He kissed her quickly, then, in the wine cellar. She had not expected that when he showed her down the narrow stairs into the rough room, had expected only to see what wine he had and to see what he would pair with the meal. She had not been kissed like that in a very long time, and that made it even more surprising, more lovely, like stumbling across a long-forgotten favorite belonging in the dark recesses of a cupboard. She kissed him back, and remembered what it was like to fall in love.
Archive for the ‘Not so true’ Category
How vast, she said, and the ocean’s edge rushed over her toes. How does anyone find the other side?
There are stars to follow, he replied. And, sometimes, mermaids sing the path clear.
That seems risky, she said. What if it’s cloudy? What if the wind drowns out the melodies?
You have a wise heart and a good boat, he said. They will get you where you need to go.
We’re being watched all the time, he said.
You’re paranoid, she said, but far off in the sky, she could see a helicopter, hovering like a sliver in the clouds.
She imagined what it would be like to ride in the back seat of a Chevrolet Bel Air with the windows down while her driver took her along the Malecón. She imagined the sun setting behind her as they drove, bathing the city in a peach glow.
When she dreamed, she scrubbed away Havana’s crumbling buildings, the empty store shelves, the secret police. She thought, only, of the serenity of a quiet city, the light, the sound of the lapping the sea wall. She was as likely to get there as to the moon. Truth did not hamper her.
Was it the edge of the ocean, or the edge of something smaller? All she knew is she could see a broken version herself reflected just past where the water lapped her feet. She could not fathom how far it might be to the other side, or how deep the water might descend along the way.
Even so, she breathed in deeply, then stepped into the water. It would take too long to go around. She would have to swim as long as she could, and hope, at the end of it all, she had reached the other side.
No matter how rare the worst case scenario, she thought about it all the time, her brain constantly inventing scenarios so horrible she could not even whisper them aloud.
Does it make you more grateful when things turn out OK? he asked.
No, she said, thinking about the buzzing nausea that flooded her system most days, leaving her twitchy and damp. Even then, she was poised to duck under the table to evade shots fired from an automatic weapon, the blast from a suicide bomber in a bulky vest, the debris falling as a tornado tore the building apart.
For a moment, she thought he had written a date far in the future. Then she remembered he was European.
It had been this way since the start—she had not expected there to be so many ways in which she would have to reset her thinking just to align their cultures. Perhaps I’m naive, she told her friend. I just thought he would be like all the other guys, but with an accent.
Her friend laughed, then chuckled a bit more gently. It’s not so important that he give you what you expect, the friend said. It’s far more important that he give you what you need.