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Who Is Will?

March 10th, 2010 by the_lifer

That night, Winona lies next to Will, under the red and burgundy quilt. He’s asleep as if jet lag didn’t exist. Winona is not so lucky. She lies there, staring at his shoulders while he sleeps on his side.

Everything that’s wrong and right about Kiwi men is wrapped up in Will’s history. He’s a tidy specimen: quiet, soft-spoken, dark haired,  clean shaven. His narrow, sloping shoulders are improved by a business shirt, but he has the legs to pull off the shorts he’d like to wear year round. He likes fixing things. He doesn’t talk about his family much.

Winona is one of the few people who knows about the bullying that made Will’s life hell when he was a boy in Eketahuna. He’s not very articulate about how he got through it. Winona always thinks of him as applying some invisible, durable #8 wire to his spirit. Somehow braced, he disregarded it, stayed in school, got uni scholarships, met her. She didn’t know, at that party at the student flat, that he was almost a genius, just that he seemed smitten.

Today, a lot of people know he’s pretty smart. His IT work is so abstruse that, even though it allows them to live anywhere on the planet they want, Winona can scarcely stay conscious while he discusses it. Just when she has a vague idea of what he’s doing , the field takes a quantum leap and she’s back at “blah de blah blah” again.

Over the past few years, he had spent a lot of his spare time eerily stupefied by his Playstation. But in London they lived in a one and a half bedroom apartment – what was the man supposed to do?

Now, they’re back in New Zealand, the world’s greatest bloke playground. Winona pictures him losing his shallow layer of London flab while hiking, kayaking, helping his best mate fix things. Getting a bit of a tan. Smiling more.

Very, very gently, she spoons her body around him while he sleeps on his side.

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