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It was his beauty. I loved looking at him. That’s why I found myself going back. He wouldn’t pretend. He needed my help then he needed me as a woman. No more than a couple of times. It was always up to me and I would always say yes. He gave me plenty of space to say no. The way he asked, seemed he expected that. I never tried to be elusive. I would go to the address he would give me. Two different addresses. Two different times. One was his. One was his friend’s.
I remember seeing him one day at the meadows. He wore a garish blue nineties T-shirt. A bit oversize. He was sitting a minute away from me. I had texted him if he was around for a drink. Hadn’t seen him while I composed the message. It took me half an hour to write a couple of lines. I used my two native friends. He replied the next day, saying it was a good day for it. Exclamation mark. The previous night, I slept with a guy I met that evening in the meadows. When I saw he would not reply to my message sitting a minute away from me, I would turn my head the other way, twenty minutes or so. When I finally looked at where he was supposed to be sitting, he was gone. After a couple of weeks he asked me to help him with his orals. I said yes. I met him the same day at the pub of the university. He was anxious. He wanted to get that done and leave. He didn’t order anything. He went along with his presentation. I pretended to have listened carefully to what he said. I ended up staring at him in an effort to focus on his voice. People were loud and his accent made it difficult. Then I gave him tips to avoid trap questions. If there were any. I remember trying to start a conversation.
We went out he rolled me a cigarette and I rushed to finish my cider. Fringe was coming. He said he wanted their money- those idiots who come and spend it there. I didn’t think of asking him if he ever enjoyed the festival. Next day, he thanked me saying he spoke cogently in French.
Most of the times he was silent. That wouldn’t change even when he talked. He would say something but had no means to sustain a conversation. His words would linger a bit and drop. Beauty cupped it up. Out of all men I’ve slept with, I craved for two. He was one of them. He couldn’t know that. I would look at him, look at him a lot. When I was dressing up, putting on my shoes. He looked back at me and smiled. It was more of a reaction to my staring at him and saying nothing. I had nothing more to say. I understood he wouldn’t see me again.