It was a bitterly cold winter. It had been snowing very hard that day and the snow was deep and icy. I was walking home alone from school, it was evening, it was dark, the only light coming from the whiteness of the snow. There was that hush, that feeling of isolation.
Suddenly he was there, out of the shadows. He just appeared and approached me, I didn’t know him but I had seen him many times. I used to watch him from my window and I had a very strong crush on him. He was tall with dark hair and he had a girlfriend, also with dark hair. I watched them getting in and out of cars, walking together. Their lives fascinated me and I thought about him a lot.
He stood in front of me now, like we were the only two people alive in all the world. ‘I need to see you’, he said. I’d never had a boyfriend. I was fifteen, he was about eighteen.
My heart was pounding. I told him I would have to go home but I would see him afterwards. I couldn’t believe he wanted to see me.
I ate my dinner so fast. Went to my room and changed my clothes three times! I told my mother I was going out. She begged me not to go, mainly because of the weather, which was worsening. I have to go, I said, I have to go.
He was waiting for me on the corner. It was very cold. Our breath was coming out in icy clouds. We began walking and he led me to the corner. We walked down a deserted road, the one with the railway bridge above. An icicle or two hung from the old wooden bridge. Neither of us said a thing. Then he pushed me against the wall. He was breathing heavily. ‘I’ve split up with my girlfriend’, he said ‘and I miss the sex’.
I let him push against me, there in the cold and dark, with a railway train hurtling across the bridge, shattering the silence and rumbling over the track. A crack of blue lightening temporarily lighting up the grey darkness.
He kissed me just once but I pushed him away, I told him I had to go. I felt useless, inadequate standing there, lost. I loved him so much but it seemed so grave, so totally desolate there. He moved away and I walked home alone, trudging through the deep snow, just not knowing anything.
We never spoke to one another again.