Hero

The library is strangely quiet. Well, actually not strangely. It is supposed to be, right?

But the corner in which we can grab a coffee and do a little chitchat is silent too, and this is unusual.

Daily, at the time I arrive to get my shot of productivity, I hear him. It is hard not to. I try to focus on my work but he’s snorting every 10 seconds, and I’m not even exaggerating.

The thing is, believe me or not, on him, it is quite attractive. There’s some lightness in his demeanor, like he’s owning the place and nothing can disturb him.

But today, he’s not there. At his table there are 7 women, looking at a phone, and a letter.

I knew this day would come.

At my first experience with the snorting, he was with a tall, slim one. Probably Mongolian. Tattooed. A real beauty. They were talking in Mandarin.

A few weeks later, the conversation was in Portuguese. The lady, about 40. I couldn’t catch it all, but they were arguing. Still, they left each other with a kiss on the lips.

And then it kept going, for almost a year.

Chinese students (speaking Portuguese). Tall mainlanders (speaking Mandarin). Locals (with their Cantonese). All subjugated. Or at least this is what I told myself, to make me feel better.

The truth? His charisma. A magnet. Even I had troubles staying away.

The last time was last week. He was snorting even more than usual. He dropped a tissue with a bit of blood on it. He was with the tall one I saw the first time. She was still beautiful.

I didn’t count how many I saw during that year because it’s none of my business, but what I can tell you is this: 19. Yep.

I’ve always wondered how he could juggle so well, and show not one ounce of worry, or guilt.

Now tears are rolling down the cheeks of each of these women. They probably know the truth now, but they are still tears of love.

I’m curious. I join the table. I see the letter, and the phone.

I smile.

He’s my hero.