The waitress inquired if we wanted anything else. I was about to say no when X sprang to life as if having a second whim, asking for two coffees and a box of donuts to go.
‘How in the hell can you still be hungry?!’ I remarked.
‘It’s for the road’ she replied with a grin.
A grin that was soon becoming a trademark of hers.
‘Help me up’ she pleaded, and giving me her hand, I took it in mine and lifted her to her feet. While she gingerly moved about in circles stretching her legs, I followed the waitress to the counter to collect our treats and pay for the bill. When I was done, I handed X the coffees as well as the donuts, and together we walked outside into the cold and biting afternoon. The rain it seemed had long since passed. There was light in the sky, but it was that time of the day when it was beginning to fade, and it wouldn’t be long at all before night came calling.
Rolling a cigarette as she warmed her hands on both the coffees, I looked up and down the street. There were market stalls one end and a church the other, and in between, a mix of stores, some open and full of life, others deserted and full of ghosts. It was cold enough that the mist escaping our mouths hovered and swirled over our heads before evaporating like discarded bubbles of thought.
‘So where next?’ she spoke before taking a sip of her coffee.
Looking at her as I lit my smoke, she had those eyes of hers open as wide as possible, her mouth pouting as if awaiting a kiss.
‘Well, before I met you, I was going to Sainsbury’s to pick up something for dinner, I…’
Before I could finish, she hooked her arm in mine.
‘To Sainsbury’s it is then!’
Shaking my head with a smile, I sucked on my cigarette and blew smoke into the air. The moon was visible above the top of the church. It was full and whole and the colour of the gravestones beneath. Turning back to X, I found her nibbling on a donut. When she realised I’d noticed, she snorted with laughter. Playfully attempting to grab it from her hand, she growled while turning away from me, and as she licked the sugar coating, we walked arm in arm without saying a word. Didn’t need to. A connection had been made, one where words took a backseat and a system of touch reigned supreme.