He lifts the glass and the ice clinks. Then setting his glass down again he glances at me as if to ascertain something. The chair creaks as he shifts backwards and smiles faintly. Then he shakes his head and sighs, running his hand through his hair.
"You're a prude", he says. I shrug. He begins to tap his fingers on the table.
"You're just demure...", he says, still trying to categorize me. "You have no signals whatsoever", he continues. I remain silent.
Suddenly he drags his chair next to me and resumes his former position - his back against the chair with one hand supporting his chin, looking at me contemplatively.
"What do you want?", he asks. He brushes against my arm as if it were the most natural thing. I pull back. I feel like defying him.
He frowns almost imperceptibly, but then looks up and smiles benevolently, acquiescing to my resistance which he no doubt finds stubborn.
"You won't give in," he says matter-of-factly and sighs again.
"Either way I'd lose you", I say.
"I shouldn't matter" he says quickly, brushing the matter off.
He gets up abruptly and walks towards the wall, leaning over it with his arms. The terrace overlooks an unkempt garden, dully illuminated by the house lights and filled with weeds and potted bougainvilleas. In the distance are the shadowy rooftops of various houses, obscured by the vague outline of trees.
Suddenly there is the sound of a car approaching in the driveway below. Its headlights mangle the serenity of the surrounding shadows. I can hear people traipsing up the stairs. Laughter and girlish squeals drift towards us. And then they are here, slapping him on the back, assaulting him with hugs, compliments...everything merging into a general loudness. More girls coming up the stairs, sparkling jewelery, bare mid-drifts, giddiness...
In the midst of the impending disorder he casts me a glance. A girl hooks her arm into his and I recognize the gleam in his eyes. "Time for me to go" I say, and I turn to leave before the party starts. I'm relieved he doesn't try to stop me.