Find Me by André Aciman Read Online (FREE)
Read Find Me (Call Me By Your Name, #2) by André Aciman full novel online for free here.
Why so glum?
I watched her get on at the station in Florence. She slid open the glass door and, once inside the car, looked around, then right away dumped her backpack on the empty seat next to mine. She took off her leather jacket, put down the English-language paperback she was reading, then placed a square white box on the luggage rack and threw herself onto the seat diagonally across from mine in what seemed a restless, ill-tempered huff. She reminded me of someone who’d just had a heated argument seconds before boarding and was still stewing over the cutting words either she or someone else had spoken before hanging up. Her dog, which she was trying to keep tucked between her ankles while holding a red leash looped around her fist, seemed no less jittery than she was. “Buona, good girl,” she finally said, hoping to calm it down, “buona,” she repeated, as the dog still fidgeted and tried to squirm out of the firm grip. The presence of the dog annoyed me, and instinctively I refused to uncross my legs or budge to make room for it. But she didn’t seem to notice either me or my body language. Instead, she immediately rummaged through the backpack, found a slim plastic bag, and took out two tiny bone-shaped treats for the dog, then laid them in her palm and watched the dog lick them off. “Brava.” With the dog momentarily placated, she half lifted herself to fix her shirt, shifted in her seat once or twice, then slumped into a sort of upset stupor, staring out indifferently at Florence as the train began to pull out of the Santa Maria Novella station. She was still stewing and, perhaps without noticing, shook her head, once, twice, obviously still cussing whomever she’d quarreled with before boarding. For a moment she looked so totally forlorn that, while staring at my open book, I caught myself struggling to come up with something to say, if only to help defuse what had all the bearings of a gathering storm about to erupt in our little corner at the very end of the car. Then I thought twice about it. Better to leave her alone and go on with my reading. But when I caught her looking at me, I couldn’t help myself: “Why so glum?” I asked.
Only then did it occur to me how thoroughly inappropriate my question must have sounded to a complete stranger on a train, to say nothing of one who seemed ready to explode at the slightest provocation. All she did was stare at me with a baffled, hostile glint in her eyes that presaged the very words about to cut me down and put me in my place. Mind your own business, old man. Or: What’s it to you, anyway? Or she’d make a face and utter a withering rebuke: Jerk!