We had already met. One steamy night in a club in the outskirts of Paris. It had felt like a punch in the throat, but nice. He had a face like a dream and a mind like a maze, my kind of boy. We had danced all night, like there’s no tomorrow. Actually there wouldn’t be, word on the street was the curfew would be back on Monday.

He was wearing a black cropped top. Annoyed by the length of my T-shirt, he sliced his hands from behind me, lifted it up and tied it in a knot above my navel.

In the taxi we sang to a Dalida song careless about the poor driver. We rolled around in his bed, as much as the extasy allowed us to, fell asleep in each other’s arms, laughed, ate pastries.

When I left he was all over my skin and my thoughts. My black shirt was on his back and his was under my hoodie.

Three days of obsession and a bad date later, we never texted each other again.

Months later, as spring was undressing people on the streets, I was preparing to go out dancing. I had bought plastic pearls, the children kind. I thought it would fit perfectly with tank top and my military cargo pants. A few yellow round smiley faces were separated by an array of purple beads. I looked like I had stolen it from a 12 year old girl. Perfect.

It was the kind of night that doesn’t go as planned. Both members of a couple had alternatively been writing to me for a few weeks « are you up » messages at the darkest hour. They would both be here tonight, out for blood. I hadn’t planned on showing much resistance. I hadn’t planned either that I would run into the cropped top guy. 10 minutes later his hands were sliding between my arms and my ribs and my belly was exposed. Why was the date so bad ? None of us knew but we weren’t about to let it ruin our night. I melted a little when he told me how he had felt about me that first time. I had felt just as rattled. Out on the terrace, he commented on my hobo look, saying I would look great with his thick chainmail necklace. He handed it to me and he ended up with the smiley faces right under his actual smile. 

A few hours later, I’m with a friend smoking another cigarette and I see him leaving the club almost running. He texted me later, he had to take a friend home, he wasn’t feeling good. His last message said he wouldn’t wait for the next party to get his necklace back.

We didn’t. A Tuesday evening I’m meeting him on the Canal Saint-Martin, his chains in my bag. The curse of the bad date is lifted. We have such a good time we don’t see time fly. After having dinner at his place I end up leaving at 2. As I leave, still feeling the metal weighing down my bag, he catches me looking at the purple necklace on the sideboard. None of us said anything, as if we needed a reason to see each other again.

The following weekend I ask him what he’s doing and end up meeting his friends for a drink. The smiley faces taunt me all evening to kiss him. As if I needed much persuasion. At his place before going to bed I open his jewelry drawer and pick up a worn out white pearls necklace that I put on just because. I fell asleep in his arms and in his pearls. After lunch the next day we say goodbye. I feel the round beads around my neck and send him a picture of me wearing his necklace. He says he knows about it but didn’t say anything. We spend the rest of the weekend wearing each other.

We decided we would go to the pride together and started thinking about our outfits weeks ahead. We wanted to wear cropped tops adorned with pearls. We actually made them one night but I had clearly overestimated my sewing skills. It took me three hours to embroider my cropped top. I didn’t have time to do the necklace that would go with it. But when we got together to get ready on the day of the pride, he opened his jewelry drawer with a smirk. He got out of it two pearl necklaces. Each one of the plastic beads was randomly placed, in a way I would have never put them. But they were beautiful together. I wore them for months and he had the purple one around his neck constantly, kind of like silly wedding rings. I was wearing them when I said I loved him. I was also wearing them when I said goodbye to him.

I’m wearing them on some of the pictures.

We don’t see each other anymore and the pearls are back in a drawer. My friends got me a necklace that says my name. I guess it’s more fitting now.