The Manhattan Review
The Manhattan Review
Established 1980

Archive > Vol. 11 no. 1


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.