The next day, John woke up in a state of euphoria grinning from ear to ear.

It wouldn’t last.

He wrote her an sms:

‘How did you sleep? You taste better than any girl I have ever known.’

John regretted having booked a trip to the US. Now was his shot. He’d had a breakthrough with her. It felt like the worst timing ever to be gone for two weeks now.

No answer came to his sms. O almost never answered quickly.

He started packing, trying to distract himself.

Eventually, after four hours, came an sms from her:

‘There’s really no need for so many compliments. And I’m mad at myself. I can’t believe I let you do this to me. I want to be your friend, but I simply don’t feel the same about you. I hate how this makes me look like I’m a bad person, but feelings can’t be changed. Anyhow, enjoy the spring wheather today…’

And so the gate closed again.

John saw two options dangling in front of his eyes. Open a bottle of wine or go running around one of the lakes in Bratislava to sweat out the frustration.

He chose the lazier option.