We did not have chairs. We did not have a table. We did not even have cups or real plates. The bed was bare, but for a mattress and I had continued to put off buying “real” bed sheets or a blanket. I only used a light duvet. It was a room I did not expect to spend much time in and did not, until you.
I have never loved anyone like I loved you in that room.
I remember everything that happened in that room. From the first time you came to visit with your friend, your ever so discreet friend who retreated to the compound so we could talk. To the time you came to sleep over, then stay.
The first time thoughtless, not daring to ask you to come and see my room until you asked, “Where do you sleep?” Me clueless that my preferred sparseness of furnishing had even an aesthetic name (minimalism) hesitant, until you alarmed me, “Maybe you have a girl you’re hiding there?”
I had thought you’d snort derisively when you saw it and when you had said, “I like it. I love the space. I love the airiness. This is so wonderful.” I had turned to look at you, studying your face for the suppressed pity smile.
I did not expect you to squeal with delight, racing to the window, “Oh my God, your window looks into the forest!” I thought girls were supposed to be terrified of snakes, caterpillars and other crawlies that dropped from trees into my room. No, you were into animals more than I ever was, armed with details like sports fans with their statistics, “The more you know, the less you have to fear. Fear is ignorance.”
I thought it beyond ridiculous how excited you were about my cheetah print notebook present, “That’s my favourite, favourite animal! How did you know?”
Were you real?
I kept looking for your flaws, hugging your softness into my embrace, kissing your melting lips, drinking together straight from that White Horse bottle (I began to tell myself, ‘This girl could be dangerous.’) You know, I’ve not forgotten one bit of our love making. How could I? There are worlds and truths I’m still trying to reclaim you gave me arched back shattering glimpses of, known then lost.
I now know why I lost them. I know why I lost you. I know finally.
I knew when a cheetah print backed notebook spilled into my lap from the envelope left for me at the reception at my office. I knew, at last, I had lost you.
You once asked me, back to me, in my arms by the window, “What do you really think of me?”