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Louis Jenkins

The Talk

He liked her immediately, her blue eyes, the way she listened, as if what he said was fascinating, the easy, natural way she laughed at all his jokes. Her rather conventional good looks and dress belied her intelligence. They had things in common, an interest in art and humanism. She talked about the problems of coffee growers in Central America. He listened but he also thought about kissing her on the neck, where her blonde hair curled just behind her ear. He thought about other things, too. Mostly they laughed. Then she was silent. She looked at him. He saw that her eyes were gray, not blue. She was serious. She said, “Matt, this has gone too far in too short a time. I feel as though I’m being smothered.  I have no time to myself anymore. I feel like you are always there. And I can’t even so much as speak to another man. . . .’’ “What are you talking about?” he said. “We only met an hour ago!” “That is exactly what I’m trying to say,” she said.