AMETHYST, short story, 2011

PROSE

 

Somebody made a joke, and the girl laughed a deep, husky laugh, firmly cementing Eric’s interest in her. He stared across the circular bar at her, something he had found himself doing many times before. He and the girl both frequented many of the same beach bars, but this was the first time he had ever seen her drinking at his hotel. The outdoor bar by the pool was playing host to a Veterinarian College’s graduation party, and Eric now realised she must be a student there. Eric himself hadn’t been invited to the party, but when he saw the bar, which was rarely open, buzzing and full of drunk, happy, twenty-somethings, he knew there was no way he could go straight to his room. The crowd around the girl thinned slightly, and Eric saw his chance to approach her.Amethyst, as he found out she was named, was a transplant from Texas and was funny, erudite, coarse, and utterly charming. Eric was drawn in immediately. The friend he was staying with had gone off with a girl who Amethyst informed him was affectionately known to the class as “Katie Herpes”, but Eric wasn’t at any risk of feeling lonely. Amethyst had a Kate of her own, Jersey Kate, who seemed oblivious to the fact that Eric’s interest lay exclusively with Amethyst.

“So, what do you do?” she asked.

“I’m a writer,” he replied, “I write short stories.”“

Oh? Are you going to read me some later?”

“Maybe not. I’m having a bit of a block right now.”

“Well,” she said, stroking his arm, “Let me help you get unblocked.”

 

Amethyst, Eric, and Jersey Kate all half-drunkenly piled into Amethyst’s shitty little car and drove to the apartment complex where many of the students lived. Jersey Kate, still somehow under the impression that Eric was hanging around for her, awkwardly attempted to grope him as they dropped her off. She seemed genuinely surprised when he did not exit the car with her, but instead guided Amethyst back to the hotel.

 

Eric laid on his bed, his right arm around Amethyst as she rested her head on his chest, watching HBO on the hotel television.

“What are you doing tomorrow?” Eric asked her, “I’m only here for another four days.”

“I’m not going to be out much at all, I have papers to write,” she informed him, “So I’m going to have to get up and leave pretty early in the morning. But I can see you again sometime soon? I don’t have a phone here, but I’ll leave you a way to get in touch with me”

“Definitely.”

With that, Eric returned his focus to the television screen. Eric knew he should kiss Amethyst at this moment. With any other girl he would have, but for some reason, with her, on this night, he did nothing. Looking back on that moment, Eric wondered many times why he hadn’t made his move. Her name was actually Amethyst, for chrissakes; that alone would have been a green light for most guys. She was a pretty, intelligent girl, whose company he very much enjoyed, but for that night, it was enough just to chat, and laugh, and watch Tank Girl on TV. At least, that was what he told himself.

“Iggy Pop is in this,” she said.

“So he is,” he replied, drifting off to sleep.

 

Several hours later, still in a stupor, Eric felt a brush on his lips. In the years that followed, he came to convince himself that Amethyst had kissed him before she left. In the morning proper, when Eric had fully woken up, he saw the note she had left for him. She had written her full name on a piece of paper, like he could ever forget it, in order for him to find her later. Eric fully intended to track her down, but being prone to over thinking everything, he never did. He knew he could never recapture the magic of those few hours, and was afraid to try.

It was back to the bars for him.