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Last Calls and Convenience Stores


This is an anthology. 

A collection of shorts taken from six a.m walks, rainy day observations, random public rants, drunken episodes and odd encounters. This is a collection of various stories from a silent third-world city. 

Romanticized for your convenience, designed to make you think and see the world in a different light, this collection is another attempt from one third world writer to voice out her visions to the world.

I hope you stay along and thank you for your time.

A Scene on 1105

"You smoke too much," he told me with a grin on his face as he stroked my legs and breathed on my neck. He doesn't wear perfume, and yet he has this distinct scent. I could say it's a mixture of sweat, beer, a cheeky character, and tea. Sitting on his lap makes me feel like I'm a showgirl taken out at a special discount.

Tea. That tangy scent of what I would later learn as Earl Grey.

"That's a very popular opinion," I told him as I looked at the night sky sprinkled with city lights. The construction workers are probably taking a good look at us from the opposite building. There's nothing more interesting at these times of the night than a sight of a decently aged foreigner with a young local girl sitting on his lap.


It's supposed to be dirty, the type that I hate and despise when I see the same scenario in the red light districts. It's a very exploitative gesture but then I caught a bad reflection of us from the balcony door and we looked good. The sight of us didn't look as if it was a transaction, rather it was an odd affair with a fair balance of naughty, dirty and romantic.


Yes, there was a bit of rain. I can see the fine drops under the street lights. We stayed like that for a little while longer. That while I felt like I'm a showgirl taken out on a special discount, I also felt like I'm a woman. Not a young girl at twenty-one, but a woman at the height of her prime, capable of a romance of such degree. That he didn't ask me out for lust's sake, but rather because of something else.


Taking his attention is not as easy as just walking by wearing a short skirt or pulling off a noticeable laugh. One could dance naked around him and he would still get bored. I remember being underdressed when I first met him. She waited for him dressed in her Friday's best and yet he still looked at me. One more strange night after that he gave me a rather odd invitation."Take a walk with me. I'm not going to fuck you," he said.


And yes. There I was a few weeks later on her balcony, I won him over with wit and a bit of charm. And yes, my kisses had sealed the deal.


He smiled and held me tight. "Finish that cigarette and let's go back to bed." I was always amused on how she, the actual woman he was with would sneak a cigarette saying that he hates it while here I am on his lap breathing in nicotine and polluted air as he moved his hands all over me. I was tapping my cigarette into a beer can to minimize incriminating evidence.


And so I did. As it rained that night over that part of the capital that disguises itself as a third world rip off of New York, we went to bed.


It was bad sex and yet I didn't mind. He filled my other fantasies and that was all I needed.I can still remember every word he said. And it's not even the kind of words that would translate as "let's fuck again". Believing it is not some sort of trap either. It was all words of pure honesty. It could be dirty at some points, and yet again, his words still grip me up until this day.I can still clearly hear him, that every time I light a cigarette on my own and 90's Britannia starts to play, his words would echo in my mind. It gets worse when I smell the faint smell of hot tea from a pot.


"You're a very brilliant woman."


"You're too smart for everyone in this country."


"You smoke too much."


"I've bastardized you already, haven't I?"


Two hundred forty-five kilometers away from fake New York, one thousand ninety-five days ago, his images all in a book and yet here I am still stuck in Apartment 1105 on a sunny September afternoon.


I can still remember the scent of the room, the hot September air and the way he would have this dreamy look in his eyes as I speak. His smile. God, I still want to touch it.


He never told me that he loved me. And yet he told me to meet him again in the distant future. Up until the end, with 84 seconds on the traffic lights, he pulled me for a kiss and told me that one way or the other, I should meet him again. Maybe in the streets of London or maybe back there.


Had I knew that that was the last 84 seconds that I will ever have with him, I could've pulled him and took him for 84 seconds more.


A few lovers had come by since then and I would still think of how it would look like when the day finally comes that I would get to see him again. We'd be both older and hopefully a bit better.


I've gone so far away since that day and yet the mere sound of his name just drags me back so easy to where I just started. And yet for some reason, the memories of him was never in bad taste.


September afternoon, we were running out of long cuts to walk. We never held each other's hands in public. We would always take this one long pause. We would give each other one long look, a deep sigh, and a smile before we turn our backs at each other.


"You have a very distinct walk," he told me before. "That says a lot about your personality. And I like watching you walk away."


My thoughts had gone that far with just one burning cigarette. And it echoes again.


You smoke too much.


Yes, I do.


I lit another one, wondering if I can get to be touched that way again. One big sigh clouded my vision of the night with cigarette smoke.


At times like these, I have to remind myself that it's all over. And I guess that's the strange thing about remembering, it's like taking your second cup of coffee but you can still taste the remnants of the first cup. It lingers at the back of your throat waiting to be washed down.I'm still halfway my second cup.