The Black Kettle was at the bottom of the road. No, it was not a pub, it was a small shop. Outside, high above the pavement, hung a very old iron kettle painted black. The shop was always something different, antiques, curtains and soft fabrics, reproduction furniture, once it was a restaurant, very small. It was never very interesting, but the black kettle hung outside at the bottom of the road.
He waited most evenings under the black kettle, she was always late, he didn't mind. They walked very close together through the town and looked in the shop windows. They never bought anything, they had no money. They had always so much to talk about. They never went into a pub, they were too young and still at school.
Beyond the town was a hill which they used to climb. In the winter they looked at the stars, in the summer they had picnics. They always used to kiss and cuddle.
They liked each other, they were fond of each other, but were they in love? They made love once or twice, maybe that was part of their education, part of growing up. After a few years they drifted apart, she found another boyfriend, he found another girlfriend, there was no pain, there was no wrench, the love between them was not so deep, they drifted apart.
Years later the kettle is gone, perhaps it rusted away, I still wait sometimes at the black kettle, but she never comes.
Someone else was waiting at the black kettle, after a long time she asked me for whom I was waiting for. I explained that she would never come, the one I was waiting for. She suggested that we go for a drink. We walked into the town and found a pub.
She wanted to know about the first girl, what we did together, and about the hill. She discovered everything about me, some details she seemed to know already. All I got to know about her, was her name. My name is Dorothy, not shorter and not longer, just Dorothy.
We walked to the top of the hill and looked at the stars, she knew the night sky better than I. She held me tight but didn't kiss me. We returned to my place, we drank wine and ate cheese and biscuits. Time for bed, she said. I waited in bed while she was in the bathroom. Oh, you're nice and warm. She wrapped her arms and her legs around me and went to sleep.
The next morning she went to work, I went to work. In the evening she was back again, every evening. We went to the pub, climbed the hill, went to a movie or just stayed at home to watch TV. But every evening we started by going down the road and waiting at the black kettle. Not that anybody came, but we always waited there.
In the shower. You should wash my back, that would be a good idea. She washed my back too.
One evening we were waiting by the black kettle, she suddenly kissed me, for the first time. That was good! said I. And she did it again.