In Her Words(7)

By: J.S Ellis


‘I had nothing better to do, so...’ he said with disinterest.

I ordered a double gin and tonic from the waiter. Michael flashed me a disapproving glance. I noticed him looking at my legs, his eyes followed the length of them. I looked away.

‘Do you really need that, lady,’ he said, looking at my drink.

‘My name is Sophie.’

‘I know.’

I felt my cheeks flush again.

‘What do you want to know?’ he asked, stirring his coffee.

‘Anything you can remember would be helpful.’

‘You don’t remember anything?’

I shook my head. The waiter brought my gin. I let it sit there for a while, so I didn’t show any signs of desperation. My mouth watered thinking about taking a sip. I began to tell Michael what Sylvie told me.

‘After she left, you just sat there. You didn’t join in the conversation, and my friend went to the bar, and you followed him. And then, you two were on the dance floor together.’

‘Who is this friend of yours?’

‘Sam.’

I grabbed the glass of gin and took a big gulp.

‘And what happened?’

‘Nothing, you just danced.’

‘Well, that’s a relief.’

I admired his full bottom lip. I wanted to reach out and run my finger ever so gently on those pillowy lips, and stare deeply into his eyes. It was ridiculous, I was there to gather information about that night, with bruises all over my body, and the suspicion that I was assault or raped, but instead, I was sick with desire for this boy. I bet girls won’t leave him alone or maybe boys too.

‘You two did slip, though,’ he said.

‘And?’

‘When he tried to pick you up, you pulled him back on the floor.’

I started to think it was better not knowing.

‘You weren’t that bad...’ Michael continued, ‘you have nothing to worry about.’

‘I am worried because I can’t remember a bloody thing.’

‘That’s what you did. You danced. You slipped a few times, but you were having a good time. It looked like you just blacked out and collapsed on the floor. I think that’s when your friend came back. I’m not sure. I had to leave because my friend Andy got into a fight.’

‘Is that all?’

‘Yes.’

I still sensed there was more, and blurted, ‘My dress was ripped. There was soil all over it. Did I leave the club?’

‘Not that I recall, maybe your dress ripped when you fell. You hit the floor quite hard.’ He said looking at my scratch. I adjusted my hair to hide it.

‘Are you sure there isn’t more?’

‘No.’

‘I remember lying down.’

‘Maybe you remember yourself lying on the floor of the club. Is that all you can recall?’

‘Faces, but I can’t make them out.’

I watched him playing with his bangles. I felt butterflies stir in my stomach. My heart beating fast against my chest. There was an uncomfortable silence. My breath rose and fell in rapid succession, unable to stop staring at this strange, but stunningly beautiful boy. I’ve grown so accustomed to Richard’s body, the grey hairs on his chest, the scar from his surgery, and the softness of his body. Michael was like a newly hatched man in front of me. There were no grey hairs, nor a scar across his chest. Just a trim, tight body.

‘It’s amazing...’ I blurt.

He stared at me. ‘What is?’

He held my gaze, for the first time he looked at me properly. It was as if he could see me as a whole person. He studied my face. I haven’t been looked at like that for ages. It’s nice to be looked at by someone else who’s not your husband. This sort of behavior is going to lead me into trouble. The more determined I am to be good, the more unsuccessful it’s becoming.

‘I know what I look like,’ he said.

My eyes widened. Of course, he’s aware of his beauty. He’s confident, and sure of himself, and no doubt spends a long time in front of the mirror studying himself.

‘That’s a little vain, don’t you think?’

‘No, beauty is what’s on the inside. I believe modesty is admirable, but everyone wants to look good. Why not admit it? Besides, I am a musician, I have to look good,’ he said.