I looked at him, watching him look around the room. He was relatively cute, all things considered- lanky, bearded, and generally out of sorts, he had an awkward charm that some girls found irresistible. I had pulled him out of bed, early on a Sunday- mooning for his absent fiancee, in Bordeaux doing research until the spring, he had taken to sleeping late and going to bed early, willing the months away. I begged him to join me, his fiancee’s best friend, for coffee and commiseration about her absence. I whined and complained until he showered and set himself at a sunsplashed table, tired blue eyes measuring the room.
He wasn’t reading or writing, just kind of staring. He watched the baristas share a private joke, giggling into the foaming milk. He watched a girl in the corner in cat’s eye glasses make notes from a Bolano novel. John Lennon music, enjoying another hipster rebirth, was playing in the background as I sipped, watching him observe the life that swirled around us.
I had decided he was going to sleep with me tonight- nothing permanent, just a bedpost notch, a way to prove I could, something to silently hold over her, something I would always know. A way to be someone’s secret, someone’s unconfessed betrayal, someone’s moment of guilty panic. He didn’t know that it was going to happen, as I smiled to myself, bringing my coffee to my lips. But I did.