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He feigned sleep - after the talk

Christy C

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(except from The Eye of The Hurricane)

“Robert, I’ve got something to tell you.”

We are sitting on his bed in his room in his hotel. We’re both half naked and we’re fooling around. I don’t want to wait till this gets more serious.

“What’s it Love?”

“Robert you’re a great guy. You’re funny, you’re charming, you know how to kiss…”

“Go on, I’m counting.”

“I like you, we’ve been going out for one week and …”

“You mean that’s it? Only one more? What about my incredible sense of humour?”

“I’ve said that already.”

“That I’m debonair?”

“I did mention that.”

“I’m handsome to boot?”


“You do find me handsome, don’t you?”

“Yes Robert I think you’re handsome.” I say this with a sigh.

“Well no need to get so excited.”

“Robert. I’ve got herpes.”

“Oh me God, Oh me God, shit shit fuck fuck fuck. Oh me God oh me God.” Robert turns pink, then red, then he jumps off the bed. “I’m going to have a shower.”

I wait. He takes ages in there.

He comes back to the bed wrapped up in his bath robe.

“You, you-you can’t get ge-ge-ge it from..... I-I-I mean.... ?”

“No Robert.” I try to explain that he can only get it from sex and only if I’m having an outbreak but he only gets redder. He turns his back to me. I used to think that white people only got red when they stayed out too long in the sun but Robert ears are the brightest shade of red I’ve ever seen.

I put on my dress.

I wait.

He doesn’t turn round.

I put on my shoes. He doesn’t move.


He doesn’t answer.

“Robert?” It sounds like he is snoring. I take my bag and let myself out. So much for bouncy baby on the knee.

I walk past reception and for the first time in my life I feel like a prostitute. The girl at front desk pretends not to look at me but I know what she is thinking. Black girl visiting white man in his room leaving alone. A double dose of embarrassment. Shaka doesn’t know what the hell he was talking about.

The next morning Robert calls, “Sorry about last night love. I was knackered.”

“Yeah?” I don't say any thing more.

“What do you want me to do?”

“Maybe condoms Robert.”

“I don’t like them. I can’t use rubbers. ‘I gotta be inside of you. I gotta feel you.”

I don’t say anything.

“I mean what do you want me to do? I can’t wank myself everynight.”

I slam the phone down. Asshole! That hurt. What was I expecting? I don’t know, maybe deep down inside me I was hoping he’d say. ‘Not to worry’ or ‘we’ll take care of it’. Or maybe that he’d sing, Just the two of us we can make it we try just the two of us you and I.

Boy I’m naive. I won’t try this one again so fast. Wank yourself huh? It will take me a couple of years to get over that. A couple of years starting now.

I get up from the bed and head for the shower. Bloody Robert. Wank yourself huh? What a lovely way to start my Sunday morning. What a truly blessed start. I have to do something to keep my mind of this wanker or I’ll burst. I don’t believe he said that. I don’t believe it.

Never fails to make me laugh when I remember. Out of the five men I’ve told I had herpes only one has run. And when I bumped into him months afterwards, me on the arm of a more open minded man, he blushed to the tip of his ears out of pure embarrassment. I thought it was supposed to be then other way. I honestly felt very sorry for him.


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