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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 51 | volume IX | November-December, 2006



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                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 51November-December, 2006
Prose

from the novel “Bitter Honey”

/16
p. 1
Andrej E. Skubic

    I met Jason for the first time in almost seven years. We were students together; and though we never belonged to the same crowd, you could say we had a kind of weird relationship. Not only did he not belong to my crowd, he didn’t belong to any crowd. No one really liked him and I never quite knew why. Gill once even said she thought he was smarmy; I never saw him like that. To me he looked somehow … funny. He was a good student who never lowered himself to any unbecoming carry-ons at Union bashes; on the contrary, he looked strangely shy, reserved, and sometimes – when things turned a bit rowdy – ill at ease and downright embarrassed. Veronica summed him up as an undershagged middle class jessie, but I thought she was being a bit over the top there, all in all. There was something else about him, something I couldn’t quite nail down.
    At uni, Jason was going out with a lassie called Helen, a student of Italian, a short, plump, couthy lassie who always looked cheerful and seemed to be somewhat motherly. They always seemed to be such a good couple; with his shyness, Jason looked a little lost, and Helen was perfect for him, a mum who’d protect him from this bugger of a world. But still, I always felt he was – unbelievable as this may sound – interested in me in some way. I couldn’t quite describe how.
    For one thing, whenever we met he would invite me for coffee with an unusual, quiet kind of enthusiasm. His invitations weren’t casual, over-the-shoulder like those of other students, yours included. Behind them you could feel a genuine desire; they were serious, determined, almost anxious. He actually cared whether I’d go or not. I have no idea what gave me this impression, perhaps something in his body language, in his looks. I wondered if he was inviting other people for coffee like that – did he make this impression on everybody? There was no way of knowing, since I never knew anyone else who was invited for coffee. His eagerness wasn’t conspicuous enough to be presumptuous or even pushy; not at all, I actually liked going. He turned out to be – once he opened up – quite intelligent, a bit of a laugh, funny; he didn’t look bad either. In his own very






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