There was no two ways about it: she was stunning. Carefully,
she adjusted her skirt. She knew how to dress, she knew how to walk, she
knew exactly how to stand still and absorb the looks of admiration. It
wasn't that she was perfect - her breasts were smallish, her face was
large and round and just slightly asymmetrical (the skin of her nose ran
into her cheek higher on the left side than on the right, making it seem,
at the first look, as if she'd been taken apart and the last click to
slide her face back into place just wouldn't work) and, most of all, under
those stylish garments and the cleverly applied make up she was pudgier
than she would care to show on any occasion.
Mirrors don't lie on occasions like these, though,
and however imperfect the smaller details may have made her, the whole
was simply irresistibly sexy, and she knew it. Every bit of it. It was
no small victory to finally have won a date with Wild John Silver - the
nickname she still used to refer to the man who later turned out to be
called 'Bob', which she thought was rather drab. He'd not been an easy
catch, though the details on the Rendez-vous website had from the start
shown that it was a perfect match: they liked the same movies, they liked
the same books from the same authors, they listened to the same kind of
music, and both disliked thoroughly being on the damn blind dating scene.
He was sceptical - as much as she was - refused to send her decent photographs
of himself, refused to talk on line more than once a week, and his emails
so cryptic, sometimes. She liked it. All of it. He'd been acting
like wounded prey, and the hunt was about to get interesting.
She knew of his ex-girlfriend. What else does one do, on sites and chat
channels created for the sole purpose of finding love, than talk of love
lost? She'd had to tell her own story so often now, that she'd synthesised
it into a credible, yet tragic three lines, which she could narrow down
still to one, basic thought: she deserved far better than what she got.
She smiled her good smile, the one with the twinkle in her eye and the
shyness on her lips, lift her skirt up a bit more again, and walked out
of her house on high heels and dreams made off electronically whispered
Her legs had always sufficed to make me loose all my senses, when she
decided to showcase them, in the long drawn evenings of summer and early
fall. I couldn't pretend it was the heat that made my thoughts sticky
and my mouth dry, because she was aware of her attraction over me, as
much, I guess, as of mine over her. It had been
five years, now,
since we had been that close, but her body had lost none of its glory
- as that of a young woman shouldn't - and her stride none of its pride,
a self conscious step, not a whoring one.
I recall her excited monologues about 'Wild John Silver', the deus ex
machina come to save her from the miserable existence that had befallen
her after her last, psychologically unstable and overall nitwit lover
had dropped the curtains on their tragicomedy. He fit the bill, this late
night cowboy, he was Mr Perfect, and obviously all what had previously
come to pass would now have to be viewed as leading up to this slightly
miraculous union of souls. After every weekly conversation, she'd come
to me and talk and talk, feeding me all I had to know.
The story she had gotten in return for the curriculum
miserea of her own love life, was, I'm afraid, born out of laziness. It
told of the same adventures that had befallen us when sunsets could make
me cry and my words stirred her deepest, darkest femininity. I remember
reading that in her diary when it was too late to change anything, amazed
at how much she had clung to my act, numbed by how deeply she had fallen
in love with a man who never dared to think she was for real, and how
I was the first human being able to make her feel like a woman. Not a
child. Not a girl. Not a piece of flesh, a daughter, a pair of legs walking
down the boulevards of the city. When I touched her, she wrote, she could
feel the magic. The union was to be miraculous, yes, but I don't think
this was the kind of miracle she had in her anxiously romantic mind.
She stopped. She had given up ladies' night for this. All the girls had
wished her good luck. She looked. I had obviously sent her pictures of
some dope I had found on the web - some American, I think, who'd posted
just the right kind and amount of images to service my needs, to create
the intelligent, shy, sexually perverted Bob, hiding behind the big mouthed,
desperate and easy going Wild John Silver. Not exactly easy, but once
you put bits of yourself into the persona, everything else flows from
that. Plus, like I mentioned, I had constant feedback about my own performances.
How she had not figured me out after all that time - the charade had begun
shortly after we'd gotten reacquainted through a short note by her hand,
letting me know her nozem had given her a one way ticket to Dumpsville
and she needed someone to talk to, and had lasted up to now, 5 weeks later,
or was it 6 already?
Puzzlement breached her perfect face. She is searching. She is scared.
This shouldn't take long. Come on. She has to find me before total despair
hits her. She has to look into my eyes and understand. Come on!
I rise from my corner and, slowly, I start making my way towards her.
She has her back turned to me, but she should be turning around
"I have no time for your crap right now," I silence her, stifling
the surprise on her questioning lips, along with the anger bubbling up,
growing stronger, and, somewhere, in the back of her head that eerie feeling
of alarm at things not being as they should be, at reality playing tricks
she could not possibly have foreseen.
I reach out to her forehead. However much I prepare for this, I never
get used to it. My fingers touch her third eye - mathematically, a finger's
width below the horizontal axis between her blonde curls and her fair
eyebrows, and spot on the vertical axis of her tiny nose, her beaming
face, her haunting being
I cling to my feelings, as reality falls
from us, I cling to certainties. I conjure up the images of her naked
upper body, the smell of her kiss, the soft admiration in her voice, the
silent, devoted looks we once shared, all the things we once shared, her
fear of being alone, our fear
and call her up, out of and away from
the darkness. Have you ever had a dream, where you were falling, and then
you'd suddenly wake up? That split second sensation, where your mind thinks
you're accelerating ad infinitum, and your body is trying to tell you
you're on solid ground, safe under your covers, is how this stage feels,
but much stronger, and prolonged. Then, when there is nothing but black
mist, and time has no grasp over us, and I know I cannot live without
her, everything turns blue, like a wind radiating away from us, and turning
the plain darkness into a cool ocean's breeze. I can speak, at this point.
"I'm going to give you something, which I have never been given."
She is in shock. I let my hand fall down to my side, releasing her from
the choking embrace that kept her alive through the experience. There
is a little bit of spit, and snot, running from her face. Just a trickle.
Even like that, her eyes popping out, her back slightly arched and her
arms halted in a gesture of wildly flailing, as if her body is unsure
whether it was truly experiencing mind wrecking pain and pauses to question
its own movements, she is quite attractive.
"I have awakened in you a consciousness. You can feel it. You know.
With it, of course, come certain
abilities." I look closely
at her eyes. She is clearly recovering. She looks at me, and realizes
who I am. My words, too, start settling in. She is starting to assimilate
- how marvellous the dance between the base instinct of survival and the
millennia of thought now coursing through her consciousness - but will
she be able to fit me in?
"You were a toddler once, that could barely walk. Now, you can fly."
Her expression did not change. She didn't nod, or blink, or give any sign
at all of understanding, or even hearing what I said. If it wasn't for
her mind working overdrive, and the gradual turning of the sea that beset
us from blue to red, with dark spots gathering around her and a soft yellow
aura glowing about me, she could just as well have rejected my gift. It
is always tricky when you insert a foreign element into a system, that
is keen on keeping things as they are thankyouverymuch, for you could
destroy both the element and, which is worse, the system. This time though,
I have gotten it right. Our union has indeed been foretold. Everything
fits the bill. Everything is perfect. I just can't let her slip.
I felt reality forming again, around us. The colours were flowing, shaping
into objects, contrasts sharpening and the timbre deepening with every
moment. I reached out again, and caressed her face, like I would have,
so long ago. Gently, her body reacted. She became less cramped, and her
eyes lifted to meet mine, in a glimpse of recognition.
"Now that it is yours, you must choose what you do with it. You will
encounter many beings that may solicit your council, and it is up to you
to heed them or to ignore them. This is my true gift to you, girl. Accept
And with a final swirl, even the light brown glow between us flowed back
into its proper colour and density. I smiled, and nodded at the bar.
"Can I get you something?" I asked.
"Yes. Yes, I believe you can," she said, finally.