S. – II

You know about her from this article.
She might appear lost. The holes in her one-week worn blouse suggesting negligence; remissness; having given up. She orders another red wine. Wjintje, as the Flemish dialect goes. We obey; the glass appears next to the two already standing in front of her.
I have piety for her. The superiority that accompanies every person’s eyes when meeting her figure, her state, has reached me as well.
But I try to shake it off when finding a place next to her. Not literally, since even if she is a very big, swollen woman, she gives me the idea that she can be knocked down from my simple breath; a sentence sounding like an order; a critique.
And I sit by her side, as she loves the sight of the pedestrians walking in front of her.
It has been a couple of beautiful months in Belgium: sunny, warm. We have been talking about how pleasant the weather is. Such small talk, chatting about the weather.
But then suddenly, she will affirm it; she does not show, but she is aware of it. That she needs help.
I nod. I just do that, after years I’ve known her and understanding that what she says is true, but also a promise she will never keep.
And then, she would say:
«Summer is nice» and she often accompanies this sentence with a small wave of her puffed hand «But then the winter comes back».
And I nod again, this time to myself.


It was still cold.

Grey clouds hanging over a mouldy lawn and bare trees. Those big trees. They were tall, she found herself thinking while looking up to one of them. Her nose started watering. She could feel her two hands icing up, a bottled water and a can of coke from the vending machines. She would have waited inside. It was still cold.

Her friend had a dark skin, one of those soft skin that would have always smelled good. But how could she know? She knew he was good with the camera though. She liked the work of him she saw on the internet. Yet, he shot with a vintage camera, with film: she was impatient to touch her image on the flappy polished paper.

She placed the two beverages on the table. The toilette was cold, too. She dared to get close to the mirror. She did not do so that often; let’s say almost never. But that day she felt pretty; beautiful. The make up she had put on was not much, but expensive. Her eyelashes were so long.

It was not the first time she posed for that guy. He must have found some details in her that she could not appreciate, she thought when being asked for some photos for the third time. So now, on that day, she thought she was beautiful. And also that new yellow jumper looked good on her, even if yellow did not usually suit her complexion. Her legs did not look too skinny. That was a good day, despite the cold weather.

But they would have had to stay outside for some good 30 minutes: he usually wanted to finish two rolls of film. She would have had to cover her hands then: they got funny red spots when too cold.

The soap from the dispenser did not smell anything pleasant. The paper must have been recycled; she appreciated the idea of it but it scratched her nostrils when cleaning them. On her way out, a blonde young girl entered the bathroom, almost hitting her; they smiled at each other sympathetically. But when back in the hall and sat down next to the table, noticed the amount of sugars in the can she just opened, removed some fluffs from her coat, then she wished that hour she had to wait would have passed quickly, before noticing, becoming aware, of anything else that could have faded.