“Shakespeare? I never figured you the romantic.”
You were half sitting, half laying on your sofa with your bodies tangled and mashed together like a newspaper in the rain - broken on some sides but still altogether one and the same. You remember your hand finding its way to hers and when your fingers laced you felt her give a light squeeze. It was a silent admission: the only way she could ask ‘what took you so long’ without stifling the air with words. Her hair was a disheveled forest, makeup faded and runny, nails uneven with the dull remnants of last weeks violet pink. She was radiant that night. You felt your stare linger, wanting to tell her all about the quiet storm brewing in your chest. You cleared your throat.
“That nose piercing looks ridiculous.” Was what came out instead. You reaped your just reward: a shocked face and small shove.
But she was still smiling. You always made her smile.
“Well I don’t care if you don’t like it. I’ve always wanted one but I was afraid of how I’d look, or what people would think. I finally decided to get it just for me, because I like it.”
You were never really a romantic, never really saw the point in things like marriage, family, work or even friends. You figured them distractions, momentary escapes we make to forget the fact that nothing lasts forever. Life never made much sense to you, but when you watched her name a falling leaf or count the tiles on your bedroom floor, it kind of did.
“In that case, I guess I like it too.” She tilted her head, one of her favorite movements, and flashed a wide grin. It was her special grin. Her ‘You think I’m so amazing and I know it’ grin.
That always knocked you out.
“Because now it has personality?” she had asked, and you nodded slightly. When you do, something makes her eyes go soft.
“Let’s kiss.” You start to say. “Let’s kiss, but not right now. Let’s kiss right at midnight. What? Stop laughing, it’s romantic. Isn’t this what romantic people do?” She’s half amused and half incredulous, with a wonder in her smile that has held you like a fire.
She shifts her gaze to the clock.
Its response is 11:58.
“Why wait so long?”