‘Ooh, we really are leading exciting lives.’ Peirene is clearly thrilled as the taxi is driving us to Liverpool Station to catch the Stansted Express. We have been invited by Literature Across Frontiers on a publisher’s tour of the Baltic States.
‘Why are you putting on your shades?,’ I enquire. Outside it’s grey and stormy.
‘In films, high-flying business people always wear sunglasses, ‘ the Nymph informs me, while she takes out her little mirror and reapplies her lipstick.
We arrive at the airport with time to spare. Peirene grabs her handbag and tells me with a vague wave of her hand that she has ‘things to do’. I don’t follow her because I, too, have ‘things to do.’ I decided earlier on that I needed to pamper myself. A manicure would be perfect. I head to the nail bar at the main terminal. I rarely treat myself to a manicure, feeling guilty about wasted time. But since I didn’t have much of a break from work this weekend, I feel happy to indulge.
I know I want red nails but as I sit in front of the beautician, for a long time I can’t make up my mind what shade. The dark one or rather the brighter, more classic red? Eventually I come to a conclusion. I choose the ruby red. Soon, my nails look beautiful. I give the beautician a big tip.
I turn around, ready to walk away. And guess who I suddenly spot sitting on the other side of the nail bar? Peirene!
I tap her on the shoulder. ‘So that’s where you rushed off to.’
She looks over her shoulder with a start. Then she smiles at me with slight embarressment.
‘Show me your nails,’ I say.
She lifts them up.
‘Is that the colour high-flying business women wear in films?’ I ask.
She nods. I wave my hands at her: ‘That’s makes two of us.’
The Nymph compares my hands with hers. She purrs happily: ‘With nails like these we will surely clinch an amazing Baltic book deal.’
Image by Håkan Dahlström, creative commons.