A World Away

“Just give me a minute out here.”

He stood guard out on the balcony of their third-story apartment, looking out at the city. He seemed to be hardly breathing, his shoulders tense, his body stock-still.

“Hey. What’re you doing out here?”

He turned at the sound of her voice, gazing at her over his shoulder. Her hair was a mess, exactly the way it looked on the pillow as she slept. She’d draped his cardigan over her lithe frame, the porcelain of her skin a striking contrast to the grainy black of the wool. A slight smile tinged his lips, and she stepped out onto the cold tile. Her arms wrapped around him as she pressed her face into his back. He pulled his hands out of his pockets to wrap them around hers. She was cold, even though the air around them was heavy with humidity. He twisted in her hold to press his lips to her hair. The scent of the night before lingered in the strands.

“Just… thinking. About, you know… things.”

“The future?” he could hear the smile in her voice, the way her eyes curved whenever she caught him lost in thought. Her face tilted up to fix her gaze on him.

“Yeah. We have so much to do.”

She sighed. Her hands came up to stroke his chest through the worn gray T-shirt. They stood like that for a small eternity, her cheek against his chest, their arms intertwined, and his mind a world away.

“Come back inside.”

“Yeah. Just give me a minute out here.”

“It’s freezing, and you’re not wearing much.”

“I’ll be back in a few.”

She sighs. “Well, I’ll make you a hot drink or something. Hmm?”

His lips tighten. She turns and leaves, sliding the door shut behind her. He turns to look out at the city, and all its bright, shining lights twinkling back at him.


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