Ivan was striding hurriedly toward the underground station. He had a date on the platform with his new girlfriend Renee, which he met at a party two days ago. They had liked each other from first sight. They had talked for hours, staring lovingly at each others eyes, and then had exchanged their phone numbers and kissed shyly on the lips.
Ivan longed to see Renee again. But he was extremely nervous and embarrassed because he managed to squeeze out only twenty dollars from his mother. Where could I take her with this blinking note, he thought.
Passing by the greengrocer's, Ivan bought two bananas – he intended to sate his hunger so that not to waste money on food if they decided to visit a public house.
He ate up the second banana and moved down the stairs, looking for a dustbin to throw the peel into. He didn't see one so he dropped the peel carelessly on the stairs.
"Hey, boy, why you dropped that? Someone might get hurt. Remove it, now!" shouted an old man.
"Mind your own business, dotard," said Ivan and moved on his way. "You are not my father to tell me what to do.
The old man shook his head angrily but didn't reply.
Renee was pacing toward the underground station, swaying gracefully on her high heels. She was ten minutes late already. Why did I titivate myself whole hour, she fumed.
Renee wasn't watching her steps and didn't see the banana peel. She slipped and her right foot abruptly flew forward. She gave out a squeal, flailed her arms desperately for a moment, landed heavily on her posterior, then tumbled down the stairs, unable to react in some way or another.
She sat up, pressed her purse to her breasts and stared dizzily at the crowd gathered around her.
"Are you all right, dear? Did you hurt yourself?' ask a middle-aged bespectacled woman.
"I ... I don't know," Renee mumbled with a trembling voice. "I'm not really sure how it happened. I guess I slipped on something.
"On a banana peel. Here it is. A scoundrel had dropped it, let God punish him!
Two men grabbed Renee under the armpits and help her up. In this moment a vicious pain stabbed her right leg, just below the knee. She gave out a scream and sank in the arms of the men, which carefully lowered her on the stairs.
"There is something wrong with my leg! Oh my, how it hurts!" Renee touched with trembling fingers the ugly swelling, growing under her black patterned stocking.
Ivan was pacing nervously around the platform. Renee was already more than an hour late; moreover, she wasn't answering her phone.
He waited another half hour, then started to curse, convinced she made a laughing stock of him, and headed home. Nasty muff, why you played this dirty trick on me? Why? I liked you so fucking much!
Renee reached out for her purse, which lay on a plastic chair near the examining table.