My smile drops. "So we’re only having coffee today?" We were supposed to fuck. See, ours is a motel relationship. Once a week, two months and counting.
"I thought I told you."
"No you didn’t. You said to meet at 5," I say. I have not seen him in two weeks. "I thought you just wanted to meet earlier."
"I thought you understood."
"Well, you weren't clear."
He frowns, remains quiet.
"What time do you have to leave?"
"Not now." He says it like a consolation. I want to clobber him. "The dinner’s at seven."
"But we just got here." It is already 6.
He takes a sip from the steaming mug of coffee next to him. He had been drinking with a friend until a couple of hours ago. His eyes are still dazed.
Silence grapples me as I try to wrap my head around a clear misunderstanding. There are barriers to tread in this "arrangement". Language, culture, age, preference. His English needs work. I’m new in Juarez. He’s ten years younger. I’m the first man he’s ever slept with.
He struggles. "Are you free on Monday morning?"
A compromise. But it reaches my ears as a begrudging favor. There is no remorse in his face.
We don’t fuck when we meet for breakfast. Which means it’s another worthless and painful time of being near him without being able to touch him, hold him, kiss.
See, ours is a motel relationship. He picks me up, we check in, we cum, we cuddle.
"You should've told me you could only meet for a little while," I say, trying to scrap 70% of blame from my tone. But considering the size of my frustration, there’s still enough accusation to catch.
We remain quiet for five minutes. It stretches like an age.
"Are you disappointed?"
Fuck you. "A little." I look at the street before me, behind him. It is rush hour. "I thought you had marked time for me." It is painful to say that.
"This is our time." He sounds angry. "I still met you."
I don’t back down. "You know that’s not what I mean when I say ‘time’. Don’t pretend that you don’t know."
Ours is a motel relationship. Without the fucking, there is no point.
"I’m sorry," he says. "This wasn’t my plan. I knew about the family dinner this morning only."
"Then you should’ve told me hours before. I would’ve understood. I would’ve still met you, but I would know what to expect. You knew I wanted to be with you."
"You mean sex?" he teases.
"Yes, sex." I try not to smile, despite the fucknut of a pain that is humping my chest.
I want to make him understand how this feels to me. But he’s drunk. He’s not going to remember this.
"Let’s just go."
"I’ll take you."
"I can walk." My house is five minutes away on foot, but two u-turns on his moto (no one uses the word motorcycle here). "Besides, you’re drunk. That means your motorbike is a coffin."
"Everyone drives drunk in J-town."
I laugh. "That’s fresh."
He smiles. The idiot thinks my laughter was genuine.
I let him drive me home anyway. He tries to cheer me up. "I’ll see you on Monday or Tuesday morning, okay?" he promises, starting with that shit again. It does not give me solace or reassurance. I feel desolate.
What does that mean anyway?
"You know, it’s okay if you don’t want to see me anymore." I roll my eyes at the nonchalant way I said it and the fact that I had just said that. In so many levels, I have become a douche. "Just tell me." Get it over with so I don’t have to mull over this bullshit.
"Don’t think that."
We reach my apartment. I don’t say goodbye or look back. He drives off.
What I hate is that he doesn’t care. My feelings mean nothing to him.
Ours is a motel relationship.
In my bedroom, I cry.