We walk under one umbrella, he in a dusky lavender button-up and I in a day dress though the day has been a perpetual evening of drizzling rain. At his building we trade one flimsy shelter for something sturdier, leave the umbrella in the stand and walk up and up to his flat, never speaking but always understanding. And when the door swings closed behind us and he stands before me, I feel his uncertainty married to his eagerness, such a confusing swirl. His eyes venture toward the kitchen, and I know he thinks he should offer me something to eat or drink, but I take my hands and guide his face, his eyes, back to me. Stay with me, I silently plead.
His courage rises and he ducks his head to bring his lips to mine. When my self-consciousness flares, he whispers to me nothing so mundane as "you're beautiful" but instead, "You're a miracle," and warmth floods me. I kick off my sandals and feel suddenly far from him in my loss of height, but he swings me effortlessly into his arms, and it is the fluency of this—his not stumbling or hesitating—that does indeed make me feel secure.
He does not drop me on the bed but lays me gently down and drapes himself over me so that I may manage his shirt buttons. We are like that for a while until he says, "Your zipper," and I realize it is under me; he falls onto his side and pulls me with him so we are face to face, and I shiver as the dress opens behind me and the cool air rushes to my skin. So begins a long exploration of our bond, and once we have been thorough in our study, we sleep curled together as the wind throws spates of rain against the windows.