The girl was young, not yet 20. She fancied the boy, his blond curly hair, his blue eyes. He was not the first she fancied, nor the last. But he seemed to have possibilities.
She liked his taste in music. She could tell he wanted to be taken seriously by the other DJ’s at the college radio station. And yet she could tell that this job was not his final dream. He was, of course, going to be an engineer like all the others. He was older and would graduate soon.
But it was November and soon seemed far away to her.
She laughed and talked with all the radio station DJ’s. She put together the newscasts and read them during the breaks. She reviewed the station’s small selection of radio theatre for broadcast once a week.
She dated too, watching the engineering students play drinking games, first cringing then laughing at their coarse talk.
One boy had been a swimmer from her brother’s fraternity. One boy confessed he was gay on their third date but wanted to marry to seem more stable and employable. One boy who made her laugh held her attention for a while, then discarded her after realizing he did not love her.
As the weather grew colder than she had ever known, for she had never lived so far north before, she wore boots with her bell-bottomed hip-huggers and bodysuit shirts. They showed her curves but perhaps not her best assets. And she wore a warm coat.
She joked with the blond boy and wondered why he did not ask her out. Perhaps, she thought, since he is blond he prefers brunettes. She knew he looked and kept his distance. Until one day.
It was cold, the season firmly set in with snow on the ground. She realized they were the only two people in the radio station. He had put on a long album cut. He stepped out of the control room.
And he finally spoke words that were not just teasing the surface. She watched his face, now fond of the ever so slight movement of his lip. It was not a lisp but an endearing vulnerability.
“So if I were to buy you jewelry and other nice things, would you sleep with me until then?”
The album covers, grey transmitter cabinet, FCC certificates and rock posters swirled for a moment.
“What?” she said softly, slowly.
“My family has money so I could buy you nice things. But it would only be until I graduate. No strings attached.”
She stared at his blue eyes, so sincere in their negotiation, so earnest in their purpose. She swallowed although her mouth had gone dry.
“Oh,” she said, so many things still spinning in her mind. She looked out the window at the falling snow.
“Oh.” She looked down, her eyes beginning to cloud. She looked up again.
“Oh, Paul.” She forced a smile. “If only you had lied to me.”
And thus the spell was broken and they were both freed.
“Path 17, Sephiroth: Tiphares (6) – Binah (3), Zain (sword). VI Lovers. From Beauty to Intelligence. Faith. Love. Temptation. Testing. Perfection.” From Tarot Classic, Stuart R. Kaplan. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1975.
To Paul, wherever he went.