I hit 30,000 words last night, so you get to tolerate (hopefully) another chapter. This time it's Chapter 21. I had a hard time choosing between this and Chapter 23. I think Chapter 23 is probably more interesting, but is also very similar to Chapter 11, which was in my last post, so I thought I'd give you something a little different. Again, no editing or revision has been done.
Chapter Twenty One
She came back. She didn’t come to the couch to sit by me though. I thought she was about to walk outside. Instead, she opened up her closet by the door. She started taking out a jacket.
“Come on,” she said, “I want to go outside for a little bit.”
I didn’t particularly want to go outside. It had to be even colder now than it had been earlier, but I have that issue with saying no; particularly to women. So, I got up and stood by the door and waited for her to put on her jacket, gloves and hat. I braced myself in just my hoodie and felt the cold air when she opened the door.
I pulled the hood up over head as soon we stepped outside. This hoodie doesn’t have the pocket on the front that most hoodies have so I was just trying to keep my hands covered by my sleeves. That didn’t work out though because she grabbed my left hand. We started walking down the hall holding hands. It felt nice. It made me forget about the cold for a bit.
We stopped walking at the landing of the steps at the end of the hall. It was at the opposite end of where we had walked up when we’d first come up. That seemed like a while ago. The view at the edge of the railing was that of the city’s skyline. She and I stood side by side looking at it.
I always think that things look so much clearer through cold air. I don’t know it’s that’s really true or not. It may just be that my being cold is making my focus more sharp. It was a pretty close view to begin with. It seemed more sharp or intense than I’ve ever seen it before. I suppose it could also be the company I had that was holding my hand as well.
“I think it’s a pretty view,” she said.
“It is,” I said.
I always kind of liked our skyline. It’s not particularly impressive compared to bigger cities. Still, I think it’s a good looking skyline. It’s particularly pretty at night. The way the buildings are lit up is just cool to me. I suppose there’s also some sort of hometown pride in their as well. Not that I’m particularly prideful about this place. I mean, I wouldn’t hesitate to move away should the opportunity present itself. I’m just not desperate to get away or anything.
We stood in silence for a while. I could definitely feel the cold again. She seemed to be enjoying herself so I just dealt with it. I think she was looking kind of whimsically at the skyline.
“What do you think about when you see those buildings?” she asked.
“They symbolize my hometown,” I said, “I’d know that skyline anywhere. They look like that from here, but when you’re actually there you can’t really appreciate them. I mean, they’re impressive you walk beside them, but it’s different when you like at them like this.”
I was really fighting the urge to shiver. It wouldn’t be long until I couldn’t stop myself from doing it. I don’t think I’m particularly wimpy about the cold. I prefer to the heat of summer, but I don’t normally spend extended time outside when it’s hovering near freezing with out my coat. It had been an odd night though and I suppose us standing there looking at the skyline was no different.
“It’s hard to believe things like those could exist when I was at home,” she said, “I knew they did and I knew thing were different in other places. Still, the ways things are there it doesn’t seem like there are people who could build such big things or that there would need to be such big places for people to work at.”
Our perspectives were very different. I had already realized that, but it really crystallized in my mind at that moment. I watched her. I could clearly see her breath as she kept looking at the view. She eventually looked over at me. She smiled when I looked back.
“Alright,” she said, “it’s freezing and I don’t think we’ll run into anybody worth running into out here. Let’s go back to the apartment.
“Ok,” I said.
We walked back to her door. She let go of my door to let us back in, I had really liked holding her hand, but it was nice to have it back. It was so cold it had gotten painful. I covered it with my sleeve and longed for the warmth in her place. We both hurried in once she had the door open.
Being out of the cold was so nice. I put my hood back. My hand, nose and ears all had been so cold. She took off her jacket and things and put them back in the closet. She turned, but sort of stumbled. She ended up grabbing me to keep herself upright. She laughed.
“Whoops,” she said, “I’m not drunk or anything.”
“I trip over my own feet all the time,” I said.
“I’m gonna go make us some more hot chocolate,” she said, “Your nose is so red.”
“Thanks,” I said.
“It’ll be just a minute,” she said, “You can sit back down if you want to.”
I did got and sit back where I had been on the couch. I would be glad to have that warm mug in my hands again. I could hear the microwave buzzing and then the timer went off. Shortly after, she came back carrying two mugs. She handed me one.
“Do you want me to get you a blanket?” she asked.
“No,” I said, “but thank you.”
She sat down beside me. She set her mug down and then unlaced and slipped off her shoes. She sat them neatly on the floor before picking her hot chocolate back up and started sipping along with me.
“I don’t really like the cold,” she said, “but I don’t know if I could live somewhere that didn’t have a real winter.”
“I know I couldn’t,” I said, “Winter is my favorite season.”
“I always have liked the spring,” she said.
“It’s nice the first day you can go out in short sleeves in the spring,” I said.
“I just like the longer days and that things get pretty again,” she said.