The summer took it’s time coming. The roads were lined with trees of hues of red that were yet elusive to the human palette. Without looking her in the eye, he never looked her in the eye; he would speak, fervently hoping that it sounded casual.

“What are you doing this afternoon?”

“Nothing,” she would say making a mental note of all the people she would have to cancel appointments with.

“Well I have to go home to pick up some stuff and I was wondering if you wanted to come along.”

“Sure,” she’d smile

Then she would carefully pick out an outfit. She had never been fashionable, but she desperately wanted to look pretty. So it would be something as casual as jeans and a t-shirt with chucks and a large pair of earrings. Her hair would go back under the dryer.

They would walk to the car in the parking lot in silence, at least 4 feet in between them.

In the night the twin sized bed seemed like too big a space to spread out on when the other person was only inches away. They would kiss awkwardly at first. Then as the serotonin cup tipped in their brains, they would give in, being eager, greedy, she breathing in the air that he breathed out while their lips remained locked.

And there never seemed to be a word between the two of them. And they would sleep fitfully waking up in the middle of the night to draw each other closer or to kiss.

He had rolled down the windows and she did not protest. He lived in a town a hour’s drive from campus. They peeled out of the gates and it seemed like someone had thrown a bucket of an unknown red on her eyes, and for miles, her vision did not clear. Specks of yellow came flying at her while the road, flew from under her. The cars in the distance and distinct whoosh of the wind as it rushed past her red and close to wind burned face was the sound track for her new found freedom. When she could bear the cold no longer, she pulled her head in and realized that she had been crying. She looked down and quickly wiped her tears away with a gloved hand before he could see them. They parked in his driveway, wordlessly he reached out and held her hand and walked her into his house.

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