Helena noticed the bouncing curls as she was walking up the stairs to her apartment. Brown and catching the sun just right from the windowed doors before she disappeared down the hall below. This happened quite a few times a week actually. They would get home minutes apart from each other and after checking their mail would go to their respective apartments. What Helena didn’t know was that the nameless woman with bouncing curls had noticed her as well. In fact, she had made sure to start getting home at almost the same time so she could feel Helena’s eyes on her as she went to her apartment.
Helena was giddy as she got something in the mail she’d been waiting for since she had ordered it sent to her from her family estate. Not even bothering to head to her apartment to open the package, she opened it sitting in the lobby on a bench they had for guests. A knife in her hand opening the box set in front of her when the mysterious woman with the bouncing curls walks into the lobby. Helena, suddenly nervous, with a knife in her hand. Would she look too skilled with it? Is there a way to not look skilled with a knife opening a box?
Out of the corner of her eye the mysterious woman watched Helena as she walked over to her mailbox and opened it as if nothing was out of the ordinary. Mostly it wasn’t. They were home a couple minutes apart as had happened the last few weeks after the woman from downstairs noticed Helena for the first time and kept track of the time to catch her eye when they got home. After grabbing her mail and sorting through it, she walked to the trash can just behind Helena to throw away the junk mail and ads. Usually she would recycle them but she didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to possibly talk to the raven haired beauty who had captured her eye.
Peering over the sitting woman’s shoulder she spoke to the upstairs woman for the first time, “Anything good? You seem excited.” Her tone light and a small smile on her face.
Almost jumping at the voice behind her, Helena turned quickly with the trinket in hand. “Oh, you startled me.” Helena smiled up at the beauty with curly hair. “Yes actually, it’s something I’ve been waiting for since my last trip back to England.”
Their eyes never left each other’s faces as Helena picked up the box and stood up still smiling. She couldn’t believe that this woman had spoken to her.
With no shift in her eyes but a subtle shift of her feet the woman with a curly mop of hair offered a hand out. “Sorry, my name is Myka. I’ve noticed you around a few times.”
The smile on Helena’s face grew even wider as she took Myka’s hand and lifted it to her lips to place a kiss on it. “My name is H.G.” she returned the favor.
Myka suddenly felt a little awkward, their eyes locked as her hand was gently let go. “Well, what exactly did you get? If it’s not too inquisitive.”
Helena dropped her hand and came back to reality as Myka’s voice washed over her. “It’s not. This,” She held up a sapphire, ruby and diamond victorian necklace to let Myka observe it. “This was….my great-grandmothers.”
Myka looked at the necklace from afar not wanting to overstep any boundaries. “It’s beautiful.” Her voice was full of wonder at the necklace in front of her. It hit her suddenly that she’d seen this necklace before in a few pictures. Not wanting to ask a stranger about her family, Myka just smiled. “It really is.”
Helena blushed at the look on Myka’s face. Realizing that this woman could know where the necklace came from she quickly returned it back to the box she had in front of her. “Thank you.”
There was a slight awkward pause before Myka brought her hand to the back of her neck to rub it in nervousness. "I um, I should go. I'm in 122 if you ever wanna stop by."
Helena could hear the almost hopeful tone of the beauty’s voice. "I'd be honored, Myka." She smiled and glanced down to the box in hand.
Myka's smile became wider, if that was even possible. "Great! I look forward to your knock upon my door soon." Oh, Myka. Stop being an idiot! She's just the beautiful British woman that you've always dreamed about!
Still smiling Helena questioned to herself as to what the invite really could mean but, she was happy to know the woman with breathtaking bouncy curls’ name. “I should go, I have to get ready for a dinner engagement. I look forward to talking soon, though.” Helena smiled even wider with a glint in her eye she could feel.
With small nods both women went their separate ways. As Helena ascended the stairs she couldn’t help but think to herself about the look Myka got when she saw the necklace that Helena shared with her. H.G knew where it came from and knew that others might not understand everything about her. For an unknown reason however Helena felt that she could share with Myka. Right now wasn’t the best time but, maybe in a few days or a week she could finally knock on that door and have a real conversation and maybe even dinner with the beautiful woman who lived downstairs from her.
Myka could picture in her mind where she has seen that necklace before. Every different picture floating in her mind had the wearer looking almost exactly like the woman who lived upstairs. Hoping that this wasn’t really what it seemed, maybe she really was the great-granddaughter of who wore that necklace in the pictures that Myka studied and taught for a living. Opening her door and taking off her messenger bag Myka pulled out one of her art history books and flipped to the picture in her mind. The portrait on the page was almost identical to the H.G from upstairs and the necklace, Myka was sure it was the same. It can’t be……………...