Dating and Relationships
The last time I saw you, you were standing under the bright lights of the big city. I only knew you for a few hours. You had a superhero name and crooked teeth and you had never tried an old fashioned until you met me.
These are the details I remember most. I can’t remember now if you have one sister or two, or what your job entails, or what you studied at university.
I met you by chance in one of the biggest cities in the world. Our chemistry was palpable. Within five minutes of meeting I knew where the night was headed. I watched you standing at the bar, waiting for our drinks, and you turned and looked at me just so. You knew it, too.
The last time I saw you, I was looking down from a balcony, Juliet to your Romeo.
“Good night,” you called out.
“Good night!” I called back, even though I knew it was really goodbye. You walked away through the palm trees, headed to the beach on which we’d met.
That day had been my first day underwater as a scuba diver, and so, by the time the sun was getting low and heavy on the horizon, I was already buzzing with energy and laughter. Our dive group celebrated at the local bar, migrating to the sand as bonfires were lit, drinking cold beers and watching paper lanterns fill the sky. It was around one of those fires that I first saw you, the light flickering shades of red across your face.
“Valentin,” you offered, extending your hand. It took me aback. Today, after all was the 14th of February. “My name,” you confirmed, “is Valentin.”
There was music in this place, in the wheezing cars on uneven cobblestones, the roosters that crowed day and night, the low voices of the men who played checkers on the street, sat on overturned barrels. Looming like kings of a former empire, three volcanoes surrounded the city, protecting it, or threatening it, I didn’t know. The buildings of Antigua were painted red and blue and green, little jewels, and it was hard to imagine that once this place was ravaged by lava and fire. I walked through these streets half-dead, impervious to the action around me, unsure of my decision to come here. I feared I was taking it for granted, that the month I had planned in the city would be wasted on sadness and regret.
The last time I saw you, you were standing at the foot of the escalator. My suitcase had gotten stuck in the step’s grooves, and I fumbled with it and laughed. I watched you, and we kept waving, waving, until I got to the top and had to start walking. I would have stayed at the top a little bit longer just to watch you, you in your blue sweater and your mop of hair, your perfect American smile.
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