m watching you.

Then I turned and took the stairs down to the yard. I went out. Made it to the playground. Sat down on the bench. Right under the lantern. Took out my tablet. Found somebody’s unprotected Wi-Fi. And I typed on the screen: „Mission accomplished. XXX“

I kept sitting looking into the shining windows of the house nearby. And added: „Referent M, your eyes are beautiful indeed. Sixth“.