The snow slowly came down, a gradual drift from left to right, forced by the winds and uncontrollable by us. A thin layer of white powder covered the granite roads we stood upon. I should have been looking for incoming cars but instead I stared blankly into her face, puzzled by the mixture of eyes, noses, lips I envisioned. A cool breeze tickled the part of my neck left vulnerable by an opening in the scarf. My jacket swung open, unzipped and free from restrictions. What was perfectly organized turned into ruins. I didn't want to chase anymore and she didn't want to be chased.
We both knew what had to happen next. It didn't matter how many scenarios we played in our heads. No matter how leveled we were, for the first time in our lives, you were still light years ahead of me and I hated it. Without the worries of our second home, we would be perfect. No wind was colder than the harsh reality your eyes spoke to me.
I caught a whiff of your scent, recognizable to a haunting degree of familiarity. It felt like a Sunday afternoon nap after church. For a brief moment, we were at the coffee shop again. We went to a Starbucks, naive as we were, and ordered a drink considered safe and normal. Was that the only thing that has changed? Being able to order an iced grande triple espresso soy latte, light ice, caramel drizzle without feeling embarrassed?
Tire marks graffitied the lane of snow next to us, with blaring horn soon following. She looked unfazed but that wasn't to my advantage. Her arms slowly moved up and her hands, frozen solid, touched mine. It felt weird, saturated with guilt for a split second, but also oddly calming, just as it did three months ago.
"Of all people, you should have been the one to know this was crazy" she said. "Why did you do it?"
I didn't want to say anything. I hated the fact she was right and wanted to push everything on her. She had a choice too but she chose otherwise. I guess she figured I wasn't going to say anything, as her eyes averted to the ground and back to the house adjacent from us. I followed her eyes, looking at the house too.
It wasn't that long ago we were sitting on the rough carpet of the house, waiting for our instant noodles to finish cooking. When the pot was placed in front of us, the whiff of manufactured spice and artificial chicken was an aroma neither of us could resist. We would look at each other in the eyes, smile, and fight for firsts.
Maybe we were too busy fooling around with the guessing game between the two of us. It wasn't whether or not we were going somewhere together more than whether or not either of us knew the other was going. I enjoyed it - the high schoolish games we would play - but the guessing had to stop eventually.
"How are you planning to get your new furniture into your house?" I said. "Do you need any help? I'm not doing much tomorrow."
"Don't change the subject."
But I wasn't planning on answering her question anyways. The snow began piling up in an forgiving manner, thickening as each second passed. There's something about the snow, delicate, simple, and soft, yet inconvenient and difficult. We'd be fine in another two inches of white powder but there's always a lingering feeling of entrapment. I don't think either of us wanted to leave but the snow sure gave a good excuse to say goodbye.
The both of us expected more, a few more words or something to come out of this, but nothing came out. We knew, from the moment it started, that there was an end. For whatever reason, we did it anyways, out of our own selfish desires in hoping this would be it and no more would come out of this. Yes, we were both guilty, and there was no way around that.
She shuffled her feet and let out a sigh. Turning towards the parking lot, she started trudging towards her snow-covered car. She had given up and so had I. No longer was this about turning around and begging her to come back in some whimsical revelation. All that we did had consequences, though we pretended otherwise, and it had finally come to fruition. There wasn't a love story in the world that could save this now but we knew that from the start.
"If you really want to know why," I yelled, "you should ask yourself the same question. I'm sure we'd have the same answer."
She stopped, planting he shoes on the ground, and turned around to look at me. I think I saw her smile, at least a smirk, and she said "I know."
My hands slowly moved into my pocket, producing a small key chain she had once given me. It was faded, a little rusted where the metal showed. In an instant, I clenched it in my fist, raised my arms up high, and was about to throw it to the ground.
I stopped. A pair of headlights shone onto my face, blinding me and everything around. An odd white light surrounded the car and I heard a voice call out "get in, I'll drive you home." There was no waiting or hoping. I pocketed the key chain and walked towards the car, opening the door to the seat next to the driver, and got in.