Small Talk

Shit. He has changed so much!

And not just in appearance she thought. When she walked in she gave him a casual hug, which he didn’t respond to very well.

Maybe I should have just shaken his hand. Or simply said hello. I shouldn’t have touched him. I shall never ever again make physical contact first.

They seated themselves comfortably on the couch. He sat down next to her.

‘That way it’s easier for me to hear you’, he said. ‘The music is good and loud in here.’

Did he just say good? Is that what he thinks of this music?

‘So what music do you like?’

Great. This is what it comes down to. Small talk.

‘I really like The Verve’, she said.

Ok, now why did I say that? How many albums have I even listened to by that band? And I actually really like ATB which isn’t even in the same genre!

‘So, any boyfriends?’, he asked, in that casual tone that people take to when asking something personal.

Boyfriends? In the plural! What am I, a slut? Maybe that’s what he hopes for!

‘No, I’m happily single’.

‘Really?’, he asked with skepticism.

Great. Now he assumes that just because I’m single I have got to be masking my real feelings with untrue words.

‘What about you? You seeing anyone?’ she asked him.

‘No. I just broke up with this girl I was in a live-in with. I think you know her…’

Yeah. I know her. She was the one you went to when I left you.

‘You know I have been through a rough time’, he said.

‘Me too’, she replied, and looked at him, almost tenderly.

Was there something good brewing? Or something dissolving? Was it the start of something new? Or a final severing of something very old?

An hour later, as she said her final goodbye, he leaned in and held her. A nice, warm hug.

This time, she didn’t respond to it.



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