Whenever I'm alone and you're lost out there
I can feel you breathe 'cause our lungs we share
When I'm alone, anytime anywhere
I can feel your heart beat, 'cause our blood we share
I was scared when you came into my room
The walls became the sea, your voice was the moon
Oh, when you rocked me in your arms, like a song
A wave on the tide of you
--Maria McKee, Breathe
She dragged her coat from the hook and zipped up against the April night. She didn't have to go out. Her house was lit and warm.
Outside, the chill air didn't move. The world perched, expectant, but winter refused to fade away. It hitched a ride on the cold rain. It crawled from the Earth. It traded sparkling snows for upturned mud and spikes of wild grass.
Thinking and thinking and thinking.
Clouds swallowed the moon as they swallowed the sun. Mists twinkled. The fog was too tired to spirit away the world.
Another set of footsteps clipped toward her.
She moved to the edge of the sidewalk to let him pass, but something in the way he moved made her slow.
She stopped. In disbelief.
"What am I doing here?" he said. "I don't know, really. I think I, um, felt like going for a walk. Or something like that." He gave it a moment of thought, then nodded, satisfied.
She felt the surprise on her face warm to a huge smile. "You live almost an hour away!"
"Really?" he said. "I mean, yes, I guess I do."
She shook her head, still smiling. No words came. Just disbelief. Unbelievably delicious disbelief.
He lowered his eyes. His hands in his pockets half shrugged.
She glanced back at her house. How could he have known? She never went for walks at night.
"So," he said. "Would you, um, like to go for a walk?"
He offered an arm.
She locked on, and although she didn't meet his eyes, she didn't care how tightly she took it.