Some ten years passed since the night I met that girl, one night, in a pub. I was out with a couple of friends, maybe it was Wednesday, maybe Thursday. We were sitting and talking, nothing special, for sure nothing to be remembered. That very morning I passed an exam at university, so somehow I was in a good mood.
I guess we were about to leave, when this group of people arrived.
“Oh, what a nice surprise!”
“Yes, indeed. It has been a while”
G. and L. were — and still are — nice guys to hang out with. So I was kinda happy to meet them. My other two friends — the ones I was at the pub with — had to wake up early the morning after. They left, and I stayed there, with G., L. and their three friends.
And she had a fringe!
Now, let’s be honest here. Yes, I loved to spend some time with these two guys, but what I got more interested in, was that cute brunette girl, with her funny bangs, bright eyes and a short pink dress. Which girl? Come on, the one that entered with them in the pub! The other two that completed the company were somehow not noticeable. But the girl — you know — she had a fringe!
How can I tell you this?
Don’t ask me her name, I forgot it long time ago. She was visiting the city, for tourism, and the day before she met G. and L., when asking for some directions. So there we were now, chatting and making some jokes. And then she said: “I’d love to see the sea, in the night”.
I can walk with you. The others stayed at the pub, drinking their beers, while the two of us went out together. Donno how, we soon started to tease one the other. And no mystery, some spark was there. We soon reached the main square facing the sea, we walk on the pier, she got closer, we turned to look at the city in the night, and finally her lips got close to mine.
How can I tell you this? Do you think I kissed her? Do you really think we ended up at my place, that night? Oh, hell not! God forgive me, but listen: her cute face, her short pink dress and her promising breast could not help the stink of her breath. What did she eat that night, I cannot say. But no, no, that was too much.
My best excuse. Ever.
I stepped back. “Hey!” — she said surprised “What’s wrong?”
What was I supposed to say? “Sorry, you are really attractive, but you should brush your teeth!” — or maybe I should have given her a mint? I felt so embarrassed. When I was younger, I had always a good excuse: “You know, I am a seminarian, I cannot, God is calling me!” — No joke, I used it to get rid of some unwanted situations. I still have a letter, somewhere at home, written by a certain Raffaella, some 20 years ago, saying more or less:
My dear R.,
I am here in my room crying. But my tears are not tears of sadness. These are tears of joy, the joy the Lord gave me for meeting someone like you! Lord Jesus is calling you, and you are so brave to give up your life to serve Him! I will be there the day you will become priest, and I will pray for you, and for your vocation, every day of my life.
Fact is, I did not want to see her again, after she told me she was confessing to the priest of her Church every time we kissed. I found it quite weird. And I told her I decided to follow the example of Saint Augustine!
So I said, and I walked away.
Yes, these were good times. But now I was there, the sea, the lights of the city, this cute girl, and her awful breath. “I have to tell you something, first.” — she looked at me, doubtful — “I have a girlfriend. I do not feel this is the right thing to do.”
“I have a boyfriend, too. But they are not here. It is just the two of us.” This was her answer, and she got close to me again. “I am sorry, I am not that kind of person.” — So I said, and I walked away. The walk of shame.
Akif Hakan Celebi
All the photos by Akif Hakan Celebi. My absolutely favorite contemporary photographer.
The model is beautiful Victoria Yun (Viktoriya Mikhanova).