Image of Hhl

Hhl

2948 readings

190

WINNER
Jury Selection

Also available :
I have few certainties in my life. For example, knowing where I come from, where I’m going, how Nutella is made, if Marc Levy is really a writer or an impostor… Really, I know none of those things and I couldn’t care less. There is only one thing I have ever really known. That one day I would fall madly in love. Yes, I’ve always known that. That meeting, the one that lights up our whole existence, I am still certain that it is just around the corner. There, somewhere, in my oasis of solitude.

And I’m not going to lose hope just because of my eight hundred and ninety-five (up to now) failed dates.

Yes, I know, that’s a huge number.

Eight hundred and ninety-five. Just imagine. Eight hundred and ninety-five wasted evenings, the same number of bills paid, frustrations, lies by omission, pointless erections. In more colorful language, eight hundred and ninety-five shitty sticks.

And don’t tell me that you only get what you deserve.

Of course, I have high standards, as far as women are concerned. But not as high as all that. It’s hardly my fault if there’s always some little thing that isn’t right. We go for dinner, or I take her to the theatre, and we tell copious lies to each other throughout the whole evening. And all that just to end up at my place, for “one last drink”. I keep my hopes up right to the end. I imagine myself spending a torrid night, embracing my future wife. But either my conquest is already in a relationship, or her feet smell, or... once... she admitted to me after midnight that she hated Cliff Richard. Nobody has the right to hate Cliff. It’s a crime.

In short, when it all goes pear-shaped and we are already at my place, I get out my home-made limoncello, and that’s it! The evening ends there. That’s my own little ritual. None of them has ever gotten past the first mouthful.

I don’t like limoncello. I prefer chestnut liqueur. I am keeping this drink for the chosen one.

Well, all that is just to say that I must have done something terrible in a previous life, to be so unlucky in love, I can’t think of any other explanation.

You want proof? Just look at the last one. You’ll see I’m not making it up. It happened as recently as last week. It started very well, though. Yes, it really did, I promise.

Sandra, twenty-seven years old. A superb brunette, with a dream figure and a super-high I.Q. A waking dream. How did I meet her? In the simplest way possible. In Air France Business Class, between Paris and Tokyo. She was sitting next to me, looking fed-up, her body sculpted by a Chanel suit and her breasts compressed by a Wonderbra. So? So I engaged her in conversation. Then I spent the whole journey making her shriek with laughter at my never-ending witty comments on eighteenth century philosophy. We ended the flight pressed up against each other, drinking champagne, while her hands slid gently down to my…

No, I’m joking. I met her on the Internet, like everybody does. Just between ourselves, do I really look like a millionaire playboy? But I can dream a bit, can’t I?

Whatever the case, Air France or not, this time I had taken great care. In the most natural way in the world, after a few polite exchanges on our respective tastes (and a thorough investigation of her life by a private detective, which cost me a fortune), we finally met.

She passed all my tests with flying colors.

The first one about the great-looking-waiter-you-want-to-kill-because-half-the-girls-are-ready-to-fall-at-his-feet.

The one about the bill. I don’t like feminists. Even the ones who want to split the bill, I dump them straightaway.

The one about make-up in the car. I hate girls who touch up their make-up when I’m driving. Not only is it dangerous, but imagine if I had to brake suddenly. Who’s going to clean the walnut burl dashboard afterwards, eh? I’ve already left two on the ring road because of that.

The fresh breath test. No, but really, what’s worse than a girl whose mouth stinks when she comes out of the restaurant? What do you mean? She only had to avoid the pesto on the pasta, that’s all. Usually, I don’t even let those ones get in my car.

If they have passed all these challenges, which are about the level of my nirvana in love, they still have to take a few more, once they get through my door. Two of these lead directly to elimination. The sofa test. Quite frankly, any silly cow who dares put her feet on it goes straight to the limoncello. And the last is the Cliff Richard test.

Well, let me tell you that this girl passed everything like a dream. Like a champion. So it was after midnight, and I was convinced I had finally met the love of my life. We were religiously listening to 'We don't talk anymore', one of Cliff's songs, looking into each other’s eyes. Happy.

Then I decided, in a fever, to go and fetch my chestnut liqueur. The moment had come at last. I turned the lights down a bit lower. In a few minutes, she would be mine.

I left her for, what, five minutes. When I returned, she was lying naked on the sofa, with a glass in her hand.

“I’ve brought you some chestnut liqueur. We can drink to our encounter. You look beautiful in this light, and… Hang on, have you already helped yourself to a drink?”

“Yes, my darling, it’s limoncello. I found it in your cupboard. Sorry, I couldn’t wait, I like it too much so…”

She did not have time to finish her sentence. She dropped down dead, felled by the cyanide in her glass. You see, the dose I had put in the bottle would bring down an elephant in less than twenty seconds. And it still wouldn’t spoil the taste. So for a little beauty who didn’t even weigh fifty kilos, well, you can imagine.

So in the end I spent yet another night finding a place to bury her. If this goes on, my garden will end up being too small.

I’ve hit a brick wall yet again. My God, I’ll never manage it.

I think I must be too romantic.

Translated by Wendy Cross

190

Few words for the author?

This is a place for encouragement, constructive criticism, and respectful comments… unsure if you should say what’s on your mind? Take a look at our advice on commenting here! Read the chart

To post comments, please
Image of Jonathan Bojan
Jonathan Bojan · ago
Yeah, this one's a winner.
·
Image of Hhl
Hhl · ago
Hi, i'm the author. Let me ask you a question. Where have you red my Story ? Wich town ? Or you May be just french. Thank you for reading anyway.
·
Image of Jonathan Bojan
Jonathan Bojan · ago
I'm from the US, in Pennsylvania (State College).
·
Image of Hhl
Hhl · ago
I have a last question :-). Did you know you red a french story, written by a french author ? By the way, I come from France, exactly Ceyreste (a small town in south, hear Marseille). Have a nice evening.
·