The old wooden staircase, the black bricks in the wall, and the large plants on the sides of the stairs all gave her goosebumps when she first entered the building. Her body felt heavy, like it was wrapped in layers of questions and blank spaces that she could not get rid of because she knew she would find them again at the top of the stairs. The questions, wearing his perfume, and the blank spaces, hers.
‘Are you trying to figure me out as we speak?’ he laughed on their first date.
He was tall, with short brown hair and green eyes that were hard to read because they were always happy. But his laugh was the first of all the things she would come to love about him.
‘Not at all! I’d like to know some things about you, but only the things you want to put on the table. What you think is relevant is probably the most relevant thing of all,’ she said with a smile that would be the first thing he would love about her.
By the time she found herself running up the stairs, her inner lights had been on for days. They’d spent hundreds of hours in her head, being amazing. If only he could log in and watch.
When she got to the top floor she caught her breath for a moment, then knocked hard on his door. What was she thinking? She wasn’t. She didn’t need to. When she trusted her senses, she became a lighthouse for herself. She simply had to follow that.
‘Hello,’ she smiled softly, swinging her leg. ‘I’ve been missing you a little.’
From the outside looking in, it was just another brightly lit room. Behind the closed windows, two silhouettes amused themselves. But on the inside, small fires were starting everywhere. His heart raced. Hers was thunderous by nature, but stopped the storm to catch its breath between words.