We had waited all night. I looked at her, and she looked at me. I smiled, and she smiled. She came toward me, and I waited. She hugged me, and I hugged her back and locked her in my arms. Again we smiled, but then she showed a small sign of reluctance that only lasted an instant, and then she smiled again. She didn't want me to notice the effervescent sign, but I did, and I didn't know if she knew. It was ok, though, because now she smiled, and now is all that matters. We climbed the steps to the apartment with the rest of the others, but to both of us, we were the only ones worth any attention.
Again, during the party, she smiled at me, and I smiled at her. She came to me and held my hand and twirled around me like a dancer to the boom booming of the music. She fell close to my body, and I wanted her to stay, but she stepped back, again like a dancer. She wasn't a dancer, but I gathered that she knew this dance, a dance that told me that she was happy but wasn't sure whether happiness was an appropriate feeling. I wanted her to be happy. I was happy, dancing to the boom booming of the music, listening to the boom booming in my chest.
We waited and socialized and entertained the others and cleaned up some mess and tried to kick someone out, and then we met in the bathroom, and then I kissed her, and she let me. Any walls of restraint fell, and mounds of relief and happiness and joy and love and sexuality and closeness rose. She looked at me, and her face was blank with joy, but her eyes investigated the intentions on my face. This time I didn't stop to think about what she felt because I knew. Someone knocked on the door and so we exited.
Again we waited, but there was less cleaning and less entertaining and less caring. We had determined the course of the night already and wanted it to finally play out, and in the process we forgot about the others or just didn't care about the rest of the world. The battle now was our waning energy versus our visitors' willingness to leave. They left, but not without some force.
We were not conscious of it at the time, but a deleterious condition had taken hold of the apartment. Speckled with left over drinks, bottles, clothes, a hat, a pair of foreign shoes, someone's wasted glances of interest, someone's wishes of a new bed partner, and other remnants of a night in the city, the apartment filled the lonely places in its visitors' souls with chaos and dilapidation.
The streets, however, were quiet and absorbed the mess that leaked out of the windows of the apartment. The cool city night slowed the chaos of the evening into a predictable and controllable set of events, and the light city breeze carried it away from the poor souls that it haunted.
Everyone left, and it was us. It was us again, and she smiled again, and I smiled again, and we were alone again, but somehow for the first time, and we were happy. She smiled and looked, and her lip twitched, and then she stepped toward me, and she kept her eyes fixed on the space between my nose and my lips. Her hands pressed lightly flat against her hips, and she moved toward me, and again I waited for her to reach me, but I felt anxious so I took a step forward myself and we met and the ground shook beneath my feet and the room spun around me and she was in my arms and against my body and she felt warm so I held her. The ground shook and rocked and we soon landed on the bed because we couldn't stand upright anymore.
Again I looked at her and she looked at me and suddenly everything stopped and we realized where we were and what we were doing and we loved it.
“I hate you,” she said.
“I hate you,” I said.
Then we moved and danced and flowed and danced and threw each other and caught each other around the supportive bed. She laughed and I laughed; “I hate you.”
And again with the dancing.
“I'm going to Brazil soon, do you want to come?” she asked.
“Of course I do.”
“Do you think I'm pretty?” she asked.
“Am I the prettiest girl you've ever been with?”
“You're really lovely.”
“Don't play with me, really, do you want to go with me?”
“Let's go right now.”
“No, let's stay.”
“Yes, let's stay now.”
We stayed and it was a lovely evening. The loveliest evening I'd had all year. She had a strange power over me, and I thought about her immediately after I woke up and then I looked over and she was still asleep, so I went back to sleep. I knew I had something to do that day, but I just wanted to sleep next to her. We weren't even physically touching, but she was lovely to sleep next to.
Sarah was really a grand girl and got the energy flowing through my blood stream and in my head and out of my fingertips. I wanted to meet my friends and tell them about my night but they slept soundly on the floor somewhere with their jeans as their pillows. I walked around the corner to the deli and bought a cup of coffee and a sandwich and sat on the curb and watched the people and cars hurry off to their destinations. This city was built for me. All of these people were hurrying places, but I was happy in my moment, with my coffee and my energy coming out of my fingertips. I felt a little tired so I bought another cup of coffee and felt brand new.
My friends finally called back and we met at Good Stuff Diner and ordered some unbelievable omelets to get ourselves back in shape to face the day. Everyone wanted to hear my story, and I told them and I couldn't help but smile the whole time. And then I got sad. I was leaving that day. I came to the city, had a grand night with my friends and then Sarah, but I had to fly to London that day, leaving my beloved United States to go to graduate school, the best excuse to extend premature adulthood.
So we sat there at Good Stuff, talking about life and what we wanted from it and how we would get it. The rest of our lives started that very day in Good Stuff.
Then my pocket buzzed and rang and it was Sarah sending electronic messages to me. She wanted to meet us for brunch. I hadn't told her that I was leaving in twelve hours. I wanted to see her. She came, but the conversation turned to general banter and then we left and Sarah left and we looked at each other all sad and disappointed inside, but life happens and the good things seem to always come at the worst times, and then I saw her for the last time and I didn't like that. But then I realized I was going to a new country and I was excited and got on a plane and I flew to London.