“So, how are you?”, I asked.
“Oh, so we’re going into the how-are-you, are we? We’re not talking just about Lisbon then?”, he said.
I must have given him a look. And I thought, he’s probably babbling because he’s just nervous. We were meeting because he’s leaving for Portugal in a few days and he wanted a guide and a few tips from me. But, it couldn’t have been just that, could it? Lately, he’d pop out every time I met a friend of mine and behave really funny at one moment, looking at me pensively in the other.
“So, can you cook?”, he asked last time when we met.
“Can you fix a washing machine?”, I said.
But, this was all in front of an audience of our friends. When he sends me a message, it always contains a phrase “if it’s not too much trouble for you”, and I’m not sure if he’s being sarcastic or just insecure. And the first time he’s face to face with me alone at a cafe, he’s too embarrassed to look me in the eyes and talks about stuff that seems interesting enough at first, but then insists on them till he’s drained all the life out of it.
“So, maybe we’ll see each other sometimes after I return”, he said in the end.
“Well, you have my book, so we should”, I said. And then thought: of course, you can leave it with my friend instead, if it’s not too much trouble for you.