A week in advance Chuck bought two tickets for a concert at the Crystal Palace and takes Natalia to her first country music experience tonight. The singer is almost famous and has a strong Texas voice and even accepts a fan’s printed lyrics of a hit song he’s heard many times but never tried to perform and, while reading, croons almost as well as Elvis.
“This is why I go to concerts,” Chuck says. He thinks Natalia understands. She’s learning English and taking classes at the adult school.
She smiles and says, “Very good.”
Chucks hopes he and Natalia are becoming close. He’s already twice taken her to movies and dinner but been a gentleman and hasn’t tried to kiss her yet. He’s going to tonight, though. He’s embarrassed his best buddy already asked, “What’re you waiting for?” He’s not going to anymore.
After the concert he says, “Let’s go to my apartment.”
On the freeway she says in Spanish, which Chucks speaks fairly well, “I know women who’re married to American men.”
“That’s good,” he says.
“And they don’t sleep with their husbands.”
Chuck doesn’t respond. He’s anxious to get home.
In his apartment he says, “Please have a seat on the sofa.”
She’s been here one other time, and he sat in the chair facing the sofa. Tonight he sits on the sofa about three feet from Natalia.
“My friends say their husbands don’t mind not sleeping with them.”
“I don’t know any men who’d like that.”
“I need to get married.”
“For important reasons.”
“But not for sex.”
She doesn’t reply, and he scoots over and reaches, encircling air she creates by springing up and stepping away.
“We’re just friends,” she says.
“You can be my girlfriend.”
“That’s too much.”
“But you’d like to be my wife.”
“As long as there’s no sex.”
“Doubt you’ll find a man like that.”
“I know some.”
“Then marry one.”
“Take me home.”