“It’s about a woman. That a woman is more valuable than any pearl…I can only imagine Sarah’s face if she saw me now. Is your shower working?”

“Yes, of course. I’ll go get you a fresh towel.”

She got up and, in a minute, I heard the rustle of the oilskin shower curtain and the sound of running water from the shower.



In the morning Jenn was putting makeup on by the mirror. She was already in her dress, her hair brushed, lips made up. Yet she was still barefoot; her shoes were in the hallway.

I was making coffee by the stove and peeking at Jenn through a square gap in the wall separating the kitchen from the room. Shortly I brought out two cups of coffee, a sugar bowl, and milk from the kitchen into the room and placed them on the table.

“Don’t leave. Now we don’t need to rush anywhere,” I said.

“Adam, dear, do you really think that there can be something serious between us? You’re silly. My son can be your friend and I am old, fat, and sick. If I start listing my diseases you will get scared.”

She stepped away from the mirror, and then looked at the walls covered with sketches, where she was in the image of a Black Swan, ballerina wearing a tutu, “nude.”

“It’s an art gallery dedicated to Madam Jennifer Levy, right? It turned out I was not just a supervisor for you, but also a model. I hope not a bad one.” She came to the table where I sat making final changes to the setting with teaspoons. “That’s it. I decided. Can I ask you a favor, Adam? But promise that you will do what I’m about to ask.”

Looking extremely serious, I continued laying out two teaspoons, fixing one by the cup, then the other.

“Forget about me. You hear? I will write you an excellent evaluation for completing the internship. So be happy that you fucked your supervisor; enter me into your list of conquests.”