The two of them sat huddled together on the curb in front of our house, for over an hour. Two slender awkward adolescents, a girl with caramel-coloured hair and a boy, more fair.
The day was chilly with drizzling spring rain. The cement curb must have been hard and cold and damp. They seemed not to notice, so absorbed in their conversation and shared soda.
They didn’t touch just sat hugging themselves against the weather. Shoulders hunched around their ears, shivering in the wet.
He chain-smoked, inhaling and exhaling in short bursts—perhaps trying to impress her or calm his nerves. They talked and talked and laughed, self-consciously drawing patterns in the dirt on the street with random twigs.
I looked out at them occasionally, as I sat writing at my kitchen table. Wondering to myself, “What are they doing out there in this cold rain?”
Suddenly, I was flooded with memories of you in high school: tall, good-looking, a cigarette dangling dangerously, older than I and so mysterious.
I remember quiet glances and sudden shared laughter. Self-consciousness. Heart thudding with excitement and wonder. The fragrance of after-shave mixed with bitter smoke.
We too were shy, oblivious to the weather, standing at the bus stop scuffing at the wet, spring snow with the toes of our shoes. Not touching, too bashful and innocent to know what to do.
Young and naïve and new to love.
I remember you bent down and tenderly kissed the huge wet snowflakes from my eyelashes.