Everybody’s Changing

She looks at me blowing the cigarette smoke up, with a curious smile. I look back taking a sip of my coffee.

“What?” She asks, still smiling, dropping the ashes on the metal ashtray in the middle of our table.

“Nothing.” I say resting my cup on the plate and getting a cigarette in my shirt pocket. She looks at me suspiciously, without losing the smile. “It’s just… It’s been a while since the last time I’ve done this.”

“What? Drink coffee?” She asks and we laugh together.

“Nah, this, a real date. Going out to drink a non-alcoholic beverage with someone whose name I actually know, worrying about getting your phone number and wanting to see you again after we say bye to each other.”

“Well, that if I want to see you again, right?” She answers, now looking dead serious, putting out her cigarette. The awkward silence takes over for a second. My heart skips a beat in this second, goosebumps all over my body, my pupil probably dilates until it’s the size of my eye. Classic flight or fight situation. Animal instinct. One second until she laughs at her own remark, calming me down.

“I’ll do my best for you to want it.” I say laughing, but still a little anxious.

I met her last week at a mutual friend’s party. She wouldn’t get out of my head ever since. Maybe it’s her maliciously innocent way. Or maybe it’s the fact that she doesen’t look completely like a nutjob right away like my past relationships. Or maybe it’s all of that mixed with the mystery revolving her.

What I do know is that I haven’t slept much because of her, including last night, when I couldn’t sleep out of anticipation. I wasn’t this anxious since my first day in high school.

“You don’t look like the kind of guy who wants to see a girl more than once.” She says.

“Normally, I’m not.”

“What changed?”

“I think that everybody has loneliness as a pet. Some people leave it in the garage and put other people in its place. Others, like me, embrace it and feel comfortable this way. But loneliness is a jealous pet. It doesn’t like when people get too close to its owner.” I pause to put out my cigarette and take another sip of coffee. “In that party the other night, something about you messed with me and my loneliness noticed it, it got agitated. It was unbearable and I became the kind of person who wants to lock it in the garage and put you in its place.” I finish my coffee. “Anyway, that’s what changed.”

She rests her arm on the table and offers me her hand. I take it and our fingers intertwine.

I feel like I was drinking my third glass of bourbon while smoking a joint and fucking the bartender of my favorite pub.

All of this just by touching her hand.