This was written for OLWG#128
I rubbed my eyes and copied the number that had been written on my forearm to the notepad that sat on the bar beneath the wall phone. Over the top of it, I wrote ‘Rosario’ and I pictured her in my mind.
Tall, long legs
Long dark hair – thick and luxuriant
Flawless skin, the colour of café au lait
Full lips, quick to smile and tasting faintly of sweet drinks and caffeine
Gathering my courage, I ran my hand across my face and exhaled. Long and slow. I grabbed the phone and dialed before I could talk myself out of it. I listened to the phone ring once… twice.
“Hello?” It was her. I recognized her voice.
“Oh, hello. Rosario?” I asked.
“Rosario, this is Peter. I met you last night at The Clock Bar in uptown.”
“I didn’t go The Clock last night,” she said with a slight accent and hung up the phone.
I pulled the handset away from my ear and stared at it for a moment. What? I looked at the phone and dialed again.
“Hello,” it was her.
“Rosario, please don’t hang up.” I said quickly, “it’s Peter again. Peter Austin. You gotta remember me. We left the bar at the same time. I held the door for you and we walked to the station together.” I was talking fast to keep her on the line.
“I’m sorry,” she said.
“Wait.” I blurted out desperately, “you showed me your new tattoo, the one on your shoulder, beneath your collar bone. You told me that it says, ‘Every dream has its price’ but the tattoo… it’s not in English.”
“Cada sueño tiene su precio,” she whispered, “it’s Spanish.” Then a bit bolder, she added, “I’m sorry Peter; you did say your name was Peter? I don’t remember showing anyone my tattoo last night and like I told you the first time, I didn’t go to The Clock.”
“You wore a green sweater,” I said, “we took the same train and you got off at Lexington. You gave me your phone number and told me I could call you.”
“Is this some kind of joke? Did Emmy put you up to this?”
“No, no, no, I don’t know anyone named Emmy and, honestly we didn’t talk much in the bar. We just left at the same time and we rode the same train.”
“What do you look like, Peter?”
I’m about six feet tall, brown hair, glasses.”
“Half the boys I know meet that description. Tell me something that’ll help.”
“We spent most of the train ride making out, all the way from Adderly to Lexington. You kissed me with your hand in my lap and you bit my lower lip. You wrote your number on my arm with purple ink. You told me to call you and I asked you if today would be too soon. You told me that it might not be soon enough. Then you bit my lip and got off the train. Don’t tell me you can’t remember. We were both a little bit drunk, but…? Surely you remember.”
“I’m sorry, Peter. I don’t have any recollection of any of this.”
“Well, maybe I could come by. We could go for coffee or a walk in the park.”
“That’s quite forward of you Peter. We’ve never even met.”
“We have though. You bit my lip. No one’s ever done that to me before. I found it incredibly exciting.”
“I’m going to hang up now Peter. Please don’t call again or I’ll have to get a restraining order.”
I heard a click and the line went dead. “No!” I yelled into the phone, “Wait…”
The prompts were:
- beach city camp meeting
- dog me down
- a spider in the tub
I don’t think I got any of them.