I choose my outfit, my undergarments with care, because I know from experience that a drink, with him, will lead to much, much more.
In the bar, I bask in the glow of his attention, happy in this moment, knowing full well it will be fleeting.
He seems most comfortable recounting anecdotes, in that theatrical way of his. His stories seem to form part of a cloak he draws around himself; a shield which I don’t even attempt to penetrate. Superficiality is an integral part of the unspoken pact between us.
I lie in bed, his sleeping body curled around mine, his arm around my waist, marvelling that someone can be so close, skin against mine, but simultaneously seem so remote, so inaccessible.
When we part the next day and I hear the words I fully expected to hear – “well, I guess I’ll see you in a month, when I get back” – I feel a twinge of something I was determined not to feel.
A brief pang of remorse that I may have been selling little pieces of myself to the lowest bidder.