You tell yourself, he loves the sound of his own voice. Then you begin to realise it is not that simple. He enjoys the reaction he gets – naturally that’s when people perform: before an admiring audience. Not before someone who doesn’t give a hoot.
You react to the way he speaks – it isn’t new, but it is still fresh. It is not unfamiliar but it is exciting. His choice of words promises an extensive knowledge of the language, over and above yours. His gestures talk almost as much as he does.
You nod eagerly, you listen carefully to the ring of his voice, you observe the flow of his hand and you widen your eyes.
Then one day the spell breaks. Words tumbling over, hands flitting left to right, taking shapes, no longer hold any charm. You go through the motions – being polite, nodding, smiling, rolling your eyes, that sort of thing. But all you hear is yak-yak-yak… the more polite you pretend to be, the more you wish to die. The next time you see him approach, you bury your head into your book, and dive into your own world.