The day passed by outside his big window much like any other. Clouds grew from the blue sky and turned the city gray. Sebastian sat at his computer his fingers clicking away at the keyboard. He slid back in his chair occasionally, or would actually stand to wander around the room playing out a scene in his head. As the day waned into evening only the small desk lamp and the blue from the computer screen illuminated the now cavernous apartment.
Sebastian's only break came very late in the afternoon when he put a kettle of water on the stove for tea. He had then discovered that he was out of tea and then gone back to his writing. The high pitched screaming of the kettle had startled him in the middle of a fury of typing that he could not pull himself away from. That is until his neighbors banged on the wall urging him to pull the pot from the heat and silence it's wail.
As he wandered back across the space, he took a moment to look out across the great park. It came to a surprise to him to see the world being blanketed in a frothy covering of pale white snow. The city darkened in front of him as large flakes of snow floated gently from the infinity of charcoal gray sky above. Streetlights, signs, headlights, of all shapes and intensities began to flicker to life. A far off siren cried out through the city, car horns echoed through the streets below. Sebastian leaned against the window looking into nothing.
With a sigh he returned to his chair and scanned the words he had written. His hand moved to the keys but froze there. He read through the work again. His eyes strained against the glare of the screen. Slowly he sat back in the chair. He rubbed his jaw contemplating the storyline. His mind churned over what he had written and what he had left to write. With a jerk he stood from the desk. His hand quickly moved to save his work and he stepped away from the computer.
Sebastian could feel the grumbling of hunger in his stomach and decided it was high time he ventured out for some food. He moved about his apartment gathering clean socks and a jacket. He paused before a mirror and rubbed the two-day-old stubble on his chin. He tossed the jacket over the couch and pulled the socks from his feet. Pulling off his shirt and down his pants, Sebastian made his way to the bathroom. A short while later he emerged, hair wet, but brushed, clean shaven and fresh clothes. He grabbed up his jacket and once again made his way out of the solace of his apartment.
The early night air bit into Sebastian as he ventured onto the street. Although the wind was slight it was biting cold. Light flakes of snow continued to drift from the endless sky above. Sebastian made his way among the few people that continued to move about the street. He rounded the corner by the bakery and headed up the avenue. He walked slow, taking time to notice the couples as they walked past. Some paused to peer into store windows, others hurried along hand in hand. Sebastian pulled his coat up around his neck and moved on through the city night.
He came to his destination. A small dimly lit café, where he knew he could get a large hot bowl of chowder and some silence. Sebastian walked inside and found a secluded booth where he slipped off his coat and sat quietly surveying the others in the small restaurant. A simple and yet familiar voice spoke to him.
"Good evening sir. May I get you something to drink?"
Sebastian turned to look up into the angelic visage that smiled down to him. It was his jogger from the park. Suddenly he felt his heart leap into his throat and constrict his breathing. He could feel moisture collect on his palms and became suddenly aware of how warm this small café was kept. She smiled brightly at him; her eyes seemed to twinkle in the dim light.
"Coffee would be great." Sebastian managed to utter out.
"Excellent sir. I shall be right back." Her voice was serene, soft.
Sebastian breathed a heavy sigh as he watched her walk away. His mind overloaded as he thought of her eventual return. This woman he had admired for so long, now twice in one day she spoke to him. Her smile, her eyes, they beckoned him to speak further. How he wanted to know her, the real her not just the "Elizabeth" about which he dreamed. He felt a deep desire to learn and know the Kerry that had graciously awoken him in the park that morning.
"Here is your coffee sir. Would you like to order?" She placed a steaming mug in front of him. As she spoke her face came close to his.
"Uhm yes, a bowl of the chowder, please." He managed a nervous smile.
"That is my favorite. I'll bring you out a bowl quickly. Perfect for a cold night like tonight." She winked at him as she turned to retreat into the kitchen once more.
Sebastian sat back in the booth, and watched as a young couple glowed at each other across a small table. He reveled in their apparent love as they cooed and held hands across the table. For the first time in a long time he did not feel a sense of doom, or dread in watching the touching scene. His typical panic response in regard to his on future was not there. Instead he was able to relax and enjoy the scene, even as the couple stood kissed each other lightly and walked from the restaurant.
"Here you are sir." Came the soft voice once more as she reappeared by his side placing a hot bowl of chowder in front of him. She stood tall and looked down at Sebastian a moment.
"Thank you." He spoke to her looking up into her eyes.
She did not move but stood looking at him for a moment longer. Sebastian froze in his seat. He looked at his soup and then back up to her. She smiled, as a note of recognition flashed across her face.
"You are Sebastian, from the park this morning. I remember you." She smiled down at him.
"Uhm yes, that's me I'm afraid."
"No need to be afraid, I hope the coffee didn't stain your shirt."
"Nah, I don't think so."
"Were you able to finish your work?" She spoke in a friendly tone. She sounded most interested in him.
"Uhm yes, well, mostly I was yes. Thank you." Sebastian still felt a significant amount of nervous, but as she spoke, her voice soothed his nerves.
"KERRY! Order is up!" A dark voice barked from within the kitchen. It's sharpness caused Kerry to jump slightly, she excused herself and disappeared once more.
Sebastian went back to his soup. He sipped at the thick creamy broth slowly, always keeping one eye on Kerry's movements. She would stop by his table briefly to speak with him. Usually small talk, but still there was an interest in her visits, a chemistry. He watched as she left the check at her only other table and walked back into the kitchen. Through the swinging door, Sebastian could hear the heated tones of raised voices. He strained to make out the words being said, but could only hear the murmur of an argument. Kerry came through the door in a rush and walked over to Sebastian. He silently sipped down the last spoonful of his soup as she reached his side.
"That was as good as ever." Sebastian smiled up at her, but his smile slowly turned. He could see a sadness her face he had not seen before. Even through her smile, he could read a fear in her eyes.
"I'll bring your check right out sir." She spoke softly and moved away with his empty bowl.
Sebastian furled his brow. He wondered what had happened, what had been said. This once lighthearted angel now saddened and withdrawn. She came back to his table, her apron had been removed. She handed him his check as he stood to meet her. Without looking at the check Sebastian handed her a twenty-dollar bill and held it in her hand. As his fingers met hers and shutter rippled through his body. Their eyes met.
"Keep the change. Would you like to join me for a walk?" Sebastian spoke the words before he even had a chance to think about what he was saying.
Kerry smiled brightly. She dropped her head and brushed a lock of hair behind her ear as her giant brown eyes looked up to him. "It would be a pleasure."
She quickly moved to the register and made short work of cashing out. Pulling her coat from the rack she walked back over and stepped just past Sebastian to the front door. He stepped up behind her, taking her coat and holding it for her to slide into, and lifting it high on her shoulders as she slides her arms through.
"There is a bit of a breeze tonight." He said softly moving around her and opening the door for her.
Sebastian and Kerry walked silently down the block toward the park. Few people moved about the city now. The snow continued to drift from the dark sky above. The blanket of white that seemed to clean the city also muted the sounds. As they crossed the street to the park Sebastian's hand brushed against Kerry's and they became clasped together. Sebastian looked down at their hands and could not tell where the fingers of her hand and his joined. He felt a warmth throughout his body, sourced at this tiny connection.
"What is it that you do?" She broke the silence with a simple question.
"I am a writer. Or I try to be anyway."
She smiled up at him, and moved closer, her shoulder fitting right up under his. "I imagine you are quite good."
"Let's hope my editor thinks so." Sebastian managed a chuckle as he wrapped his long arm over her shoulder and pulled her tighter against him.
"How long have you been working at the café?"
"Just a couple days. I need to find something better though." Kerry stopped. She turned and looked at Sebastian standing in front of him.
Sebastian looked down at her lithe form. She held both of his hands and pulled him closer to her. They stood nearly chest-to-chest alone under the pool of a single streetlight. Her bright red lips called to him as she looked up into his eyes. There was a pause. Sebastian was at a loss and grew frightened. Frightened of what he was feeling, frightened of what may or even may not happen.
"Why me?" Her lips barely moved, but the sound traveled fast and hit him hard.
Sebastian stood in silence. His eyes welled, his heart pounded. "I do not know yet. I mean to say I cannot explain it, it is a feeling I have that I cannot describe. It is very much like I have a need to know you."
He looked deep into her brown eyes. He could see drops of tears forming along her delicate eyelashes. No more words were spoken. Sebastian leaned forward and gently pressed his lips against hers. The wind kicked up a whirl of snow around them as their mouths closed together. Barely a sound was heard as they kissed. Sebastian wrapped her up in his arms lifting her off her feet, pressing her body against his. Her arms gripped tight around his neck, as she opened her mouth slightly allowing her tongue to sneak forward.
Sebastian could feel his heart begin to rattle the cage of his ribs, and the passion of their kiss melted the wintry night around them. Finally he settled her back to her feet and stood up looking down into her deep eyes. She licked her lips subtly and smiled at him. Her arms remained tight around his neck.
"Show me where you work Sebastian." She said softly leaning up on her tiptoes to whisper in his ear.
Sebastian took a step back his eyes wide, his mouth slightly open. Kerry rubbed her gloved hands over his broad shoulders and down to his chest. She smiled up and him with a coy wink. He took a deep breath and looked up at the building across the street behind her. It was his building. The great old concrete structure loomed in the night air above him. His eyes scanned up the side of the building over the windows. Some glowed with the orange of interior lights, others sat darkened and lonely. At the top near the center he could see his great arched window. A very faint glow of pale yellow drifted from one corner. He had left his desk lamp on.
Sebastian looked down at Kerry once more. Their eyes met and he felt a wave of apprehension wash over him. His breath caught in his throat, his hands slid idly down her back to her hips, barely holding her there. Slowly the corners of her full lips began to lower. The smile in her eyes faded as her eyebrows drew together. She could sense the fear in Sebastian.
"I'm sorry. I spoke to soon." Kerry broke from Sebastian and took a step away from him, turning her back to him.
He looked at her long dark hair as it cascaded over her shoulders. His heart leaped from his chest and in a sudden move his hand reached out and laid gently upon her shoulder. He took a step closer to her gripping her shoulders in his large hands and pulling her close to him. The snow fell heavier now, the flakes smaller. Specs of the frozen white collected in Kerry's dark hair. She shivered with the chill that filled the air.
"No it is I who is sorry." Sebastian spoke quietly into her ear, kissing her lobe gently with his warm lips.
Kerry turned around to him; a smile barely upturned her lips. "I want you to be sure. I feel something with you I cannot explain, something wonderful. But I also feel fear, it's . . . it's almost . . . overwhelming." She looked deep into his eyes.
Sebastian looked down at the lovely Kerry. She held a visage of wonder to him. He could feel the tears welling in his own eyes as his heart filled with fear. He abruptly took a step back. It was as though his life had sped right up to a screeching halt and the road forked in front of him. His world seemed to spiral around as a gust of wind blew through picking up the snow and swirl it around the couple. Sebastian's breathing became shallow as he looked at Kerry before him. He seemed to get lost in a trance as his anxiety consumed him. Could he really be ready?
Kerry looked at him. Her shock turned quickly to concern. She dug around in her bag and pulled out a piece of paper and pen. She scribbled her name and phone number on it and walked up to Sebastian. Pressing the paper into his palm, Kerry reached up and lightly kissed his lips. Her warm breath and gentle kiss brought him round to reality once more.
"Call me when you are ready. I want to know you as well." Kerry spoke softly into his ear and slowly turned to walk away.
Sebastian took a step to follow her, but as he moved a cab pulled up and she was gone into the snowy night. Sebastian stood alone under the streetlight, the snow settling down around him. He slowly lifter his hand and looked at her note. A single tear rolled over his cheek as he read the words she had written.
"I understand your fear, I feel your pain. Do not be afraid. Call me. Kerry. 555-1356"