Learning to Lose

Learning to Lose by David Trueba Read Free Book Online

Book: Learning to Lose by David Trueba Read Free Book Online
Authors: David Trueba
Dani. No, it’s my birthday, says Sylvia.
    She is aware that her fear will ruin the moment. It will come to nothing and she shivers. She’s going to waste it all. She seizes the initiative as her only means of escape. She pulls downDani’s pants. They are standing close to each other. She pushes his hands away when he brings them to her breasts. She feels him beneath his underwear and for a second she avoids thinking that this is the first time in her entire life that she’s touched a dick. She lowers his waistband so he’s naked, but she doesn’t look down. They continue locked in a kiss that seems to fill the moment, a kiss they focus on so as not to notice all the rest. Sylvia runs her fingertips over his naked body. On the table, she reaches for the wrapping paper that had covered the bottle and, amused, she wraps Dani’s penis in it. This is another present, isn’t it? Dani laughs. She starts to jerk him off with her hand underneath the gift wrap. Will this distract him or will he know it’s just me running away, a display of panic?
    Dani comes with a spasm and the wrapping paper dampens and two drops slide to the floor. Sylvia stops and the moment is filled with a cold stiffness. They separate cautiously after a kiss in which she gives more of herself than he does. Their salivas, suddenly, start to taste different. Sylvia lets the wrapping paper fall into the metal wastebasket. Dani pulls up his pants.
    They drink a couple of shots without knowing what to say. The sexual nature of the moment appears to have passed. Sylvia feels small, even though she smiles. She doesn’t want Dani to come near her or touch her, she would understand if he just left right then. I wrapped his dick in gift paper and jerked him off, she says to herself, as if she needed to enunciate her actions in order to realize the embarrassing spectacle she staged. If the floor sunk into the apartment downstairs, it would be doing her a favor.
    The conversation dies out, even though she changes the music and goes to sit on the bed. He makes himself comfortable, straddling Sylvia’s swivel chair. They avoid looking at each other.Maybe I should go, huh? says Dani once enough time has passed. Sylvia checks her alarm clock and she brings it to her eyes as if she were nearsighted. My father’s probably coming back pretty soon. They say good-bye at the door to the apartment, with a kiss on each cheek, avoiding their lips, irritated by the friction of their exchange. Sylvia sees him go down the stairs without waiting for the elevator. She lies down on her bed, grabbing a cushion, her back against the wall. She feels like crying or screaming, but all she does is write a text message on her phone to Mai asking what time her bus gets into South Station. “11:45,” she answers.
    Sylvia needs to talk to her, tell her everything, find out if what she did was the lowest expression of stupid immaturity or if there is any way to salvage it. She needs to tell her how suddenly she knew she didn’t want to make love to Dani, that she felt like she couldn’t take off her clothes for him. She suspects that if he had insisted or if he had taken control of the situation she wouldn’t have been able to refuse him. Her fear of looking ridiculous would have won out over her modesty. She wanted to laugh with Mai, for her to say it had been a “pathetic sexy” moment, as she sometimes says, for her to repeat her motto of how the pitiful and the glorious are only separated by a fraction of an inch. She wants to hear Mai downplay what happened with her usual bluntness, like when she shouts, wipe those cobwebs off your pussy! Or, stop being so chickenshit, what do you think, that dicks are like those drills they use to bore out metro tunnels? She wants to share with Mai her fear that Dani will talk about it at school or that from now on he’ll think they’re a couple or the opposite, that they’ll never speak again. She’s confused and she needs her friend’s

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