“Hi.” – I send him a text not expecting a reply.
“Hi…” – his reply comforts and intrigues.
“Are you busy?” – it’s almost midnight.
“No, why?” – now, he is interested.
“I’m tired of sleeping alone” – it takes one sentence to strip naked.
It’s been days of solitude and silence, two things that are unattainable in London, yet somehow, I manage to slide into that uninhabited island feeling, I merge with it, I become the desert island.
Ever since that drunken kiss somewhere in a middle of the Old Street crossroads and new beginnings until years later, we’ve developed a strange interdependent relationship: he desires to be adored and I cannot let go of magic.
Magic, the term that originates from unrealistic childhood fairy tales and develops throughout teenage years, reaches its full bloom in early adulthood. Considering the yet to be proven fact that 30s are the new 20s, one could state that the belief in magic strongly persists up until 40s when the search for magic interfere with slowly approaching middle age crisis and is completely pushed out by realisations evoked by the real-life drama, such as biological clock, slower metabolism, financial struggle etc.
Everyone needs a bad boy, a real life impersonification of one’s alter ego. A person untied from social rules system, free from all the bullshit, with a few days old beard, wearing black leather jacket and torn jeans with a bottle of whiskey in his hand and a crushed pack of cigarettes in the pocket, the trouble-is-his-middle-name type of man with balls.
I fall asleep awaiting for reply.
I fall asleep alone.
To be woken up by…
… a 7 am alarm.
There are two types of men, those who care about you and those who don’t. One type lacks mystery and another will never hold your hand.
“Wanna grab a coffee?” – he replies four years too late.
“Where?” – like an addict I need my dose of inspiration.
“Broadway Market, there is this coffee place…”
“Climpson & Sons” – I reply, the place where I’ve seen him the last time, four years ago.
Four years and he still haunt me, untouched by time.
Her stomach flips from excitement, and all around colourise with Oh Lori notes by Alessi Brothers. Seasons become a warm summer’s evening, a vacation in Southern France.
This coffee date is like any other casual date with a friend. He is a distant friend, from the year of the cat, from parallel universe.
She grabs the duvet as if to make the bed, then lingers absentmindedly and heads to the kitchen. The fridge is empty, what if he comes around and stays overnight? There will be nothing to make breakfast of.
She checks the time.
He will be there in less than an hour and I’m still in pyjamas. What to wear? – she looks for an answer in the wardrobe, – Does it matter? He’s just a friend.
She needs a reminder.
She takes a pen and scribbles the sentence across her palm. A message in capital bold letters to a fortune teller: HE IS JUST A FRIEND.
They will meet and talk about work, only that will probably last about a minute:
- How is work?
- Yeah, alright. Yours?
Sometimes she wonders how they managed to go through the first date without having nothing in common. Of course, there wasn’t much talking, after all, the language of the sexual attraction is spoken in all countries around the world.
She wouldn’t mind to go around the world with him. From what she gathered, he looks like a nice guy. A nice bad boy, a heartbreaker.
She went to a heartbreak hotel many times before, she is attracted to that kind of men. She can spot one from across the room and invisible rope drags her straight to him. She smiles and touches her hair, curling a strand around her finger. She makes them feel good about themselves, her eyes say that she never met anyone like this before. Although she did, one thousand times to be exact, but she never learns the lesson. Some may say, she is a hopeless romantic, some calls her a brainless twat, just like those women who are beaten up by their partners, but refuse to leave.
- Sorry, it’s too late, – I apologise.
- You mean, you’re late? – he gives two kisses, right-left cheek, an average greeting.
- Yes, I mean, no… – actually, I have no idea what I mean and this is not the first time.
- Would you like a cup of coffee? I already had two, feel a bit edgy, wouldn’t mind to take a walk, shall we? What can I get you?
- Americano, – I mean business.
I watch him standing by the counter ordering the third cup of coffee. The young barista with peroxide blond hair looks at him as if he would like to be chocolate that melts in his hot milk.
I let him pay, then walk out the café, lit up a cigarette and walk back home through London Fields, where four years ago, he played with our imaginary children and I was the happiest girl on Earth.