I would like to know what "I pressed her against me" means in the following sentences:

We had another drink and had just started to move to the music when an arm snaked itself around my waist from behind, orange fingernails and dangling bracelets.

‘I almost didn’t recognise you with that hair, handsome,’ said a mouth by my ear.

It was Karolina. Lips the colour of pomegranates, lashes large and thick and heavy with mascara like clotted spider legs.

‘What are you doing here?’ I pressed her against me, relieved to see a familiar face.

‘I was invited, I swear!’ she cried, taking my head in-between her hands, kissing me on the mouth. I could feel her lipstick rubbing off, the petrol smell of her breath.

In this novel which is set in the 1980's in Poland under the socialist regime, where homosexuality was socially unacceptable, the protagonist Ludwik (a university graduate) left Poland in 1981 to live in the United States of America. And he remembers what it was like back then in Poland, where he once went to the birthday party of his rich friend Hania. At the party room, he met Ludwik's best friend Karolina.

In this part, I wonder what "I pressed her against me" means. Would that mean that he hugged/embraced Karolina tightly...?

I am an English learner from South Korea, so thank you for your patience in advance as I may not know obvious things. I would very much appreciate your help. :)

1 Answer 1


Your deduction is correct.

The narrator was relieved to see Karolina (someone they knew beforehand) and therefore embraced her tightly.

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