theplatonicnonyeah: (mr1)
[personal profile] theplatonicnonyeah
This is one of my entries to the fanfiction competition held in March on Matthew Rhys Online.
It takes its starting point in the Welsh/Spanish film Patagonia.
It is based on the character Mateo played by Matthew Rhys in the film.
I own nothing and can take no credit for the invention of the original character.

Amor Perdido

He noticed the distance between them right from the start: the Welsh couple that had come to Trelew for a holiday.
“No, not a holiday. I’m working. I’m a photographer”, said the man, Rhys.
“A ti, Gwen?” Mateo asked the woman.
“I’m on holiday”, she replied.

Later, lying on his bed in the dark, Mateo formed her name slowly in his mouth, tongue touching palate at the end. He wondered what her tongue would feel like against his own.

Gwen. It meant pale, white. Her skin was almost translucent in the unforgiving Argentinian sun. The thin cotton dresses she wore flowed over her body like a cool evening breeze.

The first day they set out early, before the sun rose. While Rhys set up his photographic equipment outside, Mateo and Gwen dosed off inside the car. When the first light reached the car he got out, stretched and yawned himself awake. Turning back towards the car he saw her blinking against the light.

“Bore da. Brecwast?” he greeted her as the sun rose over the desert.
At first she seemed confused, then she smiled, relieved:
“Dyma fi”, she said. I am here. As if a dream had taken her far away just before she awoke. The low morning sun set her hair alight. He couldn’t look at her; the desire to touch was too strong.

Rhys is going to photograph old chapels in the desert. It’s a commission. Mateo doesn’t understand who would want to see pictures of old abandoned houses falling apart, but Gwen says that Rhys finds them ‘arwrol’, heroic. Mateo s offers the word to Rhys in an attempt to appease him, because he senses the hostility in the other man. But the outstretched hand is not taken. Rhys seems happy working on his own with his camera, like an island separate from the other two.

Mateo offers Gwen cigarettes and she accepts them with an eagerness close to starvation. She laughs at his silly jokes, her eyes glittering. She is radiant in the attention she is suddenly receiving. Why is Rhys not giving it to her? Mateo watches them together. She seems to be constantly apologizing for something, while Rhys distances himself from her. It makes Mateo angry. He wants to hit Rhys, slap him into action. But it’s not his place, so he waits.

He remembers the drive back from the location: Gwen in the car seat between them, asleep against Rhys. The road uneven, shaking the car as he steered through the darkness, Gwen’s dress slipping higher up her thigh. Mateo dared a glance at her exposed knee, realising in the same instant that Rhys had seen him looking. For a second the two men’s eyes met, then Rhys protectively pulled Gwen closer.

“A ti?” Gwen had asked. And you, do you have a lost love?
They were at the asado. Rhys wasn’t there and Mateo didn’t ask where he is. He knew this could be the moment he had been waiting for, but he hesitated. She was someone else’s woman and yet he couldn’t help wanting her.

A lost love? He had never really been in love. He loved animals. He knew them, understood them. They were straightforward and didn’t confuse him. People were different, complex, especially women. He admired them from a distance, only occasionally crossing their paths for a brief romantic interlude.

Was this love lost even before it had started? He knew he was only borrowing her. She would leave. Just like in the story she was reading, about a beautiful woman who enticed two men and was transformed into an owl as punishment: Blodeuwedd.

But still he asked her: “Pam lai?”
Why not? Why can’t you stay with me? She smiled in reply, but said nothing.

October 2014


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