He walked her back to her dorm. They strolled slowly across campus. He wanted to look at her, to examine her face some more but did his best to avoid her gaze. She was still talking about the film. She said she loved when movies made her think.
They reached her room and stood by the door. Out of the entire night, this was the only moment he was dreading. He couldn’t explain his nervousness. “Fear of rejection”. His psychologist’s words played in his head over and over again. Maybe.
She smiled at him. He quickly took a step back.
“Do you wanna come?” she asked hopefully.
She pointed to the door. “Come inside for coffee.”
“No thank you, I don’t drink coffee.” He looked away. She couldn’t hide her disappointment.
“I should go”, he said in a rush. “But, I had a great time.”
“Yes yes totally, we should do it again soon!” He nodded.
She took a step closer to him, sent shivers down his spine. He was about to protest when she kissed him on the cheek and held him tight in her arms. He tried to let go.
“I should really get moving.” She agreed. “And you should get inside, it’s getting chilly.”
“Good night Tom.” He smiled tenderly, she could see how sincere he was.
“Sweet dreams, Sarah.”
She went into her dorm as he walked away, his head down. He had a long way to go before reaching the parking where he had left his car. He walked, mentally kicking himself for the missed opportunity.
She kicked off her shoes and laid on her couch replaying the events of the night in her head. She liked him, a lot. But she knew that he was going to take more time than any other man she’s been with. He was worth it, she thought. She was going to help him.
She turned the TV on, the votes were still being counted. She stared at the percentages slowly changing without really focusing. Her mind kept going back to Tom, his walk, his eyes, the way he looked at her, the way he ate, the small details that she noticed about him. She daydreamed for a good hour before dozing to sleep.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
He waited by the door, nervous as ever, hands in pocket. He knocked quickly again until she opened. She was barefoot, sleepy and clearly not expecting this. He hoped her face would brighten up and it did.
“You came back!”
“I couldn’t stay away.”
He closed his eyes, wished himself good luck then grabbed her hand and brought her closer to him.
She couldn’t believe her eyes. Him out of all people initiating a contact, that’s a first. But she wasn’t complaining.
He was looking at her with intensity, staring right into her soul. He held her head softly and brought his closer slowly. She came closer as well and as he leaned his face towards her, their lips met for the first time.
The kiss reminded him of chemistry lessons in school when if the right two elements were put together, they’d explode. It was an explosion indeed.