That evening, we’d met.
And like the other evenings we’d met, our time was filled with engrossing discussions about everything under the sun.
We walked together in the late evening breeze, past Victoria Theatre, along the stretch of lamp-lit pavement, still talking and sometimes laughing together over what we were saying while the occasional car zipped past.
Arriving at the river, we sat down on the topmost ledge of the stone steps leading into the waters. Back when those buildings that flank it today were still a pile of stone bricks yet to be molded permanently into skyscrapers, when right across the river from us was the clock tower, which still stands in the same place today.
The breeze was cool, and the clock’s iridescent face shone out at us against its black hands. I felt his upper arm against mine as we sat shoulder to shoulder, still engaged in talk, yet enjoying the intermittent lapses into such comfortable silence of our presence.
In one of those moments I turned and found his eyes on me. His breath was against my cheek, his arm drew me in. And in the instant I closed my eyes I tasted his lips. A strange combination of tenderness and sweetness, urgency and lingering, a breath of his while the breeze tugged at my hair and teased.
After that night, he left – he could not stay. I never saw him again. Yet while the heart was broken, that first aftertaste remains and remembers.