To risk all

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Chapter 11

Her fingers danced quickly on the keyboard of her computer. She had time to do again some of the forms in her own way and Patricia didn’t feel very well this morning. She stayed home, near her phone. Clara hadn’t been out for a bite. She had been content to buy something at the vending machine down the hall with a coffee. She was too focused to stop working. She took what Patricia has already done to adjust them to her. For her it wasn’t working: it was pure fun.

Late in the afternoon, Mr. Powell caller her in his office. Nathan was with him. The two men smiled at her before offering her a seat. The boss asked her to write down exactly what he would say. He wanted to hire an assistant to help his son, even though he didn’t share his idea. He dictated to her exactly what he wanted as qualification for the person.

Officially, it would be her first task. She quickly wrote everything he said. Then she returned to her office for formalities about the job opening. She was happy the big boss himself has enough confidence to ask her to find someone to support his son at work. She’ll select the nominee with the most serious and as soon as possible. She really didn’t want to disappoint them. She quickly established a list of important qualifications. She did some research online to deepen a little the future employment. She took notes before writing the announcement herself. First thing the next day, she would call some media about the job opening. She gathered her papers and placed them near the screen. She left a note on the stack so she will not forget about it.

On her way home, she received a text message from Mary. She hastened to decline her offer to go out for a drink because she had a date with Mark. It took only five seconds for her cell phone to start ringing. Her friend was now curious and, of course, wanted to know a little more about her rendezvous.

“I will not give you details!”

“You promised! The guy you met at the wedding called you! Why didn’t you say something?”

The young woman laughed.

“Yes, he called me but don’t imagine anything, please!”

“Imagining what?”

“Have fun without me, okay?”

She didn’t give her the time to reply. She would give more details later, if she remembered it. For now, she had to go home to change. She arrived at her apartment and took a long shower to relax a little. There was no reason to be nervous, but she was a little without knowing why. It was always difficult to spend a few hours with someone totally unknown. There would be again uncomfortable silences, the giggles… She knew that already.

Dressed in her bathrobe, she poured herself a glass of water before settling near the window and think for a moment. What would they talk about before the meal? She never knew if they had anything in common and their brief telephone conversation didn’t let her learn anything. But they still survived in each other’s company at the reception. She emptied her glass and went into her room to get dressed. She changed her clothes about four times before finding the perfect outfit.

She sighed, looking in the mirror. Her own reflection discouraged her terribly. She was trying to look great, but it was more a recipe for disaster. She shouldn’t worry for a single rendezvous that surely didn’t mean anything. They would just eat and talk. There is no pressure. No pressure… She was brushing her hair when Mark called her. They agreed to meet at a small restaurant near the pub where the young woman went with her friends sometimes. She didn’t want to meet Edward and Mary. They hung up. She finished preparing herself before consulting her watch. She still had twenty minutes before the next train. It was still beautiful outside so she took the opportunity to walk a little. She received another text message from Mary when she came out of the subway. She only smiled without answering it. For now, she had other things to do. She took her cell phone and closed it.

Mark arrived at the restaurant along with the young woman. He opened the door for her in a gallantry act. The hostess showed them a table near the window and they agreed. She gave them menus and announced that their waitress would soon arrive to their table. They thanked her before she went away.

“Have you ever been here before?” he asked as he opened the menu.

She frowned, questioning herself.

“I think so, but it’s been a while.”

“I like this place,” he said. “It’s quiet and the food is very good.”

She smiled at him. He wasn’t looking, his eyes on the menu. He told her that the last time he came, he had taken his mother. Throughout the meal, she spoke of her weekly bingo game.

“I love my mother, but there are other topics for a conversation.”

“Okay,” she said, a little smile on her lips. “I won’t talk about bingo with you.”

He smiled, blushing slightly.

“Does she often win?”

“Not from what she told me. She’s currently trying to convince my father to join her.”

“It’s a nice activity to do as a couple, right?”

He looked up at her, still smiling.

“This is the argument she came up with.”

“Maybe it’ll work.”

“I know my mother: she doesn’t give up easily!”

Like her son. They looked at the menu for a short time. The waitress came to offer them something to drink. Clara ordered a glass of iced tea and Mark wanted a Pepsi. They discussed about the food they love and they gave some culinary suggestions. They gave their order before being alone again. And this is the first uncomfortable silence… She sipped her iced tea, waiting for something to say. He was drumming his fingers on the table, looking around them.

“I…” he added, “I hate this kind of silence… Not you?”

“We will surely not escape it, I think.”

“I have an idea. It might sound stupid, but it can change the mood.”

She frowned, puzzled by what he wanted to propose. A small smile on the corner of his mouth, he began.

“Each time it happens, one of us will tell a joke to fill the silence. Okay?”

“A joke? You… you’re serious?”

“Any will do. It’ll relax a bit the atmosphere and allow us to move to the next topic.”

She finally nodded.

“Okay. I’m in. As ridiculous as it sounds, I agree.”


She remembered their first encounter while working with Michele. She thought he was very strange. He almost scared her when she saw him at the bar. Her impression changed again at her sister’s wedding. And now, she didn’t know what to think. He had his own way to see things. She liked it. They talked about nothing and everything until they received their plates. He told her some stories while eating. He made her laugh. They talked quietly for almost any topic. It’s easy to talk to him. There were little silences between them and, as agreed, Mark or Clara told a joke to fill the discomfort. In fact, she was having a pleasant evening in very good company. Mark insisted to pay the bill since he had invited her. The young woman was far from happy with this idea, but he left her little choice. They left the restaurant, continuing their conversation on the sidewalk. The young woman suddenly froze when she heard someone calling her. Edward and Mary moved towards them, with huge smiles on their lips.

“What a nice surprise!” Edward exclaimed. “What are you doing around here? You came to join us?”

Clara forced a smile. How could they know where she was for her rendezvous? She hasn’t told anything to Mary.

“We just ate,” Clara replied by pointing to the restaurant.

“You hide things from us!” Mary cried. “You haven’t told me where you were going to dinner tonight! We could join you.”

Mark would just smile while listening. He didn’t seem angry or uncomfortable. Nothing to do with how the young woman felt at that moment… She hastened to make proper presentations. Edward vaguely remembered to have seen him. Mary shook his hand, saying she was glad to see him again.

“We’re going in for a drink,” Edward said.

“You’re coming with us?”

Mary! Why are you doing this to me? She mumbled without really knowing what to answer. She didn’t want to make a decision without asking Mark’s opinion. He was old enough to know what he wanted to do or not. She turned towards him to ask him. he shrugged, still smiling.

“Why not? It could be fun?”

The young woman frowned, observing him. He just said it could be fun? Since the issue seemed settled, they went to the pub where they settled for a quiet chat. Of course, Mary bombarded him with questions more or less intrusive. Mark doesn’t see anything wrong, answering to each of them without fussing about. He was comfortable with her friends. Clara could hardly believe it. They ordered something to drink without stopping the interrogation. But Mark didn’t care about the questions at all. He actually was having a good time. He told jokes as if he knew Clara’s friends for years.

The four of them stayed much longer than expected. It was almost two o’clock in the morning when Clara returned home. She felt totally exhausted by her evening out, but she was fine. Despite an unexpected turn of events, she had enjoyed herself. She regretted nothing. Before leaving, he told her he had a great time. Since she didn’t know him much, he could very well lie to her. But if this was the case, he also was a great actor! For some reason she didn’t understand, she hoped he told her the truth. She felt comfortable with him. There has been a long time she hadn’t experienced anything like that.

He had left his cell phone number before they went on separate ways. Just in case… He didn’t try to kiss her or made no ridiculous promises. She didn’t know if she was going to see him again. She had his number. That’s it. No cliché like: I’ll call you later. She collapsed on her bed and looked up at the ceiling. She remembered her evening in her head. He hadn’t arrived late at the restaurant and he made her laugh throughout the meal. He had asked questions to which she had no discomfort to answer him.

It was perfect. Maybe a little too much…

Her fingers ran over the keys on her keyboards at a quite impressive speed. She had completed her information research and, out of the blue, she started composing the offer for the job. She knew what her boss wanted for his son and she didn’t want to disappoint them both. She was fully describing the person needed for the job, deleting and reformulating many sentences until she was satisfied. She started when the intercom crackled.

“There’s a call for you on line 2, but I didn’t know if you were taking your calls or not.” the receptionist said.

Frowning, Clara noticed she had closed her office’s door when she arrived this morning. She laughed.

“No, no problem. Line 2?”

“Can I transfer it to you?”

“Yes. Thank you.”

A buzzer sounded, indicating the call had just been transferred. She took a very calm voice, curious to know who will be her first official call.


“He’s so great!” Mary threw on the other side of the line. “Is he the guy you saw at the wedding?”

Clara sighed, leaning back on her chair. She wanted this call to be for work. Staff, not something that can wait until later. Mary continued to sell Mark to her.

“And he’s so sexy! When do you see him again?”

“I don’t know.”

“This guy is too great! Keep him before another woman does it!”

“Calm down! It was only our first date! And it wasn’t planned to see you, guys. Besides, what were you doing there? You’re never got to the pub during the week.”

“Edward needed to talk and I didn’t want to find myself in a place where the music was too loud. He still talks about what happened at work, but he feels a little better.”

Clara felt immediately guilty because she refused their offer when they had proposed. But when she had met them, Edward seemed very well. She told to Mary what she observed last night.

“Clara, you know him like I do.”

“He didn’t want us to worry, right?”

“We talked a bit about it on our way, but not much. He’s worse than an oyster when he wants it!”

“He doesn’t have to play the tough guy when he’s with us. He should know it!”

Mary explained that Edward had the feeling not to be good enough now, to have lost his bosses’ respect. He sometimes had the impression everyone was looking strangely at him since. Clara frowned at what she was hearing. It was the first time Edward was acting paranoid. His vacation didn’t serve much.

“Why does he believe that?”

“I don’t know, but he thinks about it all the time.”

“And what will he do?”

“He hopes it’ll pass, I think. I tried to convince him he imagined all that. I don’t know if he believes me.”

“Hopefully yes.”

“I must say it’s rather difficult to convince when he’s like that.”

She gave a little more detail about the little conversation she managed to have with Edward. He felt he had lost it and he really didn’t like it. Their little encounter the previous day had fortunately changed his mood and it made a tremendous benefit. Then Mary came back to the fact that Mark was a great guy. She shouldn’t let him go without doing anything. Clara listened to her without replying anything. Anyway, her friend didn’t hear anything. She congratulated her for her choice. And what is that supposed to mean? Normally I choose morons? She didn’t want to start a conversation about it with Mary. She had to hang up because her work was waiting.

“Let me know when you see him again.”

Sighing, Clara didn’t answer. It didn’t concern her. Even if Mary was her friend, she had no contract that required her to tell her everything! She could see who she wanted whenever she wanted. Mary knew pretty well that she would tell her nothing. She knew better than that.

Chasing Mark from her thoughts, she began to write.

She hummed the beat of the music while she was cutting vegetables to put in her salad. She never really knew how to dance, but it didn’t bother her when she was alone. The telephone roused her from her trance. She gazed at the screen. She raised her eyebrows when she saw her parents’ number. Her mother dared to break her silence after several days of waiting? She was hoping for an apology? The young woman didn’t even give herself the trouble to take the call. She returned to her vegetables without another glance at the phone. After their last conversation, she wouldn’t talk to her parents. It always turned against her! And she did not regret a single word she said. Sometimes she wondered if things would have been different if she had been born a boy instead of a girl. Their single son was gay and they didn’t seem to be disappointed so far. So why not react the same way with their second daughter? She sighed deeply and shook her head. To reduce the ringing sound of the phone, she pumped the volume of her stereo and began dancing her way back to the kitchen to finish her salad. If it was very important, her parents could always leave a message. She would take it later.

The young woman took her cutting board to put the pieces of cucumber and tomato in a bowl where the salad already was. She mixed it all for a short time before taking the carrots in the refrigerator. She began to cut them before putting them in the bowl. She added the dressing and then ate quietly while browsing on Internet. She connected herself to the dating site she had abandoned. She had received some messages without interest. She simply deleted them.

She began to ask herself many questions and she didn’t want to confuse her mind. Her phone rang again. Sighing, she got up to answer. A brief glance at the screen told her it wasn’t her mother.


“Good evening Clara,” Mark launched. “How are you?”

She smiled, sinking on a cushion near the window.

“Good and you?”

“Not too bad. Do I bother you?”

“No. What can I do for you?”

“Well… It depends… I like going to the movies, but I don’t go alone. So I was wondering if you wanted to go out with me again.”

“You already have a film in mind?”

“Yes… Do you like action movies?”

“If it’s not something about the war, I have nothing against it. And I’d love to go with you.”

He gave a little cry of joy that made her smile again. Once again, she declined his invitation to pick her up. Even if he was normal, she won’t take any chances. They agreed to meet again before the movie theater in forty-five minutes. She was surprised when he thanked her for accepting his invitation. She consulted the subway schedule listed on her refrigerator door. Her eyes fell on the list she had written earlier. She took a pen to scratch out the only thing she had managed to change: her job. Then she observed the list again before heading before heading to the bathroom for one last glance at her reflection. Shrugging her shoulders, she had to settle for what was in front of her. She was just going to the movie, after all. She took the road.

This time, he arrived first. He had the opportunity to buy tickets before she could say anything. She didn’t give herself the trouble to be mad, but she insisted on paying the popcorn and drinks. He agreed and they entered the room once they finished their shopping. They settled in a more or less dark room where the background music was too loud. She took a few sips of her juice.

“You look beautiful,” he whispered to her.

She felt her cheeks turn red of discomfort. She dared not to look at him. He just made her uncomfortable by complimenting her. She hadn’t expected this. She mumbled a thank you without leaving the screen.

“I… I’m serious. I mean it.”

“That’s nice… Thanks…”

“I hope you’ll enjoy the movie.”

He suddenly seemed as uncomfortable as she was. He was looking for something to say, it was obvious. He wanted to change the subject, a diversion on what he had just said. The room suddenly became dark and the previews began to scroll across the screen. Since he was very insistent on the fact that he thought she was pretty, Clara began to suspect his real intentions. But what about her…? Was she expected something from him? It was too early for her to ask that question.

Shaking her head, she returned her attention to what was happening on screen. The previous were not a real interest. Romantic comedies, war films remembering the past heroes… She began to wonder if the main program would soon begin. When it happened, she was very relieved. Early in the film, the bad guys destroyed a historic monument in a small town. And, as promised, there was plenty of action. Much blood was shed and many guns were emptied throughout the film.

After the movie, they left the room discussing the best moments. He had loved when mobsters had kidnapped an old man they had tortured before finally killing him.

“Do you realize how much money he owed them?” Mark said. “It was so cool!”

She listened without saying anything. He looked like a little boy fascinated by a new toy. He spoke very quickly while making big gestures. He dropped popcorn around him while talking. A real kid! He hopped around imitating the impressive explosions. They met on the sidewalk and suddenly he calmed down.

“Is everything okay?” she asked him, frowning.

He nodded without looking at her. She thought he was acting very strange. He was so quiet compared to when they left the room. He buried his hands in his jeans pockets and walked head down. Something seemed to preoccupy him, but he refused to tell her. She wasn’t stupid: she had noticed. He perhaps would eventually tell her what was wrong. So she waited quietly. Men sometimes had difficulty expressing what he was feeling. It must be his case now. He walked beside her remaining silent. But she didn’t talk either. She wouldn’t tell a joke to fill their silence and relaxed the atmosphere. Mark did nothing on his side. Passersby were walking faster than them. The young woman had made her way to the subway station in mechanical steps. Why he continued to follow her? She eventually had to break the silence.

“You… you took the subway?”

“No. Why?”

“Because that’s where I’m going.”

He stopped walking to look around him. He chuckled, looking down, embarrassed. He ended by saying:

“I wondered if I had a chance with you…”

She frowned, very surprised by his audacity. But it was far too early to give an answer. She felt nothing for him, unfortunately. He was kind and she enjoyed spending time with him. What could she answer him, then? After two dates, what did he expect? That she fell into his arms, confessing she was madly in love with him? It wasn’t really her, anyway.

“Don’t skip steps, please.”

“You don’t want to answer, right?”

She shook her head.

“No, I can’t answer you. You know why, I hope.”

“You can’t even tell me if I stand a chance?”

“Oh please!”

She asked him to go home to think about it. They should take their time to know each other before jumping to conclusions. She told herself that perhaps she would come to feel something else than friendship for him.

But after the fifth date, it still wasn’t the case. She really didn’t feel anything for him. at their fourth date, he even dared to kiss her. He was still hoping she was interested in him the same way as him. Her only reaction was she had a slight backward movement. So, she decided to space out their dates. She didn’t know if he would understand the message. She didn’t know how to explain to a man she wasn’t interested. Interpersonal relationships… it wasn’t really her thing. In fact, she hoped that everything will settle without her intervention. A bit like: If I don’t do a thing everything will be fine… She really didn’t want to be mean to him. Mark was a great guy.

The following Tuesday, he called her to invite her again. She quickly denied the invitation. The time passed, she felt less comfortable with him. She had to do something before the situation escalated. She had to act and fast. After hanging up, she called Mary to ask her to join her for a few drinks. Her friend agreed to meet her. When they found themselves before a glass, Clara had to open herself to her best friend.

“I don’t know what to do with Mark.”

Mary frowned and asked her if she was messing with him.

“No! He’s too good for that.”

“So what’s wrong? He’s great, right?”

“I… I feel nothing for him…”

There, Mary put a weird gaze at her friend. She straitened on her chair.

“Wait! Are you talking about feeling?”

“Yes. You know that thing you don’t seem to feel for anyone but yourself?”

Her friend grinned, kindly asking her to screw herself. Clara sent her back the offer before swallowing the rest of her glass. They ordered a new glass and continued their discussion. Mary asked her to give her a little more detail.

“It’s not complicated,” Clara moaned.

“You’re talking about love?”

“That’s right, yes.”

“Nothing at all? Not even a little something?”

Clara shook her head, looking sad. She had to face the facts that nothing would happen between her and Mark.

“And when you have… concluded…? Still nothing?”


“Well yes! You see?”

“You’re not serious? We haven’t done anything! Who do you think I am? We haven’t slept together, okay? I have to feel a little something for that. You should know it by now.”

“What about the guy at the bar?”

“A mistake…”


“Screw yourself, okay?”

“You were that drunk? Impossible! You are Miss Reasonable!”

“That’s why it’s a mistake.”

Mary swept the air in front of her face to make her understand that they were too far from their initial conversation. She asked her friend what she expected of her by talking about all this. Clara went right to the point.

“If you were in my shoes, what would you do?”

“In the same situation?”

Clara nodded.

“Dump him quickly.”

“And how do I do this? I’ve never done anything like that before. Normally I am the person who gets dumped. The guy is not interested then he ignores me. Right now, it doesn’t work.”

“This what makes us different from men.”


“You must talk to him; tell him the same thing you just said to me. You don’t feel anything for him. It’s simple, right?”

“Do you have to do it often?”

Her friend thought about it for a moment before answering that lately, it was very quiet. Hunting no longer interested her. She preferred to enjoy the single life to seek a sex partner for the night.

“You’re tired?”

“No. Potential victims are simply almost nonexistent for the moment. That’s it.”

“You got news from Edward?”

“Not for a week. He doesn’t return my calls either.”

“I know me neither. I thought I was because of me, but he does the same with you. It’s strange.”

“He was weird last time I saw him. He’s not well.”

“Thank you to worry about me, girls.”

They looked up to the silhouette that stood next to their table. Edward took a chair and fell on it with a sigh. Mary dealt him with a blow on the shoulder and asked him why he didn’t return her calls for a week. He raised his eyebrows and folded his arms across his chest.

“You wanted to talk to me so badly?”

Mary glared at him.

“Where were you? I was very worried!”

“What were you doing?” Clara added.

“Ladies, calm down. I’ll explain everything when I have my beer.”

At that moment, a waitress dropped a glass of beer before him. He thanked the waitress with a big smile. His friends watched him in silence, until he gave them plausible explanations for his behavior. He took his time to drink a big gulp, tasting the cool liquid. Mary eventually lost patience and hit the table to get a reaction. Edward turned to her and gave her a huge smile, crossing his fingers in front of him.

“My bosses proposed something to me.”

“What kind of proposal?” Mary asked. “Something interesting or unimportant?”

Edward gave her another big smile and told her it was something that deserved to be taken seriously. His two friends frowned, waiting. He took another long swig of beer before continuing his story.

“They offered me a job in another city.”

“A job?” Clara moaned, still frowning her eyebrows. “And you need to think about it?”

“Yes. It worth it and that’s what I did.”

“Why thinking about it?” Mary asked. “You’re not going to leave us like that! No way! I don’t want you to leave the city to work someplace else!”

“Calm down!” Edward said, touching her hand. “I just wanted to think about it…”

“But there’s nothing to think about!” Mary cried. “You’re not going!”

He finished his beer without telling anything. Clara stared at her friend and she knew Edward wanted the position. Now, he daren’t to say aloud. Mary didn’t react very well to the news. He didn’t want to be responsible for her nervous breakdown. Sometimes she could be hysterical when she wanted it! Clara hastened to reply everything was okay. Mary didn’t look very convinced.

“You can’t go, Eddie. That’s it.”

Clara shook her head, looking at her friend. He wasn’t paying attention to what Mary said. She was upset. She didn’t know what she said. He was old enough to do what he wanted.

“I must consider this offer, Mary.”

“But there’s nothing to consider. You don’t go, and that’s it.”

“No!” Mary cried, covering her ears with her hands like a capricious kid. “Don’t bother to answer them because Edward will not leave!”

“Stop!” Edward yield, knocking on the table. “You allow me to make my own decisions, please? The offer is very interesting and yes, I will soon give them my answer.”

“But I don’t want you to go!”

“It’s not up to you to decide for him, Mary,” Clara replied with a calm voice.

But Mary didn’t seem to listen. She jumped up, visibly disturbed. And very angry. She went to the bar to quickly swallow a glass and placed it violently on the bar when it was empty. She took a second and moved back to the table. She was silent for a while. Her mood had changed dramatically since Edward’s arrival. She can be so conservative! Mary refused any changes inside her little world. Her friends had no right to modify something that touched her in any way.

“Stop acting stupid,” Edward muttered. “This is ridiculous.”

“Why do you both want to change your lives?” Mary asked them, sighing. “Clara wants to transform her daily routine and Edward wants to leave the city. What happens to both of you?”

“Everyone changes one day or another,” Edward answered.

“You are sick.”

Mary swallowed the rest of her drink and left abruptly without another word. Her friends looked at each other, not understanding her reaction.

“She’ll recover within a few days.”

“I’m going home. I’m really happy for you and I hope you’ll do only the best choice for you.”

Edward slightly smiled, shaking his head. The young woman kissed his cheeks and she went to the subway station. She walked quietly to her apartment. She was surprised when she heard her name. She turned and saw Thomas running toward her. He was a little out of breath when he arrived in front of her. He asked her how she was doing.

“Good and you?”

He nodded.


“Indeed. I can see that. You look much better than last time I saw you.”

“Yes I had some problems. How’s your new job? Everything’s fine?”

“You have set things? What happened?”

He buried his hands in his pockets.

“I followed your advice. She agreed to talk and she explained everything to me.”

“Oh… That’s great.”

“She cheated on me and that’s why she left me. She wouldn’t tell me before she was ashamed.”

“Your reaction was probably worried her a little.”

He nodded and asked her if she had time to have a coffee with him. He now lived by the corner and he found a little bistro nearby. It was still early so she agreed. They talked very little. They ordered something to drink before settling down at a table.

“How do you feel after learning the truth?”

“A bit relieved.”

“It’s still good to know the truth, right?”

“Fortunately she didn’t beg me to take her again.”

“She had no chance.”

“Even if I could think about it…”

Her eyes widened, wondering how he could think of such a thing. She said the girl didn’t deserve such kindness from him.

“Are you serious?”

“I loved her…”

“No matter what she did?”

“No, I… I learned to hate her when she left…”

She was sorry to hear it. She wouldn’t be mean to him. He was hoping his ex-girlfriend will get back to him. There is nothing wrong to hope for a happy ending. She hastened to apologize. He smiled, accepting it. He frowned when he observed her in a curious way.

“Is everything okay?”

“Yes, perfectly.”

“You’re a poor liar, you know.”

The young woman forced herself to smile. He was right: she never has been a very good liar. She always thought about Mark and what she was going to tell him and not hurt him. Maybe she could ask for his advice.

“I have a little problem right now.”

“Oh yeah? Which one?”

“I’m seeing someone for a few weeks now.”

“A good guy?”

She nodded, taking a sip of her coffee.

“He’s great.”

“So what’s wrong with him?”

“I’m not attracted to him and it saddens me greatly. What is wrong with me?”

He smiled, taking her hand.

“These things happen every day.”

“He’s too great! So why do I feel nothing for him?”

“You have the right not to be attracted.”

“I don’t know if it’s normal. He’s too…!”

“Don’t get me wrong, but you haven’t had a problem pushing me if I remember correctly.”

The young woman felt her cheeks turn red. She looked away, not knowing what to say. She remembered having pushed him when he had kissed her. The look he gave her didn’t give her the impression she hurt him. He grinned.

“Well I’m not normal for not being attracted to him.”

“Don’t lose faith.”

“And you? Did you meet someone?”

He grimaced and sighed.

“I dropped the dating site. I couldn’t think of another woman and there, women don’t seem… interesting…”

“There is surely a woman for you. Don’t lose faith either.”

She smiled at him, putting her spoon near her cup. She asked him what kind of women he liked, but he didn’t know what to say. He probably ignored it too. They were silent for a long time. The young woman sighed deeply before swallowing the rest of her coffee. They threw a glance at their watches. It was getting late and she felt very exhausted. They took separate ways. She went slowly to her apartment, her mind floating away. She tried for a moment to imagine what it would be to have someone waiting for her at home. Once home, she burst into tears.

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