I glance over the rim of my coffee cup to the clock on the wall. It reads 7:23. I blink and you come through the door with a smile on your face. Your cheeks have been whipped rosy by the cold wind outside and I can see that you're cold by the way you hug your coat to yourself despite the warmth of the room. I curl my toes in anticipation. I can't wait for you to put your arms around me.
The steam slowly rises as I sip from the cup and when I close my eyes again I see your smile still. I see you looking at me across a table in a crowded restaurant, and you're laughing at something I've said. The lights shine in your eyes, and the sparkle in them is only something I half imagine.
I see the curve of your mouth as you sip your wine and I can almost taste it as I lean across to kiss you. But I never do because I can't work up the courage.
I go back to my coffee and staring out the window and I tell myself that I must take time this evening to think of something that isn't you. The sky is pink and orange and green around the edges and I think to myself that maybe it will snow tonight.
The flurries begin to fall and they dance around the window pane in a hurried rythm I can barely make out. As it begins to collect in tiny drifts in the corners of the sills I think of how it will look in the morning with the streets covered and glittering.
We went sledding last year on these tiny saucers that looked like frisbees on huge and flat and red and blue. We climbed in your truck and I could barely move I was so bundled up from the cold and we drove to a park full of hills and laughing children.
I remember your plaid scarf and the way it looked garish and bright and clashed with the tone of your skin and the color of your knit winter hat. I remember you making fun of my earmuffs and how they made me look like I was ten years old. I remember reaching up to touch them with my gloved fingers and feeling the hardness of them on my ears. But I was warm. And I laughed.
We hit that ice patch at the same time, right towards the end. Do you remember? We both flew off the sleds and landed on our backs, moaning and laughing at the same time. We crashed, and you fell onto me when we tried to stand up. I remember how my feet were hot with cold and how my head was spinning from the fall. I remember that as I laughed I thought of how you felt right then with your head on my shoulder and your arm flung out across me. I remember thinking that maybe, if my boot weren't crammed into your knees, how it might have felt nice.
Do you remember?
I pull the blanket tight around me as the cold sets in. The heater kicks on with a low growl and I savor the smell of the warmth coming through the heaters. I bury my toes in the cushions on my couch and I think of the night you stayed over because you couldn't drive.
I dug extra blankets out that night. You teased me and called me a cover hog. You laughed at me for having so many blankets in my closet. Preparing for a blizzard, you said. I must be waiting for the snow that ends the world.
We curled up in my bed together, and you teased the cat over the side of the bed. I remember the sound of her growling and playing with you, her claws skittering across the hardwood floor as you dangled a sock over the side to play with her.
You fell asleep next to me that night and I remember laying there and thinking to myself how beautiful and perfect you were with your lashes resting on your cheeks and the sound of your soft snore echoing through my bedroom. I remember the heat of your body as you wound yourself around me, and the feeling of your legs as you slid them between mine.
I remember how you woke in the morning with a terrible hangover and how you told me I was the best friend you had as I made you breakfast. I smiled at you, and I stroked your hair, and I handed you a bloody mary and looked away.
My coffee is cold and the smell of it is almost sickening, even from its place on the table in front of me. Its sweet, musky scent fills the room and I have trouble not noticing it, even with my face pressed against the glass. It fills me, like thoughts of you, and I can't really escape it no matter where I put that glass.
I walk to the kitchen where we had dinner together just last night, and I sit it gently on the pile of dishes we left there because we didn't really feel like cleaning up. I sit down at the table and I look around the room and try not to think of laying in your arms on the couch and how you laughed at my desperate need to cuddle to stay warm.
You should laugh, I suppose, because I don't care for the warmth so much as the heat of your body next to me, your arms wrapped around me, your breath skimming over my hair and blowing it out of place.
I think of how you looked at me last night and there was something in your eyes that made me look twice. Something I don't normally see. Something like sorrow, or a wish you won't speak out loud. I wonder to myself if its pity, because you see in me all the things I feel for you. Maybe you pity yourself for noticing. Maybe its nothing at all and you were thinking of something I won't ever know about.
The door opens, and you come in, stamping the cold out of your feet as the snow swirls into the tiled entryway.
I smile back at you.
When you open your arms to me I don't stop and think, I don't wait. I go to you. And for a moment, the clock disappears.