It was past midnight and you were hungry. To be fair, you were always hungry. But this time you kind of went overboard. You bought a packet of crisps, a double caramel Magnum and a jar of Nutella. You went absolutely nuts because they had pomegranate Club Mate and you’d never had it before, so you also bought a bottle of that. In your rucksack, you were still carrying around the leftovers of the giant loaf of bread we had bought that morning.
We walked to Petrin Park and sat down on a bench. We were exhausted from the previous nights, but it was our last one together. ¨Don’t let your physiology define you,¨ you said when I started dozing off for the third or fourth time that evening. ¨Have some Club Mate instead.¨ You were a firm believer in energy drinks and coffee.
You opened your packet of crisps. ¨Shit, these are garlic crisps,¨ you said laughing. I imagined how you would kiss me later that night and all I would be able to taste and smell would be garlic. On our last night together. Thank you. ¨You know what, I´m not even surprised,¨ I answered and it was true. You had been eating shit all this time. Good thing you brought mouthwash everywhere we went.
You took a couple of garlic crisps and started stuffing them in my mouth. ¨What the hell are you doing?¨ I cried out and punched you.
¨I was just thinking that if you had some garlic crisps too, you would taste just as bad and there would be no shame.¨
¨Believe me, there’s no shame here anyway,¨ I replied, trying to be sarcastic, but failing. Sometimes you were so stupid that you made me laugh.
After a couple of minutes, you pulled out your jar of Nutella and started dipping your crisps into the chocolate spread. I must have looked appalled because you looked at me and proclaimed: ¨This is delicious. You have to try this.¨ I brought it all down on myself. I shouldn’t have given my repulsion away, I thought.
I shook my head. No way in the world was I going to eat that crap.
¨Oh come on, you have to be open to new experiences.¨
¨It’s good. It’s salty and sweet.¨
Reluctantly, I opened my mouth and let you feed me. It was an absolute affront to my taste buds.¨What do you think?¨
¨It’s disgusting,¨ I answered truthfully. You burst out laughing. ¨What’s so funny about that? This is probably poisonous or something.¨
¨I was just imagining what would happen if I brought you home to my parents. They’d make some kind of fancy dish and you’d just tell them it’s disgusting,¨ you explained, while still laughing.
¨Did you just compare garlic crisps with Nutella to a fancy dish at your parents’? It’s not that you made a huge effort preparing this.¨
¨Hey, I made an effort dipping the crisps into the spread. I deserve some recognition.¨ It was then that I realized you said you’d bring me home to your parents. That was the first time a guy said that to me, even hinted about it. My last boyfriend was very clear about not introducing me to his mother. But then again, maybe you only said that because you knew that it would never happen anyway. Since you lived on the other side of the world and all that.
When you finished eating, we walked down to Kampa Island and sat on the steps staring at the water. It was already dark, but Prague only came alive at night, when the tourists were put to bed. Across the water, the lights were illuminating the streets of the Old Town.
¨That’s where I sat with the Belgian guy a couple of days ago,¨ I teased you. Before your arrival, I had explored Prague with my roommate, who just so happened to be from the same country as me. Our relationship was purely platonic, but I knew it made you jealous, so I took advantage of it.
¨It seems as though you’ve been everywhere with that Belgian guy,¨ you remarked dissatisfied.
¨I was more productive when I was with him. All we ever do is procrastinate.¨
We kissed, but you pushed me away after what seemed no longer than ten seconds. ¨What happened?¨ I asked.
¨Nothing. I just think it’s better if we don’t do this for longer than thirty seconds, what do you think?¨
¨Why on Earth would we do that?¨
¨Because otherwise I won’t be able to control myself. And it’s good to have rules, isn’t it?¨
¨No, it’s not.¨ You went on kissing me.
After a couple of minutes, a guard came and threw us out. Kampa Island was closing for the night.
We walked on and found a spot to sit near the water ledge. You turned on your music and I remember it was The Killers playing Somebody Told Me because you asked me whether I had a boyfriend who looked like a girlfriend. ¨In hindsight, the garlic crisps with Nutella might not have been a good idea,¨ you said. You were talking shit that whole night. I blame it on the lack of sleep and the abundance of Club Mate. But then again, you were always a bit like that.
You kissed me again, but I felt how you were holding back. I stopped kissing you and started singing instead. ‘Mr. Brightside’ came on. Both our favorite. I sang along even when I couldn’t remember the words. Because even though you were talking shit, smelling of garlic and holding back, it was our last night. And I wouldn’t let anyone take that away from me. I wanted it to be good. It was then that you kissed me and I knew that you meant it. Because your hand was in my hair and we were both short of breath. Because you were pressing your lips so tightly against mine, I was almost falling over. Because I could still taste garlic on your tongue.
That night you told me that I would drive some boyfriend crazy one day. And all I could think was that I wish that boyfriend could be you. But hey, you told me not to think of what could have been. And you’re a pretty smart guy when it comes to self-preservation. So I don’t think of what could have been. I think of what was. I think of our last night, The Killers and garlic crisps.