Why not, right? Short little chapter I quite like from my novel Impossible Monsters. Enjoy.
It’s kinda cold outside and Beatriz and I are walking down Medard Road which runs past the dorms and down a steep hill that overlooks a nice little area of Wellington before it curves, goes past some pretty decent-looking houses, and dead-ends into Bexley Hill. I managed to track down her dorm room number from Mora, called her to apologize for my behavior at the party, I think really just to make us both feel better about everything, and ended up asking her to take a walk. I met her by the road and she had a small Spanish-English dictionary with her, which was pretty adorable, and I smiled when I saw it, which caused her to blush.
“I…am sorry. My Eenglish is…not very good,” she said, bashful, sexy, holding the book up. I don’t remember her English being particularly bad last night.
“No, it’s fine…I like this,” I said back, then we started walking, not really saying anything, just exchanging lots of awkward smiles mostly. Now we’re down the hill right past the curve and there’s this old church with dark stones, grass in front of it, surrounding it, a small stone wall lining the sidewalk made up of similar dark stones and we’re sitting on the wall. I’m thumbing through the dictionary, asking about my pronunciation of random Spanish words which makes her smile and look away, and she’s wearing this hoodie and some jeans and some tennis shoes that makes her look very American for some reason. I’m wearing a tight sweater and favorite jeans, and I removed my green army jacket earlier so she could look at me, so I could show her my body again, just to make sure she knows.
“I’m glad you wanted to come with me,” I say.
“Yes,” she says, nodding.
“Listen, I think what happened, last night, is something…well, we were drunk, right?” I say and she looks at me, processing what I just said, so I add, “Borrecho, si?”
“Ah, borracho. Yes, very,” she says, the R’s rolling off her tongue and hanging between us before they disappear.
I look out to the road and watch a few cars drive by, a small Indian family out for a walk, a stray cat that’s really dirty and mangy. I look back to her and she’s looking up toward the sky, studying the tree that’s hanging over us, the branches already bare, the bark like peeling slate. “I think you’re very beautiful,” I say.
“Hmm…thanks. You are also…very handsome,” she says and I smile.
“I don’t think we’re bad people, you know?” I say and pause to look in the dictionary, then, “That I’m…uh, mal hombre, right?”
“No, no. We were…just drunk, yes?”
“Yes,” I say, she’s looking at me. “You really are very beautiful. Do you miss your boyfriend?”
“What’s his name?”
“Hector. He’s a good man.”
“My girlfriend’s name is…Jennifer. Jen, I call her. I met her at…a friend’s wedding, actually.”
“Is this weird I’m telling you this after…you know?”
“I…do not understand.”
“Um, after last night,” I say slowly, gesturing with my hands. “I mean, after what happened between us.”
“Ah, yes…yes. No, is good to know.”
“I agree. You know, I never…cheated before, on her. On Jen. Cheat?” I say, making sure she understands.
“Yes, I have not cheated too.”
“Well, at least we’re on the same page. Uh, I mean, we’re…the same?”
“Yes,” she says, looking at me again. “We are the same.”
I hear what sounds like a car accident echo from somewhere, not sure which direction, so I look around quick and just listen, waiting. Nothing happens, nothing right away, anyway, and I see the Indian family walk by again, retracing their steps, then three birds flirting across the street in the branches of another bare tree, then look back to Beatriz and catch her watching me, studying me, just looking at my body in a way that I think I understand.
“I think,” I say, smiling at her, making a conscious effort to articulate like a translator might, pausing, then, “I think that you and I will be very good friends, yes?”
“Maybe…is possible,” she says, smirking. “Nothing is impossible.”
“True,” I say. “Nothing is impossible.”