A Better Goodbye
I barely noticed that the episode had ended, I was too focused on the way her hand felt in mine. Not that I would have been able to hear the TV if I had been listening, not over the din my heart was making in my chest or the whir of my thoughts flying around my head. It wasn’t until I felt her shift and start to get off the bed we were sitting on that I realized it was over. The sudden lack sent a chill down my spine. She gently let go of my hand, letting our fingers linger together for a moment.
“It’s pretty late, I should get going.”
“I guess we lost track of time.”
She smiled at me and I felt my head start to swim. With all the courage I could muster, I said, “You know, you can stay if you want to.”
She looked down at her feet then, her smile fading. “I can’t. You know I can’t.”
I nodded, even though she wasn’t looking at me. I turned to pick up my keys of my dresser. “I know. At least let me walk you out.”
She grabbed her bag and we left the apartment, the air thick with silence as we headed toward the elevator. I pushed the ‘down’ button and stepped back, and I felt her hand slip into mine. I turned to her and she looked into my eyes, giving my hand a gentle squeeze. “I had a lot of fun tonight.”
I gave her a small smile and said, “Me, too.”
The doors opened and we stepped into the empty elevator. “We should do it again. Soon.”
It was genuine, I knew that, but there was too much that was going unsaid. Too much just beneath the surface, too much between the words. Too much about to slip away.
Before I realized I was doing it, I closed the gap between us and kissed her. Quick, but strong. And full of words unspoken.
I pulled back and felt my face flush. What was I thinking? I could have just ruined everything. I started stammering. “I’m sorry, I-I know you said you can’t, I just-I-I couldn’t let-”
She interrupted me by returning the kiss. Electricity surged through my body, I couldn’t believe it was really happening. I pulled her in tight to continue the kiss, in case it was the last one. I had to be sure, I had to give her one last chance to back out.
I pulled back slightly, locking eyes with her. “Are you s-”
“Shh.” She shook her head. “We’ll worry about it tomorrow.” She smiled that electric smile, pressing another quick kiss against my lips.
The elevator doors opened, revealing an empty lobby. She reached out and hit my floor number, letting the doors close again.
“Tonight, it’s just you and me.”