Monday, June 13

Toothpaste Kiss

‘Where do you want to go now?’ she asked.
We were in an Indian restaurant she had recommended. I was mildly uncomfortable; because I was not sure what was going on, because I had become so distant to her over the past two weeks. Truthfully I felt most distant to everything. It was strange that she accepted this of me, despite deserving more. I suggested another bar, although I did not know what to say. It was still light out, still London streets Friday bright in the close evening of muggy air.
‘Why don’t we go back to yours?’
She suggested I get changed, and I did so, but putting on a pair of jeans she said I remove them, so I sat down in my underwear and a t-shirt. She giggled at me, aroused as I was and apparently wet. ‘It’s so strange to see you walking around with an erection. I didn’t think you thought that of me.’ ‘Don’t be silly,’ I said—‘Of course I do.’ Her lipstick was smudged. She grabbed me. I kneeled down and sucked her thighs. They were good thighs.
Afterwards, as we sat in front of the television set and drank red wine, she started to talk, to address some thoughts that had been playing on her mind. I listened. She spoke honestly and with a familiarity that belied the brief period we had known each other.
‘I’m sensing you, sort of, flit from one girl to another. You know, going from being really into them to being kind of cold.’
I did not say anything, but a brief sad smile passed across my face.
‘I also sense you’ve been heartbroken. Really heartbroken.’
My smile strengthened, in a manner of speaking, and I sipped my wine. I said after a moment—‘You’re quite right.’ I told her about my ex; about how things were rushed, and the honeymoon period brief because of it; how my inability to talk to her led her to not trust me; how she had been the first person I was in love with and how much the end of the relationship ruined me. She had a similar story; how she met someone on holiday and a month later they moved in together, how deaths in the family took their toll on him and eventually killed their romance.
‘Look, I’m a big girl. I can handle rejection. If you don’t want to see me again, that’s fine. If it’s just about the sex, whatever. But I really like you, I knew it the first time I saw you. I just had to talk to you, and rape you if I had to.’ She laughed—‘But you know what I mean! I have never been like that before, never done that before in my life: you know, just gone up to someone and been, like—“Come back to mine, now!”’
When she finished a silence befell the room. I surmised that it was my turn to talk. ‘I think you’re great. I really do. I think you’re wonderful. I like being around you. I like talking to you. I like your company. I love our sex. I love just hanging around with you, doing this: drinking wine and watching T.V., lazing about. It’s not all about the sex, that’s why I wasn’t going to suggest you coming back to mine earlier; I didn’t want you to think it was about the sex. I think you’re a positive influence on me, your confidence and your ambition, they’re incredible.’ I paused. ‘I just don’t think I’m ready for a relationship right now.’ Pause. ‘I thought I was, but then I started having… episodes, and realised that perhaps I wasn’t.’
‘That’s fine. I get it. I understand.’ She smiled and rubbed my leg, amusing herself at my perk. ‘Why don’t we go to bed?’ The wine was finished. She was a good woman, better than I deserved, and I did not know what I was doing. I am a fool at times. It had been a good evening.
Out of nowhere the rain begins to pour. If one is unfortunate enough to be caught in it, you can expect to become soaked in seconds. From inside I hear the hiss, the clatter and noise; then the pavement darkens quickly. With the windows open the rain falls on the sill while I rub my finger through its drops. I smear rainwater.


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