Somewhere, a clock announced time. The sound came from somewhere near but not from inside the room. With his eyes shut, Andrew could only hear the sound of the clock, which died fast. He finally opened his eyes and realized it was very early. He could see a blue morning outside, one of those cold mornings that only happen before seven or eight. Andre just stared at his window. He was warm and cozy there but he probably needed to come out of his sheets soon as…
He remembered. It was Saturday. He thanked God, whichever he believed in, because he just wanted to stay there all morning. The night before he had done something he never did and now it seemed like a memory from a time long passed. He had called this guy he knew and invited him in and just went crazy with him. His head was still slightly turning because of the alcohol but he didn’t feel any hangover.
Andrew stood up and looked out the window. The street below was deserted except for a couple of older women that seemed to be going to the market. The young man decided to the kitchen. He may not be drunk still but he was very thirsty. He walked distracted, thinking of what he had done the night before. Pouring some orange juice in a glass, he realized the guy from the night before had forgotten his wallet. It was right there, just in front of the TV.
The young man opened his fridge again and realized he had nothing to do a decent breakfast with. No eggs, no cheese, no ham. And in the pantry, it was the same story: no bread or crackers, not even potato chips. So, he had to take a walk down to the store. He went back to his bedroom, put on some loose pants (the kind you would wear for the gym) and an old t-shirt. He grabbed a coat, the keys and a bill he always left in a secret stash for occasions like this. When he was at the door, he realized he had almost forgotten his cellphone. Once he had it, he went out.
Effectively, there was a cold weather outside. The sun was apparently trying to warm people up but it wasn’t too high up to make any difference. It was pleasant to feel the heat in the face but that was it. There were two blocks between Andrew’s building and the small market the old ladies he had seen before were headed for. He actually saw them arguing for which tomatoes looked better.
Andrew grabbed a small cart and looked for some eggs, white bread and cereal. He loved the supermarket and going alone. This was because he felt he could imagine the lives of everyone in there, he could try to guess what kind of people they were and the moment when they would be eating their groceries. Maybe the man buying the salmon wanted to impress a lady with a fancy diner and he was certain the guy who didn’t remember the name of the chicken part he was supposed to buy, had being sent there by his wife. The old ladies were probably going to cook a nice breakfast for both of them or some grandchildren. There was also a woman and Andrew that, like him, she lived alone. He was always alone and now he had gotten a guy to fuck with...
Then, the cellphone rang. It vibrated too and this combination made Andrew severely annoyed, especially because it had interrupted his wandering through the supermarket. The number that appeared on the screen was unknown to him, so he didn’t answer. He just pressed the red part of the screen and pocketed his cellphone. He had arrived at the aisle of instant meals and he grabbed a few for the following nights. He had no idea when he would go to do proper shopping.
The cellphone rang again and this time he answered before he could see the number. He answered with an annoyed “Yes?” but then froze right where he was: it was the guy from the night before. He seemed ashamed to call but he asked Andrew if he could go by the house. He had left his wallet there and, obviously, he needed for his daily living. The guy asked Andrew if he could go right away and, without even thinking about it, our main character said yes. They hung up fast.
Andrew stayed there, looking at the microwave meals like an idiot. But he wasn’t really looking at them. The problem was that he didn’t want to look at that guy again; he really didn’t want him in his house. But, why hadn’t he said anything? Andre could have opened his mouth and say “I’ll leave it with the doorman” or something, but he didn’t. And he was ashamed and worried he didn’t.
After he had paid his food, Andrew walked to his house hoping not to see the guy standing there, at the door. He wasn’t. He felt relieved but not so much when, entering his apartment, he saw the wallet the guy had left there. It was funny, now that he thought of it, to call him just “that guy” on his mind. He had no idea of his name.
The truth was that guy had come out of the Internet and the only intention Andrew had had with him was to have sex. That was it. He didn’t want him back. Besides, there was another thing. The guy was very good looking. This may seem a bit shallow but he was rather cute. And that had made Andre very nervous the night before. That’s why he had so much to drink. Now that he thought of it, it was lucky that he wasn’t puking like crazy in his bathroom.
He didn’t consider himself a cute guy and he was so ashamed a guy like the one that had come to his apartment had come for him. It was just ridiculous, or so he thought. But he couldn’t think of it for long because the buzzer interrupted his thinking. It was the doorman announcing someone called Alex. He was going to say he didn’t know anyone by that name but then he realized that was probably the guy’s actual name, so he said, “let him in”.
Andrew grabbed the wallet and put it on the counter, next to his groceries. “Stupid me!” he said out loud. He opened the wallet and grabbed one of many cards inside. It was his ID. Yes, this was Alexander Hoffman’s wallet. How stupid of him not having a quick look at the wallet, at least to know the name. The doorbell rang so he put the ID back inside the wallet and left it on the kitchen counter.
He opened the door, pulling his shirt straight. The guy on the other side was a bit taller than he was, hair long but nicely cut and he had dark stubble, perfectly framing his face.
Andrew didn’t know what to say. Alex looked a bit uneasy.
- Come in. Sorry.
Alex came in and saw his wallet on the counter. He grabbed and went through everything that was in there.
- Thanks man. Thought I had lost it.
- It’s ok.
Alex smiled at Andrew. Andrew blushed.
- You’re cute.
Andrew burst in uncontrolled laughter.
- Sorry… That… It’s funny.
- What is?
- You saying that.
- Why? You are cute.
This time Andrew didn’t laugh. Alex looked at him and then shook his wallet in front of Andrew.
- In the mood for breakfast? For your help?
Andrew smiled, still a bit red. Then, he nodded.