It is dark already. I open the window and a bliss of cold wind comes into my room. Winter afternoons are strange for me, I like their mystery and silence. The kettle makes the sound telling me the water has just boiled. I go into the kitchen and find Stefan. We talk for a little while, as we always do, we like to talk and complain about people. We are definitely attracted to each other, he has great blue eyes but we know we cannot do anything, we are flatmates.
I go back into my room, I arrange my hair and put on some makeup. Lately I like how a piece of brown fabric looks when it’s tangled into a thick braid. I decide to use it today. It makes me feel flirty to have a bow on my back. I put on my best skirt with black stockings. My heart is pounding.
“He is a good man” I repeat to myself. Im shaking.
I take my jacket from the hallway and go out on the street. I don’t want to arrive at the cafe, even my vision is blurred. I like walking down Gumpendorferstrasse, it is a good walk. There are many lights and almost always I can see their reflection on the pavement. It rains a lot here. It’s cold, I put my hand in my pockets. It hasn’t snowed for almost a week.
On the right side there is the Japanese restaurant I always go to whenever I’m sad. It is cheap and good, there is a woman who intrigues me. She is happy to be a waitress, she loves to give clients a hard time. I identify with her. She is a foreigner as well.
I’m just one block away. Hopefully he is late. Hopefully he won’t come.
I arrive at Kino Cafe, his bicycle is outside. Im surprised how he still cycles in this cold. I admire him.
He arrived earlier, shit! I breath deeply and go inside. He turns around and sees me, he smiles and stands up. We hug.
Such a long time, Jenny, how are you?
Good, good and you?
Really well. – He smiles with that crooked smile that I love.
I can see that he is nervous as well.
And how was L.A.? – I ask him
Beautiful, I loved the city, I can’t wait to go back. I don’t know how you can stand this small city coming from a city like yours.
I reply that this city has its charms as well, that it is challenging and that the challenge is good for me.
We continue talking about life and projects and more projects.
I have to go to the bathroom, every time I get nervous my bladder turns microscopic. I stand up and turn around to show him the bow at the end of my braid. He smiles, I can see him from the back of my neck.
I come back from the toilet and sit clumsily as I often do. I like your bow, he tells me. I suppose I blush and I tell him that a friend gave it to me. I love how he notices things, how he notices me.
He suddenly tells me. “You know, I fell in love like I have never done before. I’m really happy.”
Great! That is good news! I’m happy for you! – I try to tell him with all the joy that I can find.
I was looking for someone for a long time, I even told a friend before going to L.A. that I might never find a girl to love but she told me that I would find her in LA and I did. – He told me with the biggest smile. – What about you?
I haven’t found anyone yet. – I answer.
You will, you will see. – He assures me.
He continues talking about this woman and his plans to finish his studies and going back to the US.
I try to keep smiling and be supportive of his plans. I tell him that I plan to go back to my country and try life there for a while.
He has to go, many things to do. We ask for the bill.
My treat – he says.
We say goodbye and say that it would be nice to meet again, it is nice to talk to each other.
I go out of Kino Cafe. The street is quiet, it is Sunday. I walk back to my flat. Now the street is uphill and harder. I see the graffiti at the back of a building, it has big purple flowers and a woman. I like that graffiti. Some people walk their dogs, but all of them wear big jackets and hats. I cannot see their faces.
I open the door to my building. I ask for the elevator, I don’t feel like walking up the stairs today. I put the key in my door, the lights are down, there is no one there. It is strange, there is usually someone there to talk to. I walk to my room, the floor is so old that I can hear the wood creaking. I close the door and I start crying.