864

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I met Brave at a nightclub on a cold winter night when I was twenty-two. All I could remember about my first encounter with him was that he ran after me when I left.

“Miss, it’s late, let me escort you home.”

“It’s indeed late. How about you answer a question? If you get it right then please get in the taxi…”

“Alright?”

“Twenty-seven multiplied by thirty-two?”

“…”

“Well good night. I’ll be fine. Don’t worry.”

I shut the door and so the driver drove off. I did not ask for his name, I did not even think of seeing him again, however, I forgot we lived in a small town.

I was then trying to forget another man, Brave was trying to forget another woman. We spent the following year pretty much in love, and to my surprise, life had taken us to many countries and continents in the most glamorous fashion, thanks to his corporate benefits.

I woke up one morning in the only 5-star hotel in an Eastern Europe country. I had been living there for weeks. Mr President, mafia, actresses, Fernando Torres… we were all under the same roof. Outside my window, the crowd never stopped shouting. The guards escorted me in and out all the time.

A trophy lover, then a student, I was indeed one. On strange lands, the doors always opened and my housekeepers always showed their sincerity. However, it was almost an offence I did not earn those privileges using my own brain, but merely as a woman of a man.

Brave enjoyed his ability to provide and dominance. I enjoyed my time with him. However, I was always jealous of Brave’s success since I secretly believed we were equally smart.

The next thing I knew, I left Brave in the messiest way possible, so as to reclaim my individual status to freely build my own life without being just a shadow. My only regret was that I was too young to be able to convey eloquently the true reason why I left him. I broke his heart to a point where I could not take myself to another relationship for a long time. I was too evil.

I met Brave for lunch a few years later. He unsurprisingly got even more successful and I started to make a just-enough living.

We went to see a house that I knew we would both love, a place where Frank Lloyd Wright would be very happy to see. We talked about the first day we met, Brave told me:“27×32=864 – I know this well now, including the prime factors.” We talked about the kids that will be living in the house, probably not our own. He asked the taxi driver to take a picture of our last kiss.

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Today is the 864th day since I last saw Brave, I marked it on my calendar. Surely enough, the day reminded me of some great days of my life. My jealousy of Brave has turned into gratitude, for he has shown me some blueprints for success and after all, he loved me with devotion!

Thank you Brave!

– Skye

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