Speedwriting #10 – number two

Voici ci-dessous la suite directe du premier english speedwriting. Toujours en anglais bien sûr 🙂


“Would you mind if I took you on a tour of the city ?” I must have been startled a little by her question, and I said nothing – in fact, I didn’t know what I should say and did not have a clue – so, she continued, feeling the awkwardness of the situation, but nonetheless determined :”In fact, I am quite hungry ! And I know a very sweet pub not so far away from here, very calm. And I assure you, they have the best beers ever”. I knew of course that I could not stay this way, looking stupidly at her without saying anything so I tried to keep my calm, and thinking hard, I said:”Well, that is very kind of you, really, very kind. But, maybe it is not of our best interest to mix things up”. As I was about to continue arguing, she raised her hand in order to stop me from saying anything else, laughed a little, and added further: “Oh come on. I know the rules. And I know I am puzzling you. But really, it won’t do any harm, neither for you nor for me. I assure you. And it has to be this way in a few days. So why not starting now ? The truth is that I have already spoken to Christopher and he is okay with that. Besides, for how long have you been here ? One week ? I am not so sure you’ve had the time to explore the city and discover its best places” There, she paused a little to regain her breath.

I suppose that you must be wondering why I was so puzzled in the first place by her question which was quite harmless in its own way, and even rather gentle. Well, it is maybe a little complicated to understand exactly the source of my anxiety at this moment – the sentiment of relief had not lasted unfortunately – but be sure that by talking about mixing things up, I was not at all talking about things which could be taken for a date or sex or anything of that sort. The thing is that I had been instructed, long before my leaving my dear city, that I had to strictly follow the rules, no matter what  I should feel, and to act against them should be an act of very last measure. Well, I know it is not quite clear yet. Let me explain further. Socializing with these people once I will be there was the objective set by myself among others and it was my duty to follow it. And if not socializing, how should be qualified the proposal of Miss Ana? How stupid would I be to refuse such a nice consideration from her part, taking on her own time, and I am pretty sure it was jolly busy. What the hell could refrain me and even shock me a little ? Well, firstly, it is the way she put her question, so directly. Even if the meeting had gone quite well and lots of interesting things had been disclosed, everyone  of us had been very polite, talking in due time, showing the greater respect to what the others had to say, even if they disagreed. And above all, the whole thing had been conducted quite like a ceremony. A ceremony which had its own rules. Perhaps implicit, but it didn’t matter since everyone knew them and was following them accordingly. Even if not part of the meeting, or should I say, because it was not part of the meeting, this rather direct question seemed quite inappropriate. And secondly, Miss Ana was not at all the same standard as me. We were not fighting in the same category. That was obvious and made clear to me long before I went to meet her for the first time.

But here I was, confused, lost, with Miss Ana staring right into my eyes, right through me, waiting for my answer. Perhaps it was all part of the plan, of their plan, to test me, to see if I had been enough instructed. I had made my best to not appear as a joke to them, and I am pretty sure I had succeeded, but it was clearly not sufficient for them. They had to go further with me, and only when they would be one hundred per cent sure, they would give me a try.

I was still not saying a word, and by doing so, I knew that I was making a fool of myself. Maybe she knew what was happening, maybe not, but the fact that she started to stare at the harbour rather than at me for a few seconds gave me the occasion to regain my composure and think again the whole problem. For indeed, that was not a question, that was a problem set to me, and a very tricky one. So, I coughed a little to clear my voice, and provided her with as best an answer as I could : “Miss Ana, that is indeed very kind of you. I must admit that since arriving here, I was not really able to take a decent view of the town. And I am really looking forward to socializing further with every one of you. But I am pretty sure you are having the tightest schedule of us all, and I would not like to abuse of your hospitality.” I was about to talk about the rules, to say something maybe as meaningless as “The rules !”, purely rhetorical, but just to make it perfectly clear that I knew the conventions and intended to follow them. But there she stopped me again abruptly, looking at me :”Come on, taking you on a tour is part of my schedule. And I think it is rather a funny one. So, you could not make me happier really.” Everything in her was again scrutinizing me, or so I felt. It was very hard to be put under such pressure. I could no longer bear it. So I told her:”Okay, then, I would not like to upset you, less than anything else”.

She seemed as happy as a young girl which would have been given the toy of her dreams as an unexpected present. And rather loudly, she declared :”Perfect then ! Let’s take a ride !”