My report from my A-Level French teacher said I ‘wasn’t a natural linguist,’ which was unfortunate, since by then I had six university offers to study languages and had therefore somewhat shut down my other options. I know all about the cringiness (sp.?) of getting to grips with speaking a new language, though, which is what inspired this piece, although it is fiction, and a bit of a half-hearted entry for this.
‘You should buy a Kindle.’
I look up, glare at him. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s looking stupid in front of other people, especially when the other person in question is smirking and squeezing his dick all at the same time.
I brought back wine, hence why I checked in my case. Hence why the weight of it didn’t take me by surprise when I hauled it from the conveyor belt. But there’s no wine in this Samsonite, only a selection of garments in various shades of beige, two pairs of sensible shoes and a hardback French-English dictionary, well-thumbed but spine unbroken. Clearly those who favour beige are not up to speed with app technology.
I lift it out and flip it open, looking for a name in the inside front cover, but there’s nothing. I flick to a random page, and it lands on F.
‘Dirty girl,’ he says, squeezing my shoulder.
‘I don’t know what you mean.’
‘I think you do. How d’you say “Fuck?”’
I thumb the pages, scanning down with my finger till I find it. When I do though, I can’t bring myself to say it. I have trouble asking for what I want when the language is familiar to me, the unknown makes it worse still. I’m reminded of classroom roleplays, of oral exams, of hearing myself speak and not recognising my own voice.
His hand slides from my shoulder to my nipple, and he pinches it hard between thumb and forefinger.
I love words on the page. I hate words in my mouth. He can read them, he doesn’t need to hear them from me.
‘Putain,’ I whisper.
’Nice,’ he says. ‘Let’s try another. How about “Fuck me?”’
My eyes skim the column of text. ‘Baise-moi.’
He’s standing beside me now, wanking slowly. I lay the book on the carpet and scramble to my knees. If I suck him, maybe he’ll stop tormenting me. But as I lean in to take him in my mouth, he takes a step back, leaving me grasping in thin air. An involuntary gasp of dismay escapes me.
‘You know what to do.’
I’m wet with the shame of it, and it turns out he’s barely started. For every word I utter, he thinks of more, barking them one after another and barely giving me time to find them.
Eventually, he grows tired of the game and goes hunting through the case in search of more fun. There’s a washbag at the bottom, and inside, a stub of a dusky pink lipstick. He has me get on my hands and knees and then he carefully folds my dress back. Another five words follow, and each of these is scrawled across my back and arse in waxy capitals.
There’s one word he hasn’t asked for yet. ‘Find “cunt.”’
As I’m searching, he pulls my knickers to one side, and slicks his finger up through my wetness. Then he’s right there with me, cock poised at the entrance to the very place I can’t find the word for. The pages flutter helplessly as I hunt desperately and my pussy is twitching with the need to have him inside me.
It’s not fucking there.
It’s not my fault, I protest – I’m not the keeper of the words. But he takes no notice, instead leaning over me and going all the way back to A.
Arse. Of course. Cul. I’m pretty sure you don’t pronounce the l, but not certain. Even as he makes me say it he’s spitting on his fingers, working the moisture around my tight hole. As he eases them into me I let out a deep moan. We’ve not done this before, but my body is grinding back against him, trying to take him deeper. He moves his fingers apart, slowly, stretching me. What’s tumbling from my lips now is as incoherent as the smudged lipstick prints on my back.
His cock replaces his fingers, and I gasp and keen as he slides deep inside me. He butts against me steadily, rhythmically, as he reaches round to fret my clit with one hand. The carpet burns my knees, and it stings with every thrust, but I don’t care, because right now I am just as lost as my suitcase.