I look at the dark haired flower with droplets of water on her shoulders.
“Why,” I ask, “does this entire fucking place smell of boiled vegetables?”
“What?” she asks.
“Never mind,” I say.
Stress does that to me. It makes me weird. Who is this woman? Why is she in my apartment? And where the hell is my furniture? I mean Paul’s, not mine.
“Paul? Are you okay?” she asks.
“Yeah, yeah. I’m fine,” I say.
“Where’ve you been?”
“I, uh. What are you doing here?”
“I’d missed you. I’d hoped I’d find you here.”
The brunette takes a step towards me. I notice her naked feet when they bump into my sneakers, but do not release my eyes from hers. Eyes the colours of rich soil and I am the rain, strained through the surface to the asphyxiating darkness below – she interrogates my being and offers nothing of herself in return.
Her arms move. I should be terrified, yet I am mesmerised in her embrace and thrilled by the way her lips yield as they collide with mine. Her tongue is warm and desperate and urges a response from me.
I am awkward.
“What is it?” she asks as she pulls back.
A string of saliva hangs between our mouths, connects us. We both suck at it. It swings like a drawbridge. I swat it away.
“I’m,” I start.
I realise I am breathless.
“Paul, what’s wrong?” the brunette asks.
She places the palms of her hands on my chest and nudges me backwards to see more of me.
“I don’t know,” I say.
“Where were you?”
“I don’t know.”
“For three months?”
“And where’s all your furniture?”
“I was hoping you could…”
There is a familiar tone to her voice. The one my step-mother used to interrogate me with.
“Paul? Who am I? What’s my name?”
I am a fish out of water.