a hong kong love story, part one

I will never forget the first time my eyes saw you. a hot summer night; two years ago. I was away from home during those days, often forgetting the date and the time. nothing was important. I didn’t know who you were, where you were from or what your story was. I didn’t know anything about you. but I knew I wanted you. three o’clock in the morning, I was drinking my fourth cup of bitter, dark coffee. the guitarist was playing that night in the corner bar in wan chai, I hung out with him during his breaks. I had nowhere to go, and nothing to do. the whole world was mine, but I did not want it. I pushed myself over the edge into oblivion. it was the only thing I cared about.

then I saw you. you came out of nowhere.

I was writing that night; I didn’t have a notebook with me, I scribbled with a broken pen onto long rolls of receipt paper. the bartender looked at me for a very long time, before he ripped off it for me. tiny letters penned in neon glow of the red-light district. I moved to the opposite side of the bar, so we could be closer. you stood outside, I sat inside. separated by an open window, separated by oxygen in between us. you came to me first. do you have a lighter? this was a classic pick-up line of yours, but it worked. later on, I learnt you don’t even smoke cigarettes. the night I met you, we stayed together until sunrise. the next day I went to work intoxicated. intoxicated from your scent; the way your hair was back then. much shorter than it is now. I remember the way you held my hand for the first time; you held it up to your lips and you placed a light kiss on top of it.

mademoiselle, you said to me. what’s your name? I fell in love with you that moment.

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