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.agitated.”“I don't need no fucking fantasies to make me feel better.” I bring the cup to my lips and the moment the liquid hits my mouth it burns.“Fuck!”“Give me that.” He snatches it from my hand, sets it on the table and puts his hand over it.The coffee starts swirling inside the cup and I'm mesmerized by the dark brown vortex.“There,” he says when he gives it back.I try it and it isn't so hot anymore.“Thanks.”Sip.Sip.Sip.“Are you talking to me now?”Sip.Gulp.“I'm thinking about it.”“You have a nasty temper.”Look who's talking!“You don't know half of it, mister.”“And that mouth of yours.You own a bookstore, for heaven's sake.”“I don't own it.It's my mother's.I run it.”“Do you read?”“A lot.”“Doesn't show.”“What? You think because I read I should use fancy vocabulary?”“Not fancy, but at least less cursing.”Drink more coffee and swallow some of the annoyance.“Having coffee today was your idea.”He grins.“I still think it was a good one.”I roll my eyes and stare into my cup.There are so many things in my head at the moment.Images of Mr.Brownstone come to the front of my mind and I fight to push him and his three-day notice back.“When will your mother be back from Spain?”“The day after tomorrow.” My coffee's running out and with it my time sitting at this table.There's inquiry in his eyes and I'm not giving into it, although I can tell he's reading me, seeing me.He's fallen silent and I welcome it.It's not awkward, it's just silence.Thinking silence.Pondering silence.“Do you need to get to the bookstore after this?”“I should check on Daphne, but I work the night shift today.”“How does another stroll in the park sound?”“You really like that park, don't you?”His eyes crinkle when he smiles.“I do.”“Just don't go doing the fantasy thing again.”He raises his hands to his sides.“I won't.”We head out of the coffee shop and towards the park.A sunny day greets us into the vast greenery of trees and grass and dirt trails and little pestering animals, I mean children, laughing and playing around.He keeps his hands inside the pockets of his leather jacket and I can't help my eyes from side-glancing, making sure they stay where they are.At least him projecting a fantasy into my brain isn't as bad a fear as thinking he'll murder me at any moment.Before I know it we're near the lake again and he's looking into the ripples of dark water and he's going on about how he's a bad person.“I've done horrible things in my life.Caused a lot of damage, a lot of misery.”My mouth opens, then shuts itself, then opens again.“What about the ones you saved? You did save people.You did good things too.”“Even one bad thing can erase a lifetime of good deeds.I have a long list of offenses that I can't run away from.”He doesn't give me time to jibe that.“I remember this place.” He's talking and looking around.“I used to come here as a child.My mother liked this park very much.” I don't dare interrupt his train of thought.“She used to make these great picnics, just for the two of us.Fruits that she harvested from our backyard, jelly sandwiches she used to cut into little squares.”That sounds like something my mother would've done if she'd had the time.However, why is he telling me this?Maybe he's some schizo who has chosen me to tell the story of his life.“Is she okay? Your mother?”“She died a very long time ago.”Way to go, fucktard.Now he's sulking and you can't stop yourself from stroking his arm.He twists towards me and I go stiff.“It’s okay, I won’t do it.” He steps back, sulking even further.“My father killed her and there was nothing I could do about it.”Jeez.This isn't what I was expecting, not remotely.Although Mom told me that story once or twice.“I wish there was something I could do for you?”That question could get me into a shitload of trouble, but what the hell am I supposed to say to this.this man.this stranger who is opening up to me?“You're already doing a lot by listening to me.”He's sad and I can't help the need to hug him that overwhelms me all of a sudden.Ah, fuck it.I take one of his wrists and wrap the arm around me, snake my arms around his torso, hug him and it feels good.Yeah.Good.Nice.Warm.All right.Release him before you look like one of those clingy kinds of women.“Thank you,” he whispers, his eyes overly bright as he holds my face inside his hands.I clutch his forearms and feel this giddiness inside me that makes me smile.“I'm a good listener.I don't mind.It's a lot like reading books, peeking into other people's lives.”He lowers his hands to my shoulders and I feel like melting inside.Am I actually attracted to him?He stretches out a hand and a wildflower comes floating through the air [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]