Back up the stairs for the last time, I ran my fingers along the dingy wooden handrail to the second floor. I tried to hold on to the feel of the cold on my lips, the smell of the wetness outside. Ahead of me, in the dark narrow stairway, bags in her hand, her black fuzzy boots clomped up the steps.
“Are you glad your flight got canceled?”
“Yeah.” But I was worried about leaving my luggage in a locker at the airport. What if someone got my pants? But you don’t say this to a girl. You want to be brave though your heart is breaking because life has taught you that it has many feet and the next one is always coming. She clinks and clanks at the door and we go in quiet so we don’t stir any roommates.
In her room, we didn’t fumble in the early evening dark. We’d been doing this for days and wanting it for months before that. Her vanilla smell invaded my nose, made my skull hurt with a stretching want. She said let’s go see a movie and when we went outside, in the big round bulb of a small streetlight, I saw snow falling for the first time.
“Is it snow?”
She didn’t make a joke and smiled big and said, “Uh huh.” She pulled out a cigarette and we sat on a bench and watched it come down slow through the smoky haze from her Marlboro Menthol Lights.