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At The Movies

That day they decided that they had to make a movie happen. Because every time they wanted to do one, they and their sneaky accomplices – his kisses, her tongue, his car – would get in the way.

“We’ve got to make it. I don’t believe it; we haven’t properly watched a movie together all this time!” she grumbled.

“Yes we must,” he agreed, all grave and solemn.

So they decided on one that they would both enjoy – an animated slapstick – wholesome, feelgood stuff. She booked and triumphantly sent him the details. To back out would be abhorrence and a huge insult to the film, and they were vehement.

The day came and as usual, he came to pick her up. They decided to dress in their most casual outfits and kept the whole mood light and easy.

It was all good. He cruised towards the cinema and they were chatting and laughing, sharing recent trivias in each of their lives.

It was all good. They arrived at the cinema and he turned into the car park, giving her a grin of victory as she smiled back.

It was all good. They found a parking lot and he carefully backed his car in while she checked that she had the booking details and wondered what flavour popcorn she should get. He parked the car and switched off the engine.

For a moment, they sat in the car in silence.

Then, his mouth was on hers, his arms drawing her into him as their tongues met fiercely, tearing down the last walls of decorum. They came apart with a last chance to redeem themselves: they had five minutes before the movie started.

“Do you wanna go somewhere else?” he asked, a hint of a tease, a tinge of urgency.

“But.. the movi…” She was rudely interrupted by his lips on hers, trailing down her neck.

“Let’s go somewhere else,” she breathed, a sigh, a surrender.

And as he pulled away from the lot, they had lost once again, her sweet defeat in his warm caress.

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(I Hate This) Love Song – part six

I have been having a nagging thought of weaving this memorable date in and this day, being exactly five years since it happened, must be the perfect day to do this.

 

My fingers fumbled against the clasp of one of the string of three brooches that were to hold my blouse together. Amidst the frenzy, I marvelled at such intricate accessories of the past, no doubt invented in a time when people had more of it.

Drats. My thoughts flew back to his text message earlier. I’ll fetch you after my work at five thirty. It was almost five thirty. Frantically, I grabbed my phone and replied him.

I’m not ready yet! Give me another fifteen minutes. So sorry!

Just when the second clasp was done, his reply came in: Ah I’m already here but I’m not allowed to park, so I’ll just drive around in circles till you are ready.

I’ve never felt so much pressure getting dressed but fortunately, everything fell in place in time. Taking in a huge breath, I made my way precariously down the stairs. The hostess at my abode cooed and complimented me, to which I returned her a faint smile. I was nervous, somewhat. Slipping on my heels, I draped my coat on my arm, then opened the door.

In the crisp air of the evening, I saw his car, there at my doorstep. Walking over, I opened the door and got in, a little cumbersome in the garb, but nonetheless as elegantly as I could.

“Well, aren’t you looking fancy now,” he said, turning towards me and I caught the grin on his face. I blushed immensely and mumbled thanks. He smiled and nodded.

“So, would you like to take the scenic route or the city route?”

“Hmm, I’m fine with either.”

“Let’s take the scenic route then, by the sea.”

“Sure! That sounds lovely.”

The car pulled out from the row of apartments and turned out towards the sea, and soon we were driving along a magnificent sight of rolling waves and the light evening sky.

“I’ll need to pop over to my dad’s to pick up something, then we’ll go over to my mum’s and I’ll take a shower and we’ll order dinner in or something before we make our way to the cinema.”

“Hah, that sounds like a date of sorts… you know, dinner and movies.”

He laughed.

“It does, doesn’t it? A date it is then.”

As he drove, we chatted and the mood was easy, like a light breeze on a cool summer evening. He was charming and warm, yet it belied an unfathomable depth that was the way he was.

I waited in the car as he went into the first house, and he soon reappeared with a formal coat on his arm. Then we drove to the next destination and here we alighted and made our way towards the door. Opening it, he led the way and turned on the lights to reveal a cosy interior with stairs leading to a second floor.

“Make yourself comfortable.”

“Alright.”

I pulled out a chair at the dining table and sat down to wait; he busied himself a little around the house. Soon, he came to the table and sat beside me.

“How about pizza for dinner?”

“Sure, I love pizza!”

We checked out the menu and decided on a seafood and a pepperoni. When the order was settled, he turned to me with a grin. Then he glanced towards the stairs.

“Would you like to take a look upstairs?”

“Oh! Would it be intruding?”

“No you won’t. There’s no one else at home.”

Cautiously, I made my way after him as we went up the steps. They led to several neatly adorned rooms and he introduced them to me casually. I was acutely aware of the feeling I was in a rather personal space, but I nodded and listened politely as he talked.

“Alright, I’ll go take my shower; the pizzas should be here very soon.”

“Okay, I’ll just look at the loading bar on-screen while you go get ready.”

He let out a chuckle and nodded.

“Hey, you know what? Let me get them instead. You already gave me a lovely scenic ride just now.”

After some insisting, he relented with a shrug and made his way towards the bathroom. True to his word, pizzas arrived in a jiffy, a short while after he reemerged, formally attired.

We opened the boxes and I took a slice, biting into its savoury softness as he did. Pizza had never tasted that good. Maybe it was the fresh ingredients. Maybe it was its piping hot sensation on a cool night. Maybe it was the warmth of him, subtle yet steadfast.

“This is starting to feel like a proper date.”

He laughed and replied, “Yes it does, doesn’t it… oh wait, watch this.”

With a twinkle in his eye, he proceeded to pull off a circle of pepperoni from my remaining pizza, laying it on the box at the corner it made with the remaining three-quarters of a circle. He took a second piece of pepperoni and laid it a little distance away. I let out a gasp and laughed.

“Pacman! Haha that’s awesome!”

He grinned and took another bite from his slice.

When we were done, it was almost seven and time to leave. We stepped out into the chillier night, darkened by the hour, and the street lamps had come on. It was a short drive to the cinema, but a relatively cold – thus long – walk from the carpark to the establishment.

When we got there, there was already a small crowd milling around and voices in conversation wafted in the evening air. The cinema was a vast, glassy building housing several theatres and it was huge. It was my first time at the movies in that place and I had to make pictures.

“Hey let’s get a picture together!”

He hesitated slightly.

“Oh come on, it’s my first time at the movies in your country.”

With that, he relented and stood at as close a proximity as he would allow himself to be and we got a gritty night shot from my non-accommodating phone camera.

It was to be a shot more memorable than it meant.

 

– End of part six –

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The Answer

Can you go louder?

How loud do you want?

You will miss me.

No I won’t.

Sure you will, because I’m smooth.

What does one do with boys like that?

Are you talking about me?

I guess one could just ignore them.

Love ‘em, and get your heart broken. Or mess with ‘em, and break their hearts.

Guess I got my answer.

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Unexpected

That evening, he showed up, unexpected. He’d tried to call before, but she had missed all three of them, absorbed in her work.

Suddenly, the doorbell rang, and there he was outside the door. She was surprised but had to let him in, and so he entered, almost carefully, yet with a sense of urgency.

“I wasn’t expecting you.. not now… I thought I’d arranged for it to be tomorrow?” she enquired, feeling slightly flustered.

“Well, you’ll have to cancel that. You’re not allowed to go anywhere now.” He began to get ready, and she was left with no choice but to accede.

He approached her, until they were but barely a breath away. She could see the beads of perspiration on his neck and a look of intent in his eyes. It was her first time, but he was a veteran; all she could do was to trust him.

“We’ll do it right here, in the living room.” She nodded.

Then, slowly but carefully, he pushed in, and she allowed him to. She tried not to think about it when it entered, but she could feel it inside her. He was skilful with his ways and gentle; it did not hurt at all.

Then, all too soon, he was done. As he got ready to leave, she felt a little awkward, but sent him off at the door.

“I’m sorry for intruding, but I had to.”

“That’s alright, I understand.”

With a slight nod, he was gone, and all she had left from it was the memory of her first time doing a PCR swab.

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An Afternoon To Remember

I met with her at the street above the metro station; our restaurant was a short walk down and the late morning was perfect to do so.

She was dressed in a short floral frock that looked so good on her, but how unaware she was of it, with the carefree way she laughed when we chatted and the light that shone in her eyes. I checked my reflection as we passed a shop window: fitted light blue linen shirt casually unbuttoned at the neck, offwhite blazer slung over my arm – one could never be certain of the weather these days – my favourite jeans and shoes to match. Maybe I was nervous; after all, it would be our first date without our friends. Maybe it was the way I felt about her, and wondering if she knew.

We arrived soon at the establishment; instinctively I pushed the door open and turned to her with a grin.

“Oh! Thank you!” she appeared to be slightly surprised.

The waiter came to show us our table and before he could, I pulled out her chair. Again, she thanked me and blushed a little. She lowered herself and I slid the chair back to catch her as she did. Then I seated myself beside her.

“You’ve been here, so what do you recommend?” I heard her say from across the menu.

“Would you like to try the escargots?” I said, running my eyes down the menu, then looking up towards her questioningly.

“Snails?” she asked curiously. “Why… sure, I’ve never tried those before.”

“I’m sure you’ll like it; and if not, there’s always pizza and desserts,” I grinned at her as I placed the orders.

Indeed, she loved the snails, as I loved her presence. I felt as if it would never be enough, and I didn’t want it to be enough.

She rose to go to the ladies room and I rose too, and she blushed again, giving me a quick smile and whispered, “I’ll be back soon.” I nodded and lowered myself back into my seat, taking a sip of my wine. I was light-headed and I wasn’t sure if it was the wine or her who intoxicated me.

“Shall we take a walk? The weather’s pretty today,” she said, as we picked at the last morsels of our desserts.

“Sure; let me get the bill,” I gestured to the waiter and he nodded, and presently came back with a slim leather folder. Settling the bill, I rose as she did and we proceeded towards the brightness that beckoned from outside the restaurant’s glass doors.

“Thank you for the lovely lunch… I felt really special,” she said. We were walking towards the quieter part of town away from the crowds and a light breeze was blowing in the late afternoon sun.

“It was my pleasure… and thank you for accompanying me to lunch,” I replied, smiling, as we strolled.

“Do you do that to all the girls you go out with?” she asked. “You know, the opening of doors and pulling of chairs and all…”

“Well, I guess,” I pondered. “I mean so far I haven’t gone out with that many girls, but I have been taught to take care of my companion as best as I can. It’s manners I grew up with.”

“Well it felt lovely,” she sighed. “It was probably the first time a guy did those for me. Thank you for that.”

“Well… I could take care of you, you know,” I said, before I could stop myself.

“What do you mean?”

I stopped walking, man-blushed and kicked myself internally.

“What did you say?” She stopped walking too and held me in her gaze that I found difficult to meet.

“I uh… I meant I could take care of you every time we uh, come out for meals or movies and stuff… like uh, oh you know what, never mind what I said…” I was a blabbering fool.

She gazed at me a while, then leaned over. I felt the scent of her breath against my skin and her body brushing against my arm as her lips pressed against my face lightly. Time stopped in that moment as my heart remained suspended, even after she had moved away from the proximity earlier.

She laughed at my stunned reaction, linked her arm in mine, and then said, “This is an afternoon to remember.”

It is an afternoon I have yet to forget.

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Abstract

The sounds of my footsteps echoed throughout that vast expansive space as I made my way from one exhibit to another.

The afternoon was quiet and visitors unusually few, to my utter delight, for I could then muse over any art piece I liked for as long as I wanted, without being interrupted in the spinning of my web of thoughts.

“You like it?”

Oh great, an intruder. I glanced up to see a fellow patron, smiling pleasantly at me.

“Well, yes rather.”

“It’s fascinating to me too,” the intruder continued, oblivious to the fact that my space had been trespassed. “But what do you think about the whole thing?”

“What do you mean?” I wasn’t quite sure what that question meant.

“About this whole… concept of art.”

“Concept?”

“Yes. Say this very piece of exhibit. Is it art?”

“Well, yes, I suppose.”

The intruder was still gazing at the exhibit.

“Or are the thoughts and concoctions that flow through your mind as it attempts to make sense of what it sees, which culminates in the final masterpiece it forms, might that instead be actually the art?”

The air hung heavy with the after-silence of that question.

Finally, I found my tongue. “I suppose one could see it that way too, yes.”

“Therefore art cannot be contained within a piece of canvas or a lump of clay. It extends out within each of us, and through our actions, through the people who experience our actions, and still more people who experience their actions, till in the end, we are all intertwined in one intricate web of our artistic humanity.”

I let out a huge breath and said, “That actually makes… sense in its own way.”

“Well, I’ll not disturb you further. Have a marvellous day.” The intruder gave me a smile and then walked away.

Once again, silence reigned in that vast expansive space.

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(I Hate This) Love Song – part five

Strangely, I had a dream last night of the original muse that inspired this story – and I hadn’t even been thinking at all! Since it’s been almost seven years that I last wrote part four, perhaps it’s a timely continuation call.

 

I watched as the children ran towards him, screaming in delight as he squatted to their level to chat with them, eye to eye. Their excited faces spoke of how much they adored him as everyone spoke all at once, a flurry of activity. He was unflustered, attending to each of them in turn, attentively listening to their stories and responding as he would any adult person.

“Come with me somewhere,” he had said, after lunch.

“Where are we going?”

He only smiled and replied, “Somewhere.”

Well, the orphanage wasn’t quite the place I expected. But there I was with him. And as we enthusiastically waved goodbye to the cherubic faces, I thought it was a great idea after all.

“The kids love you,” I said, as the car pulled away from the building and onto the tree-lined boulevard.

“They love you too,” he said, with a grin.

“Well yeah… I guess. You seem to know them well.”

“I come here whenever I have time. More than just being a volunteer, I sometimes feel that what I give is incomparable to what they give me in return.”

The car slid onto the highway and he continued.

“You know my work… everyone thinks I have it good. I’m not complaining, but sometimes, I just want to put away that side of me, and just be… me. Without the music, the events, the posed photos, the constant need to feed my fans on social media… the real me.”

He stopped and gazed out, almost in deep thoughts, turning the steering wheel. The evening was giving the skies lovely hues of blue, lavender and gold.

“The children. They do not know who I am, only that I am a kindly uncle who visits them and plays with them. When I am with them, I can be real. No pretense, no makeup, no protocols. They bring me solace, much more than they know.”

Silence filled the air between us, but the sunset outside was at its most glorious. I took in a deep breath.

“I’m glad you got them.”

“Thanks.”

He turned to face me, giving me a smile as he let out a sigh.

“Well, let’s not waste the evening. Where do you want to go?” he asked with a wink.

“Well… perhaps some place local… and real,” I replied, raising my eyebrow as I winked back.

He laughed and the car sped off towards our next destination.

It was night fall when we pulled up near a rural market, a surprising bustle of warm lights and mingling locals. As we stepped out of the car, the aromas of grilled squid and the salty sea breeze concocted a delicious invitation as we made our way towards the entrance.

The market was a riot of activity; middle-aged shopkeepers peddled their ware forcefully, waving their hands towards their goods, cooks swiftly preparing each serving like clockwork, deft yet mechanical, dishing out hot foods by the bowls, or the boisterous office workers still in their suits, red-faced with liquor, each trying to out-yell the other, breaking out into rambunctious laughter as they passed us. He turned to me and shrugged, then beckoned me to follow him. I nodded as I squeezed past the throngs, frantically trying not to lose sight of him as he made his way through.

No one seemed to notice him.

Finally, we came to a stretch where it was quieter and easier to talk. We stopped to buy some snacks and ate as we walked. As he explained the history of the place, I was admiring the sights and sounds when suddenly he exclaimed.

“Oh! We have to go in here!”

I looked at where he had stopped at – it was a costumes shop. From the glass windows we could see the colourful display of traditional costumes; further in, I could make out what looked like party outfits, wigs and accessories. There didn’t seem to be anyone in the dinghy, dimly lit store.

He went to the door, gave it two respectful knocks, then reached for the doorknob. Giving it a twist, he pushed open the door and stepped inside, the bell attached tinkling lightly as I followed close behind.

The space was filled with neatly arranged racks of costumes – traditional costumes, party costumes, character costumes, children costumes. In the wooden cabinets that lined the perimeter of the store, there were wigs and accessories, crowns for kings, tiaras for princesses, swords for knights. As I gazed in awe at the intricately made pieces, an elderly man stepped out from the door at the back.

“Hello, may I… ah, you’re here! And who’s your friend?”

“Hello and yes, I am here! This is my friend who has just arrived from overseas. She is here for a short visit and I am playing tour guide tonight.”

He gave me a wink.

“Ah I see! And you thought to bring her to this old dusty store?”

The elderly man chuckled heartily, coming forward to take my hand. Giving it a warm yet study handshake, he gave me a grin.

“Sir, you are too humble! You have so many beautiful costumes here!”

“Yes indeed, they are many. This shop was passed down from my grandfather to my father, and now I am the old fogey here.” He let out another chuckle. “Which one would you like to try on?”

I gasped. “Wh-what… try on? But they look exquisite… I wouldn’t want to tear any of them accidenta-“

“Oh don’t worry about that my dear,” the elderly man interrupted kindly. “Go on, pick one.”

I glanced at him and he nodded. Slightly hesitant, I went to one of the racks and browsed through some of the items but was soon enthralled by them. I went to the next rack and still, the next. Meanwhile, he too was taking a casual browse, throwing me an amused grin as he caught my eye.

When we met back at the counter, we had each picked out one. The elderly shopkeeper gestured towards the back of the shop. He was already at the back door and held it open for me as I stepped in. There were several spacious cubicles for clothes change and I eagerly stepped into one. As I was finishing up with my costume, I heard a light knock on my door.

“Are you alright in there?”

“Yeah… I just… I’m almost done…” With that, I opened the door.

I had to gasp. He was wearing a warrior costume that accentuated his features, exuding a presence that was both subtle yet intimidating.

“You look great! I would believe you are an archer if you’d walk out into medieval streets.”

“Uh… thanks…” I felt myself blushing somewhat. “I’ve always been intrigued by archery. Now I have a small taste of it I guess.”

The elderly shopkeeper came and nodded his approval. “Would you both like a photo together?”

I gasped and nodded in delight as I handed him my phone. He too handed him his, giving me another wink. We struck a few poses and finally a few were satisfactory enough for the elderly shopkeeper to snap a few pictures.

We thanked the shopkeeper for his kind gesture and stepped out of the shop; the rest of the shops were beginning to close for the day. As we strolled down the streets, he would greet some of the store owners and they always returned his greeting with a bow and a smile or a wave.

“You come here often too, I see.”

“Yes, whenever I have time.”

Still the same answer, and I became acutely aware of how differently he spent his free time from what I would expect a person like him to.

“There is just one more place I would like to take you. It’s just the perfect time of day for it.”

“Oh okay, sure…” I was feeling the fatigue from not having rested well on the flight and having spent the whole day on my feet.

We turned into an alley and walked along it, our path lit by the stark lights that lined the streets. There were bags of trash outside the doors and some parts of the road were uneven with loose cobbles but he seemed oblivious to them.

Crossing the road, I pulled my jacket tighter around me – a cool night breeze was beginning to blow and although it was warm for the season, the wind seemed to feel otherwise. It got stronger as we walked towards the sandy strips ahead, where the sounds of waves lightly crashing onto the shore made a lulling rhythm.

We walked on the soft sand without a word, and after a while came to a thick stumpy log which looked as if it had been there for a long time.

“Let’s sit here.”

He sat down and gestured for me to sit beside him. I tried not to let my tiredness show by landing as gently as I could on the log.

“Here’s where I come whenever I need a peaceful space. I can steep in my own thoughts without anyone intruding.”

“But… can’t you do that in your home?”

He let out a short laugh, then took a deep breath before letting it out through his mouth.

“Not really. Where I live is not what you would call a home. It’s just a place for me to rest from work. It is lavish enough for me to make attractive selfies and glamorous vlogs for social media. While I would say I’m a collector of art and finer things in life, I too am just a human craving a normal life sometimes.”

The moonlight made silvery edges on the waves as they landed just a short distance away from our feet. The breeze had subsided a bit, and I was silent.

“I did not tell anyone where I was going today, or who I was meeting. I just told my manager I was taking a day off. Even so, I had messages coming in, which infuriates me at times.” His brows furrowed in annoyance at the recollection but almost immediately dissolved.

“Well, it was a lovely day. Thank you so much for bringing me to these places,” I said warmly, meaning every word I said.

“I’m glad you enjoyed the day. I’m sorry I…“ he faltered. “… I imposed those places on you. It’s just that I hadn’t had a break for a while… and wanted to get away a bit.“

“I know. And thank you for sharing these places close to your heart with me.” Then, I gave him a wide grin. “Now I have insider scoop!”

He laughed, this time that deep hearty laugh that I first heard on that stage where I had fallen.

“Nah don’t worry, your secrets are safe with me.” I gave him a smile.

He returned my smile.

“Thank you.” He paused.

“And thank you for spending your first day here with me instead. I appreciate it… very much.”

The waves continued crashing, and we sat there for a little longer.

It was a day that would never come again, but it was a day we would always remember.

 

– End of part five –

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Fixing A Scooter

He was sitting on the ground that day when I walked by, tools strewn all around and tool boxes opened up in full display of their contents. He seemed busy, examining a bolt, then putting it back carefully on the ground before searching for another. Nearby, a scooter stood patiently with several of its tubes and cables hanging out. I stopped and gaped curiously at the strange congregation.

“Hey, what’s happening here?”

He looked up at the sound of my voice and broke into a grin, waving a spanner at me. He had black oily marks all over and looked dishevelled.

“I’m fixing my scooter. Almost done!”

“You have a scooter? I didn’t know that.”

He rubbed the back of a streaky hand across an equally streaky face and gave me a wink. Shaking my head, I grabbed a nearby towel and passed it over. He laughed at my disapproving look and wiped down with it.

“So what else needs to be done?”

I glanced over questioningly at the scooter in waiting.

“Well…”

He looked down, then picked up a slim needle-like piece from where it lay on a piece of cloth and held it out for me to see.

“What? This little needle thing? It’s so tiny!”

“Yeah it is, isn’t it?”

He brought it nearer to me so I could take a closer look.

“This thing is tiny, but it is one of the most important parts of the whole vehicle.”

He passed the needle to me for a feel of it. It felt surprisingly substantial.

“You see, this tiny part is the jet needle. It controls the amount of fuel that enters the carburettor when you open and close the throttle. That, in turn, determines how smoothly the scooter runs.”

“I see.”

He smiled and took the jet needle from me, placing it back gently on the cloth.

“No matter how small a part may seem, it is as equally important as some bigger parts and deserves my full attention as much as the rest of the scooter.”

He gave me a broad smile as I nodded thoughtfully.

“I think I should go check on my little things too.”

“Alright then, I’ll get back to my scooter.”

He waved a grimy hand and made a thumbs-up with it as I laughed and nodded before going back in.

It is time to do a little fixing.

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Been A While

She arrived at the gate as she always did; pressing the doorbell, she waited.

The sky was a deep blue and the stars were just beginning to illuminate the vast stretch. It had just rained. She always loved the smell of after rain.

With a creak, the gates opened and as she stepped in, she caught sight of him.

He was standing at the doorway, waiting for her, as he always did.

“Hey, it’s been a while,” she smiled at him as she approached him and he grinned. He always looked better when he smiled.

As she walked through the doorway, he stepped a little away, then closed the door behind her before following close by. Sitting down, she lowered her haversack onto the chair beside her.

“Do you want anything to drink?”

He was standing at the entrance to the kitchen, an enquiring look on his face.

“Vodka on the rocks?”

She laughed at his look of puzzlement before he realised almost immediately afterwards.

“Sorry, don’t have that.”

Those familiar laughing eyes.

“I’m good; you just get what you want.”

She smiled as he disappeared into the kitchen. He soon reappeared with a glass of his favourite drink – not whisky, for the evening was still young.

Settling down beside her, he tipped some of the contents of his glass into his mouth, then set the glass back on the table, examining it thoughtfully for a while.

“Shall we start?”

She was a little surprised at his forthrightness but acceded. After all, it was what they were there for.

“Sure… maybe a little warm-up first, before we go any further.”

He was staring at her with those eyes, from a face that would have appeared cold and aloof, if he did not have that slight smile at the corners of his mouth.

As they eased in, he fumbled a little with its nuances. He’s unsure about it, she remembered thinking. Gently, she guided him deftly while keeping the ambience relaxed. He was in a good mood and she made him laugh more than usual, as he did her. Taking turns, they delved deeper and deeper, one after another, sometimes together, pleasurable moments in which she discovered more what he was capable of each time. She loved the depths he could reach, that none of the others has ever match yet. No one, but him.

In one of their reprieves, she found him in deep thought. Grinning to herself, she quietly took out her phone and pointed its camera at him as he stared out, lost in his thoughts. Suddenly, he realised what she was doing. As his mouth upturned into a smile, he reached out to snatch her phone away, only to have her laughing again.

When everything was said and done, he waited till she was ready to leave and then walked her to the door. And in all the moments they shared that evening, it was that serendipitous laugh captured in all his boyish charm that remained etched in her mind.

He was on point for the discursive essay they discussed that night.

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If Ever

Promise me
That if ever I am lost
Stay with me until
I am found.

(Inspired by the short film En ik van jou on Alzheimer’s, and of course, love.)

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