I waited for her to mess with her hair in the mirror. Like she had been doing every day after she exited the classroom. There was something about waifish girls that drew me to them. She had a short crop of hair, so when she messed around with it nothing about it really changed. She did it more out of habit.
She strolled towards me. I got straight to the point. "Hey, I um was wondering if you could maybe show me around town. I felt like you have been attending this class longer than I have so you've been here longer as well". If she was taken aback by this direct approach, she certainly didn't show it. Instead, she just smiled, shrugged her shoulders, and said "Sure, why not".
The muted lights of the city and the effects of surprisingly potent beer combined to make it feel like we were walking through a dream scape. She stopped outside a book themed restaurant. I followed her inside. Our second stop for food that evening.
Her diminutive frame belied the fact that she could consume that much in a single sitting. It would have been the natural thing to say as I sat across her, watching her devour the burger. She tipped her head back every time her bangs drifted towards her eyes, never once keeping the burger back in the plate.
Her sandals clattered against the cobblestone streets as we kept walking on. At what point her hand clasped mine, I did not realize. The warmth of her body kept at bay the growing chill of the night. But it was the warmth in my heart that began to take precedence.
The lights swirled as the cab made its way through the wet streets. We stopped and got out in front of the church. The incandescent lights adorning the ends of the gate felt like they were beginning to bore into my eyes. I closed them tight hoping the effect would have dampened by the time I opened them again. But I couldn't validate because she dragged me inside the church compound before I opened my eyes again.
The silence of the church enveloped me. Side by side we sat and simply looked around the interiors of the church with my gaze lingering on the stained-glass windows. The headlights of a passing car passing through lit them up like a kaleidoscope. It added to the surreal feel of the evening.
At some point she left me there, but it took some time for me to realize this. I panicked, imagining that my night with her had ended abruptly.
I tip toed out as fast as I could and felt relieved as I saw her sitting on the steps of the church. A chilly wind had begun to take hold of the town. I sat down next to her. She laid her head to rest on my shoulder and snuggled closer to me.
All my senses were engaged at the same time. The glow of the church lights on the wet ground in front of the steps. The smell of her strawberry scented hair. The warmth of her head against my shoulder. The wind cooling my face and the rustling of the leaves. I put my arms around her. I felt the smoothness of her shoulder and gently stroked it. She turned around and planted a kiss on my lips. I tasted the remnants of the beer from earlier in the night. I closed my eyes.
At that moment there was no other place that I wished to be, no other feeling I wanted to feel. My only wish was to bottle up that moment in time and to uncork it whenever I needed it again.