We were so far away from the world.
His bedroom smelled like him, and more. Like wooden beams and wax. The morning sunlight would laugh its way in through the bank of small windows lining the top of the East wall. In the afternoon, it oozed like caramel and it felt like being underwater, slow, being in that room, lazy. Young maples grew below the window, dressed in yellow now, back to school trees. The treetops just brushed the bottom of those windows, a carpet for your view. Since he'd been away, dust had settled in the room, but otherwise, nothing was changed from his memory. It was idyllic, being here, lying on the floor (due to the bed being in Worcester). He made a nest of blankets and pillows, and her skin and his hair and the sky are all hung with suspended gold.
College makes us strange to our parents, suddenly we smell like adults, but still look like the children they dropped off at the dormitory six months ago. They don't know how to approach us. Through high school, my mother interviewed parents of my friends at whose houses I wished to spend the night. During college, though, she had no control of how I conducted myself. She tried to keep that ironclad grip on me "as long as you're staying in my house!" until I started leaving when she threatened me.
He had been wearing cologne, Acqua di Gio, and this may have had an effect on why she accepted his advances. A shop clerk once informed her that it was "bubble gum" fragrance, cheap and designed for little boys, but she can still smell it from across the room. Today he was coming to pick her up in front of her childhood home, to sweep her 200 miles away and across state lines, safely to his father's house in New Hampshire. She was dressed in a blue cotton printed shirtwaist dress and had half perched, half sprawled on the front lawn in an attempt to look picturesque for that first glimpse when he turned the corner of her street. Her shoes were lovely and uncomfortable, and her packed bag sat grumpily on the steps.
It's easy to spend 36 hours with someone that you don't know very well.
He had lobster ravioli for dinner and she picked veal medallions, but didn't finish them. She'd never tried veal before, but since it was a fancy restaurant... He was dressed up too, wearing a jacket and tie and after dessert and coffee, they walked in the park. There was a small pond and when they reached the bridge, she climbed up and sat on the railing to dangle her feet. She left the horrible shoes in the hostas. It was deep and blue, the night. The night was sapphire thick velvet and no moon. He touched her back, her cheek, and they both looked down into the pond, where a sunfish flipped up. A moonfish really, bright with lamplight, but still a perch.
There are other stories.
You don't get bored with a lover after a month, or six, it's later, after you've shared bathwater, purchased amusing paints and lotions, changed your hormonal balance for him, let him live in your room rent-free. Then it is later, after the bracelet has broken and been repaired, and broken again, after your friends stop asking what you're doing Friday night. Later, when the cold bare floor looks like a good substitute for a nest, and when he wants to explore a new opening. Later when he's learned to interpret "No" as "If you ask her enough times," when tears are so frequent that he is not startled enough to pause at your sobs. Later when it happens again, that kind of later, everything is steel grey and nothing is honey anymore.
Something else goes here.