An Ephemeral Slice of Love
Rachid and his mom had left for Montreal the day before, and I was now living at Hotel Samir in downtown Algiers. I’d hop up the stairs to Krim Belkacem pretty often, to see the guys, but I also enjoyed walking around the city alone or cruising with Monsieur Sako. And if I didn’t feel like going too far, I’d just drop by Adel’s extremely-overpriced-tourist-stuff-store and chat with him, or hang out at the pizza place with the yellow awnings.
Yellow is a nice colour. L…a was wearing a yellow dress when I came in one afternoon because I was hungry and thirsty. She was in her thirties and she loved swimming. She was a TINY bit thick around the waist and the arms, and she had a sore on her bottom lip, and she seemed to have had a rough past, but all her imperfections made her all the more loveable. She smiled a lot.
“Une pizza au thon, s’il vous plaît.”
“Une Fanta orange, c’est gentil.”
“Vous êtes beau.”
I was sad that there wasn’t time. I was leaving the next day, so there was no way we were going to the beach together. She said she hoped I was coming back the next year, and so did I. She said she wanted to see my pictures so I left her my e-mail. She said she’d fix her computer in a few days and then write me.
I always hated goodbyes. When I was done eating, we kissed goodbye and I never saw her again. And she never wrote. Later on, from Romania, I wrote to Adel and told him to drop by the spot and check up on her. He said “yeah”, but I don’t think he ever went. Perhaps involving him was a mistake. Perhaps writing this story was a bigger mistake.
I guess I’ll find out when I go back.