The thing with Maria was not just that she was almost beautiful, but that she was brilliant, active in various organisations, had a lot of people who looked up to her.
In a way that Oliver could never verbalise; Maria was superior to him.
To prove his value and power he decided to undercut her confidence.
One night, as they sat on campus, out of nowhere, he told her that they came from ‘two different worlds’ and that their relationship was doomed.
She didn’t argue. She sat silently, tears rolling down her face. He loved seeing those tears, loved knowing he caused them. Before he retracted, Oliver stood, kissed her on the forehead and walked away.
He caught the train home, expected Maria to phone him, but she didn’t. Clearly she was too upset.
The next day on campus he kept himself in the shadows. He saw her. She was talking with others. There was no sign of pain.
He kept to the sides, watching, wondering if this was a brave front.
That night, he phoned to find out how she was.
“I’m fine. You were right. We are from different worlds. Thanks for having the foresight to see it.”
And she hung up.