Arris fell out of time and landed in my lap. I was so surprised that I charmed her. Something like you belongs somewhere romantic, I said. Paris in sepia or a courtesan’s lace, an uncanny valley or gypsy caravan. Some place idyllic and far away. She laughed at me with social freedoms long since won in wars we forgot. ‘From hereon out I belong next to you,’ she said. ‘Whenever you need me that’s where I’ll be.’ I started counting my blessings and asked for seconds. ‘For you, I will always make time.’ After that, forever was never enough.
The pressure drops and I have the painful sensation of wind over wet ears. ‘You’re more when you’re around other people,’ she says. More what? ‘I don’t know… just, more you. It’s like you become some hyper realised version. I wish you got like that when you talked to me. Why don’t you?’ Because that’s what they want, I tell her, a fictional model full of charm and eloquence, twisted to sate their tastes. ‘So, what? You don’t want to be better for me?’ I thought you liked me for me, I say, but I’ll change if you like.