By Richard Scarsbrook
She wears a vintage sixties dress, Wonder Woman bracelets, sheer smoky nylons; her hair is done up like a Motown backup singer. He tries to make eye contact with the others in the room, but his eyes stray to hers again and again.
(Later she will tell him, “I wanted you to notice.”)
On the way out the door, she whispers, “Come with me.” He follows her to the subway; small talk is made with their mouths, but, as she descends, love is made with their eyes.
(Later he will tell her, “I noticed.”)
A week later, their lunch date stretches into the evening.
“My father is Irish,” she tells him, “my mother, French.”
He sees the Irish in her eyes, in the peaks of her upper lip, in that luscious lower lip that even now, this early, he wants to suck between his own, eyes closed, no sight, only feel.
“I’m going to Ireland next week,” he blurts. “Come with me.”
She would say yes, but she doesn’t have a passport. Even now, this early, she wants to come with him.
So he will wander Dublin, alone but somehow with her, taking pictures of the things that he wishes they could share. An impulsive trip to Paris will make his longing for her complete.
Months later, inside her bedroom, beneath the tacked-up postcard of Sacre Coeur (reading “Wish you were here” on its flip side), he will finally see the French in her body: the small, perfect breasts, the red bullet nipples, the symmetric ribs, the muscled stomach, like the dancers down Montmartre’s slope inside the Moulin Rouge.
“Come with me,” she will tell him.
And he will.
Richard Scarsbrook is the award-winning author of the books Cheeseburger Subversive, Featherless Bipeds, Destiny’s Telescope, and The Monkeyface Chronicles, as well as dozens of short stories and poems. You can find out more about his literary adventures at his website.