The First Day Of Winter copy

The First Day Of Winter

-III-

The roads were jammed; Kim had a perfect way out. Windows up, Tristan Und Isolde blasting loud. Off to another dimension. The restless honking and shouting seemed like faraway pollution, desperate demons struggling to bring him back. But demons are weak before God. And Wagner was God. And Kim was elated. The only serene face in the middle of an irate crowd. The whole world surrounding him was mad. People mad at each other, people mad at themselves, the whole world mad at the whole world itself. And in the thick of it all, his smile was unfazed. A five-minute ride took him more than forty. But he was placid and peaceful. The perfect anomaly in this Friday night human race.

The entrance to Behind the Green Door was jammed; Kim had a perfect way in. His quasi- perfect face. He started walking past the long line of people. Useless fools. Countless heads turning and voices mumbling his name. Sometimes screaming it. Girls with ‘fuck- me’ eyes, boys with manly insecurities. Giant Tony greeted him with a giant smile as he reached the door.

“He-hey! Did you really leave the house on a Friday night or am I hallucinating?” said Tony with a cordial chuckle.

“Nuh-uh Tony boy, it’s all happening baby!” Kim gave the bouncer a warm, friendly hug.

“Oh, I think I know what’s going on. Let me guess, you’re here for Brangelina aren’t you?”

“Wait, what? Who?”

“Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie! They’re in Lebanon helping some poor-ass refugees and everybody thinks they’re coming here for a drink tonight. Some random guy wrote it on Twitter and shit spread like Chlamydia in Sweden!”

“Tony, you’re hilarious,” Kim said, laughing. “But nah I’m just meeting David for a bit.”

“Have a good time buddy!” said Tony, opening the door.

“Thanks my man! And hey, if you see Angelina, please tell her I’m at the bar!”

“You got it, sir!”

Stepping inside a club was like stepping out of society. A place with no boundaries, no judgment and no restraint. Animals everywhere. And Kim loved it. Nightlife was a good way for him to tolerate people: loud music, no or very short conversations. And the alcohol helped. He stood there for a second, his back to the door. Discopolis was on. Great track. A nod to the DJ. Boys and girls were leaning on the red velvet walls. Some were making out, others were freaking out. A crying teenager ran into him on her way out. No apology. A sweaty hipster devoured by acne followed her. Two pasty college kids in ill- fitted suit and tie and sleek hair brushed back — clearly Charlie-Sheen-in-Wall Street wannabes; maybe Christian Bale inAmerican Psycho — were eying two redheads hanging out with a Ziggy Marley lookalike. Nothing too impressive, he probably offered them drugs. Someone grabbed Kim by the arm. The hostess, petite and touchy. A gentle kiss on the cheek. Cute, but please shut up. He stood on his toes and looked over the dance floor, trying to locate David somewhere near the bar. A waving hand and shiny white teeth. Spotted. He made his way through an unusually young crowd — the Friday night crowd — and managed to reach his friend.

“Shit man,” said Kim. “It feels like prom night!”

“Shut up and look behind you.”

And then he saw her. The same girl from last night. The girl who was lean and whose eyes were green. And with the most beautiful thigh gap he’d ever seen. The music changed to Uffie’s First Love. Unbelievable. Perfection in a sea of fools. And she was real. David saw her too. She had to be real. Ravishing in a dazzling short black Balenciaga dress — the same one that Joan Smalls wore on the runway. And she was prettier than Joan Smalls. A flawless mix of class and lust, looking young and healthy. A surreal princess. Too delicate for these people, too perfect for this world. Just like him. A younger female version of him. A divine combination. And Kim was born again. And for the first time in years, he was willing to let go. Inexplicable. His heart was pounding. He was willing to get hurt. Voodoo spell. She started moving in his direction. He pulled himself together and leaned against the bar. Lean and wait. Sleepy eyes but not too much. And a slight pout.

“I thought you didn’t go out on weekends,” she said.

“So you do remember.”

“Aha.” A pause. “So what’s the occasion?”

“You,” Kim smiled, maintaining eye contact.

“Ha! But I never said I was coming back tonight.”

“I was hoping you would.”

“Unless you were stalking me,” she said, playfully smiling back.

“I tried, but I was too wasted!” Kim joked. Her smile slipped into an honest giggle.

She gazed away and her smile faded, then she looked down and bit her lips. Kim didn’t say anything. He stared into her eyes until she looked back at him and spoke again: “So, what do you want?”

“A piscine.

“What’s that?”

“My drink of choice for tonight.”

“Ha! That’s not what I meant. I mean, what are you trying to achieve?”

“Good question. World peace and no more dying children.”

It made her laugh. Like girls on dates do. Tilting her head and rolling her eyes, fingers in her hair. Her other hand almost touching his arm.

“Kim! I’m serious!”

“Hey! You remember my name!”

“I’m serious, what do you want?”

“You remember my name. That’s all I want.”

“That’s all?”

“It’s enough for now,” he smiled.

“And what about you? Do you remember my name?”

“Soraya.”

He rested his hand on her lower back and pulled her closer. She played along. He wanted to introduce her to David who was no longer near the bar. Kim looked over and saw him dancing with a drunken rag-dollish girl, between the DJ booth and the pole. It made him smile. Friday nights could actually be fun! He turned back to Soraya, ordered two piscines. And then two others. And then many more rounds. Champagne was flowing, the conversation was flowing. She was such an entertaining character. Smart and funny. Pleasant and witty. They talked about nightlife. They talked about life. About the people of Beirut and the people of Europe. About Kanye West being annoying. About Miley Cyrus being too much. About Madonna needing to retire. The growing number of refugees. The alarming bombing situation. Brangelina’s trip to Lebanon. And the piscine; such a Frenchie concept! A light social conversation. Typically a nightmare. And he actually enjoyed it.

Everyone was tired of Get Lucky but the DJ still played it. “If you wanna leave I’m ready,”Pharell sang. Perfect timing. She held his hand on the way home, his desire grew stronger. Still no first kiss. He parked his car. Called the elevator. Tension on the rise. A fifty-floor ride. Still no first kiss. A minute later they were in the apartment. Rushing straight to the bedroom. Closing the door and grabbing each other. Quickly losing their clothes, waltzing from wall to wall, bumping into furniture, collapsing on the bed, falling on the floor; a broken mirror. A never-ending first kiss. She felt his hand sliding between her legs. Goosebumps. She pushed back his face, a concerned look in her eyes.

“Kim… we have a small problem.”

“What’s wrong?” Kim asked, trying to catch his breath.

“I… I’ve never done this before,” she confessed, looking away in embarrassment.

It took him a few seconds to absorb the information. His heartbeat slowed down and he instantly lost his erection. His first virgin. A part of him just wanted to drive her home. He didn’t want this kind of responsibility. He was worried about damaging her. About the consequences. About a hundred things. But another side of him was turned on like never before. An archaic hidden part of every human male. An eternal fantasy of being the first. Of having full control. The empowering position of the master. And then it hit him.

“Wait. How old are you?”

“How old do you think I am?”

“I don’t know… Twenty-two? Twenty-three?”

“Kim,” she said abruptly. “I’m sixteen.”

It was worse than the virginity part. The one person he’d been fantasizing about for the past 24 hours. The one person that made him feel vulnerable again. Sixteen. Sixteen years old. A child. Not even legal. She shouldn’t be here. This shouldn’t be happening. What if someone saw her getting in his car? What if someone sees her leaving his building? “Literature’s Biggest Star Convicted Of Underage Sex.” Journalists and scumbags everywhere. No. His reputation was at stake. His career was at stake. His whole life was at stake.

“Okay, no. Listen. I’m sorry. We can’t do this.”

“Hey! What if I want to?!” She was offended.

“Soraya, you’re sixteen. Your first time shouldn’t be with a guy twice your age that you randomly meet in a club. Are you out of your mind?”

“You’re not just a random guy, Kim. I know you well. My father used to say you’re way too overrated,” she joked, momentarily releasing the tension.

“How nice of him!” Kim chuckled. “And he doesn’t say that anymore?”

“Well, actually, he passed away two years ago.”

“Oh. I’m sorry to hear that.”

Kim was deeply confused. He felt concerned, disgusted — a broad range of conflicted emotions. Nothing made sense anymore. Her fragile side brought him closer to her. Tenderness overtook lust. He wanted to hold her tight and protect her forever. She stood up and walked towards the window. She looked outside for a few seconds, gazing into the city lights. He couldn’t keep his eyes off of her naked body. He started to feel aroused again. No, this shouldn’t be happening. The alcohol wasn’t helping. She walked back to the bed and kneeled in front of him, rested her forearms on his thighs and brought her face closer to his. He needed to put an end to this without hurting her feelings.

“Listen, why don’t we just hang out? We don’t need to rush, I’m not going anywhere. We’ll see each other again. Let’s just take it slow, you’ll have plenty of time to think about this.”

But she wasn’t listening. She moved her body forward and kissed him, her fine breasts against his toned abs. She felt him getting hard again, put her hands on his shoulders and pushed him to lie down. He felt something warm around his cock. She was going at it. Like a clumsy sixteen year old. Eager to please but obviously clueless. Her hands out of sync. Her teeth too present. Her lips too dry. Her head making the wrong motion. And suddenly, he was turned on by her innocence. He gently stopped her, held her head between his hands and looked straight at her. He had a slight smile, his eyes were tender and loving. She realized she had it all wrong. And blushed.

“Teach me,” she murmured.

Kim sat still and looked at the ceiling. Their reflection was dramatic, like a religious nude painting from the Renaissance. He knew it was wrong. He knew he was about to fuck up. He was fine with it. No matter the consequences. At that moment, he decided to let go. He looked back at her and sighed.

“Are you sure you want to do this?”

“Yes.”

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