The hard times struck again. They say you see everybody’s true colours when you are falling down and notice how people are treating you. Some of them are going to try to help you, some are going to push you, and some of them are going to back off. I was alone. I was working alone and I was living alone and I had it all to myself. I thought I had hit rock bottom. But when you feel like you’ve hit your lowest point and there is absolutely no lower way to go – there is.

I went out alone because I was tired of pretending just for the sake of having a human to talk to. I hadn’t had a meaningful conversation in weeks.

Now, the easiest thing to do on this planet is for a woman to get what she wants from a man. There is no easier task; neither there is more evil one. More often than not men are begging for it and women are always looking for something. That is why no one is satisfied at the end and everyone ends up being with someone else.

I was sitting at a bar alone and having my drink and trying to clarify the things that I wanted to write about. Inspiration almost drained. I wanted to feel that oneness between the words and myself once again but there was nothing I could feel at all at that time.

‘What is a girl doing alone in a bar?’ a man`s voice came behind me. Now, I am sure I have written the exact same line several times in my writing lifespan. But it’s just what they always say…boring people trying to bore people.

‘I’m having a drink.’ I replied. Of course. But the real question was if I wanted to play.

‘Why are you here alone?’

‘That’s a heavy subject. We just met. Give the girl some time.’

‘Maybe I will.’

‘Maybe you should.’

He smelled of coconut oil. The death of manhood. The death of hope. He looked quite good though. I always wondered how good looking guys ever talked to me. I was the furthest from a pretentious looking woman. Anyways, he went back to his friends and sent me a drink. The barlady winked at me as she gave me the drink as if I was not supposed to miss my chance. Such a fantastic coconut feast.

The clock struck 11 and I did not feel much like sleeping that evening. I was so overworked and so underfucked that nothing seemed to make any sense anymore. Pearl Jam was playing as I waved at the guy to come to me.

`I see you’ve changed your mind’ he said when he came to me.

‘Perhaps I just got tired of sitting alone’

I was a terrible little piece of work. He laughed which is always a good sign. I hated it when people could not understand my sarcasm.  We talked about work, life in Sofia, friends. He was a nice guy, but he was one of those people who could see the real thing going on but did not have the balls to say it. And he smelled of coconuts…man…don’t get me wrong, he seemed like a good guy, just a bit plain. And don’t get me too wrong, I love coconuts, just not when men wear them.

We went to his house and he started playing even nicer as if we did not know why we were going there.  The stupid element of seduction – it is always so conductive when you don’t know the person. It is such a great pleasure when you love him.

We entered the room and it smelled of flowers. Now, there is nothing wrong in being clean but it was a man’s flat god damn it, it was not supposed to be like that. Flowers and coconuts in a bachelor’s flat.  The death of hope in the 21st century. When he turned the light on, however, it all made sense. He was, of course, not a bachelor.

The place was clearly decorated by a woman and there were pictures of him and a girl all over the place. ‘God damn it’ I felt like I was in the wrong story. So, I wanted to leave as soon as possible.

‘Who’s that woman?’ I asked.

‘That’s my ex fiancée.’ He replied.

‘She moved out recently, huh?’  I asked although the answer was clear.

‘Yup.’

‘You really loved her, huh? Bet you still do.’

‘Nah…I am just too lazy to clear the place.’

‘Yeah right, because you have to fuck her out of your system first.’

I knew he wanted to use my heart as a stress ball. He wanted the sweet talk and the cuddling as a medicine. I was too broken for that shit. He was looked at me for a few seconds.

‘Get out of my house.’ He said.

Damn that coconut guy. Who knew he had balls.

‘There are more important things in life, you know, than the fantasy called love.’

He just stared at me. I continued talking while I was putting my shoes on ‘Maybe you should consider quitting your boring, soul-sucking job and try to value people more, value yourself and develop yourself more. The world is going to chew you anyways but it is always better to have something that is your own to hold onto. Soon, it will be too late and you would have submitted to the bullshit so much that you are going to go crazy.’

‘Cheers. I drink to that.’ He told me in a calm voice. He looked at me so firmly. That coconut guy.

‘Cheers.’ I replied and headed to the door.

‘Hey, Di.’ He said.

‘Yup?’ I turned to him.

‘Thanks.’

I did not expect that. I nodded and went out.

Damn boys and girls and the fucking ruined world. I did it because I was tired of people using me to get over things, to get over other people. I felt like a fucking mop for destroyed emotions. I went downstairs and I lit a cigarette as I waited for my taxi. That coconut guy.

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by Harumi Hironaka