Tuesday, 21 September 2010

A Fond Farewell (Espresso)

I love you, Cindy.
I’ve loved from the first day I saw you. Not the day we met; I’d seen you before that, many times.
I first saw you in the town. You were sitting with friends laughing about some TV show you had all seen. You had tears running down your face; it must have been a funny show.
I don’t know what it was that first grabbed my attention, your hair maybe; short and dark, cut high, showing off your beautiful neck to perfection. Maybe it was the sound of your voice, or that soft, almost musical laugh. It’s hard to remember after all these years. I do remember you turning to speak to your friend though, that’s when I saw your face for the first time. Brown eyes, deep enough to drown in, a perfect nose and soft, rose petal lips. I caught my breath and lost my heart in an instant.
I saw you many times over the next few weeks, I made sure I did. You didn’t see me though; I made sure of that too. I always had a newspaper or a book to hide behind, I even bought reading glasses and a hat, so I could get as close to you as I could without you being aware. I got a job in the bar where you used to go. I went everywhere with you, protected by a crowd of students, a face in the crowd, but one you never picked out. That was a long summer, Cindy; I got to know a lot about you by the end of it.
Before I even got to speak to you I had a good idea of your musical tastes, your fashion sense and your politics. I knew where you lived where you shopped and even how long your male visitors stayed after a night out. In another life I could have been a spy.
We finally did meet the day you lost your bag in the college library. I found it under my chair, remember that? You were so grateful that nothing was missing. You had your bus pass and the keys to your apartment in that bag, so it could have been quite serious.
I never told you, Cindy, but I hid it there, I was so desperate to speak to you. It wasn’t just infatuation; it was much more than that. I was already in love, I was your slave, I would have done anything to make you mine. I offered my soul to the devil in exchange for your heart and he obliged. It was a good job the offer was of enough value to him, I had nothing else.
Remember those early days? I couldn't keep away; I once slept in the passage outside your door because you had mentioned that some kids had been causing trouble in the flats. That was a cold night. I had to be at work the next morning, so I left at 7 am. I don’t think I’d do that again, Cindy, much as I love you. My neck ached for days afterwards. I caught a cold too.
How far did your flatmates go in trying to put you off me, Cindy? I know that Janie and Cynth didn’t think I was your type. They made that pretty obvious whenever I came round. They used to lie sometimes when I rang and tell me you were busy when you weren’t. They were always trying to get you to go out with them if they knew we had a date. Thankfully you saw through them and would have none of it. You knew we were soul mates.
Your mother didn't like me much either did she? Still doesn't. I don't know what I did to make her hate me so much. Did she ever tell you? I tried my best with her. I was polite and respectful in the extreme; I even used to stand up when she came into the room. None of it was enough to sway her opinion though.
It’s such a shame I never got to meet your dad. I think we'd have got on just fine; he might even have put in a good word with your mother for me.
He liked a beer, just as I do. Maybe if I’d have gone out with him now and then, he might not have drunk quite so much. My heart bled for you when he died, Cindy, your mother was very bitter about it all. But maybe she was the cause of his problem in the first place.
My mother loved you, Cindy, though you never took to her did you? Yes I know she was a little protective, but I am her only son and a mother has to look after her young. If she seemed overly critical it was only because she wanted the best for me; us.
Where did it go wrong, Cindy? Was it my job? I know there were long hours, I know I was away a lot but I made good money. It meant you could stay home and write your stories; they were good stories, Cindy. Those editors shouldn't have been in their jobs, even I can tell a good yarn when I read one and they were good. I wanted to publish them for you, would have if I could.
I’ve spent many an unhappy hour trying to work out where and why we began to drift apart, but I’m no closer to an answer. We were good together in the old days, we didn't need anyone else. We talked for hours, fixed the world, laid out our plans and our dreams, even our fantasies. I was shocked by some of yours, Cindy; though it looks like you were determined to fulfil a lot of them.
Why so many men, Cindy? I knew a good while back I wasn't enough for you, so I got out of the way when I could. My mother never understood why I needed to stay over as often as I did, or why I didn’t bring you round with me. She told me that I was a fool to let you out on your own all the time. You were never home when she rang and my lame excuses got lamer as time went on.
She called you a whore; I told her she was wrong. I said you had needs that I couldn't help you with; she said you should go on the street with those needs, at least you'd have bought some money in to help.
I didn’t agree with my mother all the time, Cindy.
Maybe it would all have been different if we had managed to have kids. My mother was desperate to be a Grandmother. I think even your mother may have mellowed had we produced a grandchild for her. It wasn’t to be though, something to do with your ovaries. They all knew it was nothing to do with my body, but your mother blamed me anyway.
I’d give anything to make love to you one last time, Cindy; but that’s not possible now, you being dead and all. I’d have loved to have taken you to our wood by the river one last time. It’s autumn again, I could have laid you down in the fallen leaves; it was my favourite place, our special place. Did you ever take anyone else there, Cindy? I hope not, that wouldn’t have been right.
I’ll have let you lie alone for a while, Cindy; I’ve got a cramp in my arm now. Maybe that’s a good thing as I won’t feel the hypodermic when I use it. I’ll take the same amount I gave to you; it worked pretty quickly. You seemed to be having trouble finding a vein; I guess that’s what happens when you do it as often as you did.
I never begrudged you the money for the drugs, Cindy; I knew that you needed them to get by. I didn’t like the people you had to mix with to get the stuff though. Some of them should have been in jail.
I was robbed more than once buying it for you myself. You weren’t happy when I came back empty handed, but when I did, that guy Rodrigo always came through. You seemed very close to him; he didn’t smile much did he? Did you know he ran prostitutes? I only found out the other day; it was in the papers, they arrested him for it.
It’s getting dark now, Cindy, I guess it’s almost time to say goodbye. I’ve left a note for my mother, but not for yours. I have nothing to say to her. What could I say? I’ve never done anything right in her eyes and I don’t expect her to approve of this either.
I’ll say a prayer for you, Cindy and one for me. I think God will understand why I did it. I’ll put in a word for you when I get to heaven. I’m sure they’ll let you off with a warning or something. You were never a bad person; you might even get to see your Dad. I doubt your mother will ever be allowed in though. There are limits, even in heaven.
I’m going to use a new hypodermic when I have mine, Cindy, It’s wrong to share needles.
Goodbye for now.
I love you, Cindy.
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