“When you are king, dilly dilly…” Lucy sings over the top of her drawing table and pops her head up to grin at Hava. “I love that old nursery rhyme!”
“Yes, but I think its really a folk song” Hava says, flashing back a grin of her own. Her slavic accent slightly trips over the word ‘folk’ – an in-joke in the small design company they own and run.
“Ha! Well Hava darling you are the fokk expert” Lucy replies, ducking as a ball of paper whizzes by her head.
They can laugh because everyone knows it isn’t true. Hava couldn’t be more conservative or shy when it comes to relationships – and no one has ever been able to engage her in a real discussion about her life outside the studio.
Though maddeningly closed on the subject most young women love best, on design she prattles for hours, expounding the virtues of new techniques or a cutting edge movement or the works of well known artists and architects.
As expected, Hava blushes bright scarlet and hunches down over her work, hiding her smile. One of these days she’ll have something to tell them.
That tune, though, continues in a loop, nagging her and pulling her attention towards something she can’t quite remember. A dream? A memory? It’s giving her a headache.
In the bathroom Hava splashes her face with cold water, grimacing at the shock of it and her reflection – pale and pasty, with uncharacteristic dark circles under eyes. It’s been a while since she felt refreshed in the mornings. It’s as though she’s been living a whole other life in her dreams, waking exhausted and feeling as if she’s gone horseriding all night.
“ridiculous” she mutteres to herself, “maybe I need to see a doctor?”
“a shrink might help! talking to yourself isn’t a good sign..” came from a stall behind Hava, startling her out of her reverie.
“who’s there?” Hava asks, surprised, just as the flushing lavatory drowns her words. The cubicle door swings open and a young man steps forward toward her. No. Not a young man, an angel, a demi god. This is the single most beautiful creature Hava has ever seen. She blinks twice, not believing her eyes.
“Would you believe I’m a genie from a bottle?” he asks with one perfect eyebrow raised. “No? You’re right, there’s no such thing.”
He passes her on his way to the sink, trailing a scent she can’t identify but which leaves her almost breathless with longing….Hava suddenly feels dizzy.
“I’ve come to talk to you about the king, Your majesty” The angel-man turns toward Hava just in time to catch her as she starts to fall.
And the world goes black.