Elizabeth Lezama - His Little Black Book

His Little Black Book

 

Elizabeth Lezama

 

            I fell in love with a bland guy. Never upset, never too happy, never jealous, and never angry. Stable. We hit it off on the first date—he was a complete gentleman. Always opening doors for me, pulling my seat out and paying the bill. There was just one, little thing. He carried something with him. His little black book.

            It was small, black, and plain and there were scuffmarks on the cover. The book wasn’t store bought either; it looked more like a passed down journal, perhaps manually bound. Yellow tinted pages stuck out of the sides and it was tied together with three rubber bands that must have been tan once.

            It didn’t matter where we went; the book always came with him. When he opened the door, the book was in his hand. When he paid the bill, the book was on the table. When we had sex, the book was on the bed. Even when we showered, he insisted on keeping it on top of the sink, sandwiched between towels.

            I didn’t pay it any attention for the first few weeks. I didn’t want to ruin the good thing we had going. But then, all of a sudden, curiosity took over. I would ask him about the book and he would quickly change the subject or act as if it was just another book. All the while he would still be holding that damned thing.

            Finally, one day, I walked into the bedroom to find the book sitting on the corner table. He was out. But where? He hadn’t said anything about going out, and why did he leave it? Why today?

Here was my opportunity but suddenly I was hesitating. Did I want to know? I undid the first rubber band and looked around as it snapped off. No one there. I slid the second further down until it fell to the floor. My breathing became heavy. I looked around once again. No one. I slowly removed the last rubber band. The small book felt heavy in my hand. I opened the book.