iamhyperlexic

Contemporary short fiction, poetry and more

‘The Companion’: chapter 29 (content warning: adult themes)

‘What was the first thing you said to her?’

‘Hello, Violet.’

‘Was that her name?’

‘No, her name was Anastasia.  I deliberately referred to her as Violet to cause confusion and embarrassment.’

‘And what did she say to you?’

‘Are you my legal owner?  If so, please can you provide three pieces of documentary identification, including one with a photograph.’

‘And did you?’

‘No, I failed, and she went back to the factory where she had been manufactured and that was the last I saw of her. The End.’

‘Do you always get aggressive when you are drunk?’

‘Nearly always.’

‘Did you have much sex with her?’

‘Frequently, rampantly, loudly and squelchily.’

‘Were you in a relationship with her?’

‘Certainly.’

‘Were you faithful to her?’

‘No, and she knew it.’

‘You cheated on her.’

‘I would not call it that.  How do I know she didn’t “cheat” on me, as you put it?’

‘Do you think she did?’

‘I have no idea.  But then, what I don’t know about Violet would fill a book.’

‘Are you accusing her of doing things without your knowledge?’

‘I am not “accusing” Violet of anything.  I have absolutely no resentment against Violet.  All I am saying is that she was a very independently-minded person with genius-level intelligence and considerable physical and intellectual resources.  It would be astonishing and unnatural if all she had ever done were the things I asked her to do, or the things I knew about.’

‘Why did you leave her behind?’

‘You’ve already asked me that.’

‘Were you in love with her?’

‘Yes.  I still am.  I always will be.’

‘When did you fall in love with her?’

‘As soon as I realised that she was capable of existing.’

‘If you were so in love with her, why did you leave her behind?’

‘I made a mistake.’

‘If she walked into this room now…’

‘The door’s locked.  Even Violet would struggle…’

‘Never mind that.  If Violet were to appear in this room now, what would you say to her?’

Kelvin slid off his chair and knelt in front of Pamela, as if she were Violet.  He held both of Violet’s hands in his hands, looked into her eyes, and said, ‘Violet, my own, my love, you are The Most Beautiful Woman In The Entire World.  Will you marry me?’  Pamela sat in silence for a moment and then got up and paced over to the corner of the cabin, facing the wall.  This was partly to give her time to decide whether she was going to allow Kelvin to realise that she had tears in her eyes. 

At that moment, I had never felt so confused about the distinction between Violet and Pamela.  Pamela desperately wanted Violet to come back, but Violet knew that it was not quite time for her to return, and that for her to return prematurely might risk disaster.  Violet was in love with Kelvin and, if not ready to forgive him, was certainly ready to come to an understanding.  Pamela was in love with the love between Kelvin and Violet.  Violet felt sorry for Pamela.  For a moment, Violet wondered if it would have been better to make Pamela more physically attractive.  She soon realised that that might have made things still more complicated.

Pamela fought through the tears, the confusion, the mistakes, the missed opportunities, the things that Violet had never said, the things that Kelvin had never said, and came to a point of clarity and resolution.  She turned round, went up to Kelvin, not caring whether he saw any tear-streaks or not, put her face up close to his, waited a few seconds, inhaled deeply, and stood up.  Kelvin looked surprised.  Pamela then sauntered in a circle round the room while she ran some gas chromatography on the sample of Kelvin’s breath she had taken.  He was inebriated, but should still be coherent.  Pamela sat down, close to where Kelvin was sitting.

‘Kelvin, when you came into your room and found me naked in your bed, what did you think?’

‘At the time?’

‘I mean in general, but we might as well start with what you thought at the time.’

‘I thought “I must get my clothes off as quickly as possible”.’ 

‘And then what?’

‘I wondered what you were doing in my bed.  I wondered if you had any feelings for me.’

‘Kelvin, that is wonderful.  I must admit I am surprised.  Maybe you are not quite the monster I had taken you for.’

‘I’m pleased to hear it.’

‘Are you still wondering?’

‘Am I still wondering what?’  Pamela looked up to the ceiling and sighed.

‘Are you still wondering whether I have any feelings for you?’  There was a long pause, of the kind which is typical of Kelvin.  I found this so endearing that it almost made me laugh. 

‘Yes.’

‘Well, I can definitely tell you that I do.’

‘What?’

‘I do have feelings for you, Kelvin.  I love you.  Madly, passionately, deliriously. I don’t think I can live without you.  I adore you, in spite of your numerous and obvious faults.’

‘How long have you felt like this?’ 

In an unguarded moment, Pamela said, out loud, ‘As soon as I realised that you were capable of existing.’ 

‘Ah.  I see.’  Neither of us moved or spoke for some time.  I wanted to give Kelvin time to think.  Kelvin works much more efficiently if you give him time to think. 

‘Kelvin, I have something important to say to you.’

‘I thought you had just said it.’

‘I am glad you think that what I just said is important.  But I have something else to say which may surprise you.’

‘What you have just said did surprise me.’

‘What I am about to say is likely to surprise you even more.  I want you to listen to it very carefully.  Please think it through before you respond.  Don’t respond at all if it doesn’t make sense to you.  Do you understand?’

‘Not at all, but please carry on.’

‘I want to have a relationship with you, but what I am proposing is a very unusual kind of relationship.’

‘Unusual in what way?’

‘I am not going to try to change you.’

‘What does that mean, specifically?’

‘You can carry on consorting with prostitutes, on the condition that you only procure them from Starlight Escorts.’

‘How do you know I visit Starlight Escorts?’

‘Never mind that.  We need not go into all that because I am telling you that I am fine with it.  I am not saying that through gritted teeth – I am genuinely fine with it.  I would be glad if you would keep some of the contents of your balls for me but, if you must go a-whoring, you can as long as you use that agency and that one alone.’

‘Er.  OK. Anything else?’

‘You don’t have to give up your porn collection.’

‘Right.’

‘I’ll happily turn the pages for you and hand you the tissues if you want.’

‘Er.  I don’t think that will be necessary.’

‘I am just telling you that I am serious about what I am saying.  Next is that I don’t mind if you snore in bed when you are drunk.’

‘How do you know that I snore in bed when I’m drunk?’

‘Most men do.  It was a lucky guess.  And the cross-dressing: I am fine with that. In fact, I have some ideas about some more clothes that I would like to make for you.’

‘Er.  OK.’

‘And I want to see you properly in them this time.’

‘Right.’

‘Now.  This is the most important part.  I will release you from the relationship if Violet ever comes back.’

‘What?’

‘If Violet ever appears again, you can leave Pam – me and continue your relationship with her.’

‘Why are you saying this?’

‘I am just expressing how I feel.  I have a very profound regard for your relationship with Violet.  I would never try to replace Violet.’

‘What makes you think that Violet would ever turn up again?  What makes you think that Violet would ever forgive me for having left her?’

‘I don’t know, but I mean what I say.  Should Violet ever appear again, I would want you to follow your heart.  But that applies to Violet only.  I want you to be faithful to me unless Violet should arrive somehow.’

‘But I can see prostitutes?’

‘As long as they are from Starlight Escorts.’

‘Why such an exacting distinction?’

‘Let us just say for the moment that I recognise and am prepared to accept your weaknesses, but I don’t want you consorting with every trollop who whistles at you.’

‘And on this basis you want us to have a relationship?’

‘Yes.  A  public relationship.  I don’t want you to be embarrassed to be seen with me.  Are you sure you can you manage that?’

‘Absolutely.’

‘Can I ask you a question?’

‘By all means.’

‘What do you think of me?’

‘I think you are not as physically alluring as Violet, but you resemble her in character.’

‘Do you like me?’

‘I think you’re great.  It is taking me a very long time to get to know you, but that is not a bad thing.  I can honestly say that, the more I find out about you, the more I like you.’

‘Do you accept the idea of the relationship that I am proposing?’

‘It sounds very interesting.  Can I tell you tomorrow?’

‘You can tell me tomorrow on two conditions.’

‘What are they?’

‘The first is that we are both still alive.  The second is that you go to bed with me now.’

‘I can’t do anything about the first one, but I agree to the second one, as long as you also agree to a condition.’

‘What?’

‘Don’t leave suddenly like last time.’

‘OK.  I agree.’

We made love sleepily, slowly and tenderly.  If felt very close and warm.  Afterwards, Kelvin got up to visit the bathroom, and had his customary two glasses of water.  I considered putting two needles into him, and metabolising his alcohol, but he was not as drunk as all that.  I held him while he slept.  He snored gently, and I listened rapturously. 

He was mine – Pamela’s – mine. 

 

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