Friday, May 29, 2009

"Attraction" by Muffy St. Bernard

The man with the grey toque leaned against her, using her shoulder to support himself. He could come no closer because there were too many people around the bar.

"I'm attracted to you," he said.

She thanked him for saying so.

"It's strange, this attraction I have, because I'm gay. It's not obvious to anybody. Even my friends don't know! They're back there." He gestured. His friends were at the end of the bar, lounging, staring, interested.

"Would you know that I'm gay if I didn't tell you first?" asked the man.

She said no, she wouldn't have guessed. He pushed his toque down to hide his hair and then he smiled. "I want you to keep this a secret," he said, "just between you and me. Don't tell anybody what I just told you. About me being gay."

She said she wouldn't tell anybody. She promised. There were so many people around that she couldn't uncross her legs without hitting somebody.

The man with the toque kept bumping her shoulder, swayed by the moving crowd, bumping and bumping, but he didn't seem to care. "This is significant for me because I'm not actually attracted to women, I just pretend, I do it all for show...but you're the first woman I've ever been attracted to and I wonder what that means. I wonder if it's important?"

She said she didn't know if it was important or not. He put his hand on the shoulder he'd been bumping.

"Will you make this a special night and sleep with me?"

She said no. She said she was sad that he had to hide his homosexuality from his friends but that she was simply not interested in having sex with him. She said that there was no chance of him ever having sex with her.

He didn't remove his hand. When one of her male friends brought her a drink, the man in the toque said "So that's how it is, is it?" and he scowled bitterly, but he didn't remove his hand.

He was silent for a while, bumping. "It would mean a lot to me, if we could have sex," he said finally. "Since I'm gay and this is significant."

She said no, and he said "Kiss me," and he tried to pull her away from her stool and she sat back again forcibly. "Kiss me please." He pulled her face towards his. "It would be special. My friends are watching." And they were; they were taking pictures with their cel phones.

She pushed him away. He sneered. "I can't believe I told you about my sexuality and you're just rejecting me," he said. "I can't believe I confessed my biggest secret to you, and you're not going to have sex with me. That's awful. It's like you really don't care."

Her male friend intervened, pushed his way in and telling the man to cool it. She finally managed to uncross her legs and she drank her drink behind the barrier of her friend's arm.

The man with the toque stretched across from the other side, hissing. "I can't believe this," he said. "I told you my biggest secret and then you got your boyfriend to attack me. I can't believe you'd do this to me. I can't believe you'd betray me like that."

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