“you look the same,” she said letting off a quirky smile before reaching for my hand. the small of her palms showing from her oversized coat.
“you look and smell like a strawberry.” i let off a toothy grin as i clasped my hand around hers.
“well you always said i was sweet, so i figured i would play the part.” she came close to my side.
her hand was cold coming out of the apartment, i wondered if her mom had heat. she deserved better, but never had a qualm about living there. in the summer she slept over at my apartment for a solid week. her father lived in the same town as me and they disagreed about the direction her life was going. so she decided it best to escape to me as things cooled down. i didn’t mind her company, however, i knew it would never be permanent.
“where are we heading tonight?” she said looking up to me, her head barley popping out of her coat. “i’m hungry and i want to be entertained,” she mocked in a fancy dialect letting out a petite laugh.
“i figured we could go to that bar off main, they were advertising a live band tonight in the paper.”
“excellent! onward!” she began to pick up speed as we sloshed through the messy city sidewalks.
as we continued down the road, the occasional vehicle would pass by and she would motion to push me onto their coming path before yanking my hand back, getting closer to me each time. i laughed and kissed the top of her forehead. she smiled and rested her head against my arm.
“i should have stayed,” she said.
“at home tonight? why?”
“no, no. at your place. in the summer,” she explained, “we could have stopped time and spent it in the sun and never had to deal with this cold abysmal weather. even the cool breezes during the night were warmer.”
“if only that’s how it worked,” i said with a smile, clutching her hand tighter.
“you did miss me, didn’t you?” she said her lower lip curving and her eyes staring deep into mine.
“of course, why wouldn’t i?”
“just the way things ended, i didn’t mean to offend you -“
“not at all. it’s water under the bridge. i’m here now. that’s all that matters,” i explained.
we fell silent for a small stretch, her hand still clasping mine and her head still against my arm. i began to think of her and the summer. in reality i blamed myself for what transpired. while staying with me for that week she found out her mother had come back into the state and offered to accommodate her. i asked her to stay with me and we could figure out our lives together. but the chance to start fresh somewhere new, away from her father, was too appealing. she packed up within the hour of her mother’s phone call and was gone before the sun went down. my words fell deaf upon her ears. she called me two weeks later to make amends. i’d been in constant contact with her since. hoping i could get her to change her mind.
as we approached main, the street lights shone down upon the snow, reflecting upon the tall commercial buildings and closed storefronts. we saw no other pedestrians as we turned onto the street. the occasional taxi cab flew by, but the sidewalks remained barren.
“i’m glad you came, i’ve been excited to see you again. my mother was surprised you didn’t bail. i told her you weren’t the type of soul to do such a thing. i was right.” she let off a told you so grin to me and kicked off the slush from her shoes. the shoveled sidewalks along main only bearing a small dusting of the falling snow.
“i’m glad you know me so well.”
as we came closer to the bar, the smog in the sky began to shift revealing a crescent moon.
“it’s beautiful,” she said, “it’s so rare to see the sky in this city.” the moon beams shining down on her as she spoke. “how fortunate of us to encounter it.” she let out a smile as she turned to me.
i took her by her sides and kissed her, as the beams began to hide once more, behind the smog.