The Last Time We Met
He had his eyes on me all night. I knew it was wrong, but this was the first time in my
entire life, that he had shown any kind of interest towards me and while I felt
disgusted, I was also overwhelmed with love and excitement carefully masked
behind an uncaring face. Men are wired to want what they can’t have, so I forced
every particle of my body to ignore him when all I wanted to do was study his face
and see what his touch felt like. He had no idea who I was.
He came over to me and asked if he could buy me a drink. He spoke Spanish and was
predictably seductive in his look and approach. I let him buy me a Cuba Libre, a rum
and coke concoction. He tried to make a joke about the age of the rum being used.
He said it reminded him of us meeting here since the rum was twenty years older
than the diet coke. I laughed and for a moment, recognition, but he quickly buzzed it
off, as in his mind it wasn’t possible. None of this was possible.
I asked him what he was thinking and he said that for a moment I reminded him of someone. He told me that she died several years ago, but now that he thought about it, was I sure that I didn’t have an older sister. I told him I certainly didn’t and he said my accent and last name were a dead
giveaway that I wasn’t from here. I told him he was right, and it wasn’t a lie.
He was so easy to talk to, I could see the appeal and how hard it was going to be
after all of these years to leave him. I told him all about my business and how I was
writing for a living. He asked me what the hardest part was and I said it was
taking real moments, putting them on film for everyone to see and judge only to be
told that they aren’t possible; that they couldn’t happen. He said I must have a very
active imagination and as someone who also had an active imagination, he could
relate. He’d spent his entire life after his country’s revolution painting and
marrying young girl after young girl, searching for his own youth. After a kid or two he would move on. None of them ever understood his life as an artist or his need to be a gypsy. Maybe he just
hadn’t found the right girl, he said. No doubt a script he'd already memorized. He was so charming. I saw every man I’d ever fallen for that had hurt me in those eyes. He had the same trick. They connected and made you feel a need to rescue them just like you wanted someone to rescue you. I
wanted to thank him for letting me see it so clearly but I didn’t for fear I would give
myself away. I found every excuse to touch his forearm and actively told my hands
to stay away from his face. He wouldn't understand. He couldn't.
He tried once more to flirt, but I quickly lied that I was married. He laughed
and said he didn’t see my husband around. I got up and hugged him and held him
tightly which I’m sure was confusing. A single tear ran down my face. I loved him
even though we’d only met once before. I kissed him on the cheek and left, never
telling him he was my father.