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By Giovanni Malito

The young man set down the receiver. The woman controlled her anger.

“Whoever it was,” he said, “he hung up.”

“How do you know it was a ‘he’?” she asked.

“It’s always a man who calls up a woman in the middle of the night and then hangs up,” he answered.

She looked at him. He was good-looking but uninteresting. Far less intelligent than what she was used to, and in a way, less attractive. He was sitting on the edge of the bed as he reached for his watch. “Four o’clock,” he said. “What a horrible hour.”

He turned slightly and looked at her over his shoulder. She returned his look but began to pull the sheet up to cover herself.

He hardly cared what she was or what she thought of him. And he knew that she belonged to him at this moment. She felt no anger at his obvious assurance, but only a sort of deep humility.

He raised his eyes to her face and ordered her to lower the sheet. She did so while he stared at her deliberately. She felt afraid and could neither move, nor find some suitable flippant phrase to cover herself.

Her heart began beating faster as he pulled gently on her shoulder. She turned to see him as he leaned toward her, a smile on his face.

She closed her eyes.

Giovanni Malito is a Torontonian living in Cork, Ireland where it rains a lot and no one wears green on St. Patrick’s Day. He edits “The Brobdingnagian Times”, a literary broadsheet.

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