Miss Lala Sandals
In a moment of doubt she appears
She enters in with a sigh
Blood lines are all but forgotten
And the insolent heart will die
Thomas lived on a quiet street in a respectable area and had good reason to be proud of the enormous mansion in which he lived, an inheritance from his dear ancestors. The prison term that tore Thomas from his family transformed the old house, which at one time was quite distinguished for being well-kept. However the nobility of its construction was stronger than the owner’s carelessness, and as before, it was rare for a passerby not to stop under the influence of its lush baroque style. Once released, Thomas deliberately sent away the huddled homeless that had taken up residence there, cleared one room of dirt and garbage, and postponed cleaning the rest of the mansion until better times returned. Who can say what prevents a kradunu* with a forty year career from cleaning up his act? A simple life often rejects beauty, and poverty, as a rule, is no match for spiritual wealth.
Hodka* had greatly changed him. He led a desolate life, marked by evenings spent emptying bottles and days with a complete lack of goals, save for searching intensely for a “living wage” job — that was it. He would’ve ended up as a useless drunk, forgotten by friends and enemies alike, if it hadn’t been for her.
Having seen her — lively and energetic with mischievous eyes and a ridiculous ponytail on her head — a man, a criminal with an impeccable reputation who had no trace of Don Juan in him, would pass without looking back. He remembered the betrayal of a podel’nika*, whose soznankoy* ensured Thomas’ recent sentence and, valuing his freedom, he vowed never to work as a pair again. Besides, he wasn’t about to make an exception for some girl, if even she was perfectly fit for the role of stremki*. Life, however, decided otherwise.
The parasite came to him during one risky raid into the next neighborhood. Climbing into the varnish shed, Tommy sat near the refrigerator and took out edible supplies, mentally allocating the order of their use. He was about to start the meal, when he heard a loud whistle. The domushnik* cautiously clung to the window, a good location which allowed him to see the owner’s open gate. Remembering to take his partly-assembled dinner, the thief clanged the lock, carefully removed the exposed frame through which he entered, crossed the windowsill, and quietly took off.
The grimy maloletka* spun nearby, beaming with pride at her timely signal, wearing an unforgettable yellow jacket of immense size. Thomas extended a sausage link to his savior and silently bowed. It would be folly to add “breaking and entering” or even “involving minors” to his solid experience and knowledge of the Federal Criminal Code. But the audacity of the young woman knew no limit. The girl was glued to him as if with Velcro and did not lag behind one step, badly ruffling his nerves. Who would want to unveil his home address? For an hour, winding through the city, Thomas tried to lose his tail at every carefully chosen turn, and when it eventually happened, he sighed with relief. Yet fortune was playing her own game, for upon his return home to the towers of his parental mansion, he found waiting for him a young girl who was wise for her age, who declassified a carefully guarded location in the nearest pub.
Thomas let loose so far as to mimic an old eRTseDe* and, making a frightful face, he angrily mumbled:
“Get out of here, you leech!”
The girl, squinting her almond-shaped eyes, smiled pleasantly, as if the man in front of her wasn’t a criminal waving his fists, but instead an unqualified puppeteer. Embarrassed at having no effect, the thief retreated.
“Do as you please…”
With this phrase of conciliation, he inadvertently hampered his manliness. Leaving the girl outside, Thomas, anticipating a celebration of his accomplished mission, walked into the house. As he raised the faceted glass to his open mouth, he suddenly heard from behind him:
“Don’t drink it!”
The familiar little voice sounded completely different than that of the “client” of the house. It seemed to have escaped from the depths of the girl’s soul; it incorporated an almost Christian tenderness and fragility.
“Who are you?!” Thomas was stunned. “Why can’t I do what I want?”
“The number one reason,” quietly murmured his ‘guest,” “is me. Aren’t you going to be my friend?” An interest flashed in his eyes and was immediately extinguished. The flat chest of the young girl claiming to be his girlfriend prevented negotiations from reaching a consensus.
“Never!” he snapped.
“Really?” The response came across as a cheerful laugh.
The girl came closer, unceremoniously took the glass from Thomas, and offered him a wise first lesson:
“You’re not evil. You have kind eyes. No matter how much you try to fake it, they still give you away. And that,” she added, pointing a finger at her budding chest with surprising spontaneity, “that will grow. You’ll see.
What could a convict, battered by life, oppose in this brutal honesty? He stared at the stolen glass and choked out:
“My name is Lala… Lala Sandals.”
And Thomas, to be specific, saw the light! It took several years and a lot of nerve to truly see the grown up lady as a sex symbol! Now the burglar often heard:
“Well… What are you staring at?” The girl’s shameless ease from the first minute fettered Thomas’ will. As soon as he tried to understand some details from Lala’s past, the tricky witch smiled charmingly, forcing his male heart to shrink, and ruthlessly snapped her friend on the nose.
“No, that’s not gentlemanlike…”
He strove to provide for their incredible sacrifices. The only woman of the house suddenly gained imperial status in addition to a huge palace with its majestic outlines. Aquinas, therefore, had to use all his agility. The velvet revolution raced through his life, changing his lifestyle, habits, and principles.
Previously, he would go to work, which would always end with a rousing night of drinking and singing love ballads to his finances. Now, he was being forced out with the frequency of a law-abiding worker hurrying to the factory. His friends starting visiting him again. Sometimes just to sit, often to play a game of cards, and almost always with a presentation of a vernyaka*, suggestive information about apartments and houses for cash. Along with the hassle to provide hospitality came Sandals’ golden eggs — for over a year she managed to arrange repairs in the house, furnish the interior, and insisted on acquiring a car for Thomas, as well as a collapsible pool and sauna and a sunroom. Having a telephone in the mansion was a breakthrough in the field of information communication, and soon a satellite dish was added to the newly tiled roof. Contrary to the conservatism of the neighboring hovels, all of which carefully nurtured the features of antiquity, Aquinas’s mansion underwent an inevitable transformation, which was all conducted by Sandals’ baton.
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