Wednesday, November 2


She's killing baby cockroaches with disgusted glee in her shitty third-floor walkup, for what seems like the eight millionth time, when she hears his familiar step on the wrought-iron stairs. She smiles to herself as she washes her hands in scalding hot water from the tap and grabs her good bottle of gin from the top of the refrigerator on her way out the door.

"Hey," she yells down to the second landing, "didn't I tell you I never wanted to see you again?"

He stops dead in his tracks and looks up at her, blue eyes wide and startled in his face as his mouth drops open. "I recall something like that, I guess," he says, unsure but still game.

"Well, I suppose this gin won't drink itself. Got any cigarettes?"

He doesn't answer, but holds up two packs of her favorite. It's a peace offering, of sorts. She grins down at him and slides her bare feet into a pair of ridiculous cork-heeled sandals. She pulls the elastic out of her walnut-brown hair and runs the fingers of her right hand through the locks, primping for just a second while he's still out of sight. She smooths her oversized sweater down over her skirt and then bounds down the last flight of stairs, gin in hand.

He's still waiting on the second-floor landing, holding two cigarettes in his mouth. He watches her run down the stairs and lights both, holding the second one out as she skids to a stop just inches away.

"Hi," she says, leaving a multitude of words unsaid, reaching out to take the cigarette he's offering and smiling up into his endless blue eyes.

"Hey," he replies, and wraps his arms around her as she smokes silently, the two of them leaning on the railing. She pitches the cigarette butt over the side and turns back in, pressing her face into his chest.

"Let's go for a walk," she says, muffled by his jacket. She grabs him by the wrist and begins to pull away, lacing her fingers in his even as she starts to head down the stairs to the street. He finishes his cigarette, flicks the butt away, and lights two more. They walk close together, hands linked, arms touching and shoulders pressed together, until they leave her block. Then they let go, in case someone that knows them might see.  Although it's not so much her friends she has to worry about, but his, or worse, his girlfriend's.  They walk a few blocks in silence, passing the bottle back and forth.

"Could be trouble," he says, finally.

"Could be," she replies, and takes a long swallow of gin.