“Where’s your car?” you ask as we cross the threshold and are met by the drizzly Portland evening.

“Just around the corner — this way,” I say, leading you toward the corner of the block.

We make small talk that doesn’t matter: your use of an umbrella, my dinged up car. When the words stop flowing, we stand in the quiet fshhhhh of cars driving through puddled streets. I can’t help but quickly drop my eyes as the smile takes over my face. When I glance back up at you standing there, your glasses are speckled with the tiny raindrops, hands in your pockets, silly smile on your face.

With a sharp inhale you say, “Well, goodnight,” and without missing a beat, you reach forward placing your hands on my waist, pulling me closer.

So this is kissing you.

I reached up, placing a hand against the soft skin just below your ear; the other grasping your arm. We kiss in a hurried, tentative fashion. Unsure of how the other’s mouth works. Unsure of how the other’s body moves. Unsure of exactly what we’re feeling. After a few moments of kissing on the sidewalk, oblivious to the rain and passerbys, we pull back. Smiling, you warn me to drive safe; Ever the one for awkward statements, I come back with, “you too — and walk safe!” At the absurdity of my statement, I climb into my car with a laugh and unsteady feelings: unsteady with my mental back-and-forth, trying to convince myself to go, to give it a shot.

I wasn’t ready to go our separate ways, I wanted more time. I wanted to take a walk, sneaking my hand into yours. I wanted another opportunity to kiss you — correction: I wanted many more opportunities to kiss you.

Why the hell had I parked so close?


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