I flagged a cab with your dead weight on my arm. It had started to rain and you looked up, opened your mouth and stuck out your tongue. Rain ran down your face, dragging your mascara. You looked like a painting.
You lived alone in your family’s old flat. I fished keys out of your bag while you made heaving noises by the hedge. As soon as I had the door open, you bolted for the loo where everything made a dramatic exit. I stroked your back though I doubt you even knew I was there. You flushed the toilet and crawled to the living room, where you lay on the carpet and closed your eyes. I stood over you for a while.
I told you to take it easy on those margaritas, but you liked the taste of strawberries and felt sexy licking salt off the rim. You winked at a guy sitting at the bar. When he sent over margaritas, I said, go ahead, but you said, no, not tonight, it’s your birthday. You raised your glass and mouthed thank you, then turned your back on him. I wanted to tell him he was lucky.
You were on your fifth when you let slip that Jonathan from media was trying to get into your pants. He stole a kiss and cupped your breast by the photocopier. How did you find out that I fancied him? I didn’t tell anyone from the office; and when a group of us hung out, I never let on. I was friendly yet indifferent. Jonathan never made a move.
I left your keys on the hook by the kitchen and locked the door on my way out. I didn’t realise that it was so late, or so early. I watched the sun stretch its golden limbs above its head as I sat on your front steps and finger-punched Jonathan’s number on my mobile. He was half asleep when he picked up and mumbled: who’s this? I hung up. I wish I had your cojones. Next, I booked a flight for Hong Kong.
I looked back towards your door, at a small nick near the bottom in the shape of a heart. You made that when we were ten. I knew you were lying about Jonathan. You rubbed your hand across your mouth, smearing your lipstick; that always gave you away.
Art by Emma Vakarelova