The Male Brain
Vinnie called early in the evening, inviting him to visit.
“I will soon,” Quentin promised.
“Tonight,” she suggested. “If you’re not sick or busy.”
He wasn’t and wasn't, and she greeted him like a best friend, offering hot tea and one end of the sofa that filled her narrow living room. It was just them, but that wasn’t surprising. Classes wouldn’t start for another week. How was his day, how was his life? Vinnie seemed intrigued by Quentin’s empty chatter about the factory. She was alert and smiling hard, laughing for any reason, her voice even quicker than usual.
The woman kept examining her watch.
“Maybe.” Long fingers became a knot. A deep sigh helped her courage. Then after taking one last measurement of the time, she said, “Wait here. Would you?”
She stood before realizing what he said. Worried, Vinnie became pretty—tall and slender, her angular features more feminine than usual. She grinned as if begging for a matching grin. “No, just wait here please. I have to get her.”
Quentin sat. The dormitory felt empty and dark. Then a quiet voice said, “No, it’s all right,” and the hallway door opened.
A blue blouse and silver trousers had replaced the New Year’s gown. Persian jewelry decorated the girl’s bare neck and wrists. Care had been taken with the bun that restrained her black hair, and her skin glowed under layers of cosmetics. Vinnie never wore as much makeup as what rode that smiling face.
Quentin smiled back at her.
Vinnie didn’t push her companion into the room, but she looked ready to shove. Loudly, she said, “Sit.” To both of them, apparently.
They did as told, ending up together on the sofa.
Vinnie settled across from them, amused by the picture.
Quentin studied the newcomer.
Dark eyes dropped, smiled.
“I’m sorry,” he managed. “I don’t think I heard your name.”
“Farah,” she said.
“Pretty,” he said.
Perhaps she didn’t agree. Farah puckered her mouth, throwing an accusing look at Vinnie.
“I told Farah about you,” Vinnie said.
“What about me?”
“The good stuff.” Vinnie broke into a manic cackle.
Everybody seemed equally miserable.
Laughter finished with a sigh. Then their hostess said, “We have a request.”
Farah held herself around the waist.
Quentin prodded them with the obvious question. “What do you want?”
The ladies exchanged glances, exchanged courage.
And the male brain filled the silence with what seemed perfectly reasonable: He had been invited to share a bed with two ladies.
His prick jumped.
Vinnie muttered something about a favor.
Farah leaned forward, her small hand hovering above his knee. For the first time, she said, “Quentin.”
He liked her husky, smart voice. “Yeah?”
“I want to stay in your country. But my visa is nearly exhausted, and I will have to go home.”
He nodded, stubbornly wondering when the sex would commence.
Vinnie piped in. “I told her you’re a good person.”
Quentin didn’t like the sound of this.
“But if I could be married,” Farah mentioned.
“In name only,” Vinnie added.
“As a wife, I could remain here forever,” said the Persian girl. Then she picked up one of his hands, holding it inside both of hers. “In my country, women are forbidden to ask. But sir, would you consider marrying me?”