Mercifully, she averted her face as she turned to toss the ziplock bag into the sink. By the time she’d turned back to face me, my face was (hopefully) back to its usual ashen state.
“So, you got a name?”
“It’s Nicholas. Nick,” I said. “What’s yours?”
“My name’s Elisabeth. It’s nice to meet you, Nicholas Nick.” Her eyes danced as a smile curved her red lips. “What do you say we get out of here? Let me give you a tour of my city.”
I’d only spent 72 hours in my new hometown, Chicago, and already things were looking promising.
I can remember how dark that night was. The moon was shrouded in clouds that were pulled across the sky by a restless wind. It was October and unseasonably cold.
On the way out of the bar, Elisabeth grabbed an oversized coat from the closet in the kitchen, and as we stepped out onto the sidewalk, she shoved her hands into its pockets.
“First, I think I’ll take you to my favorite place,” she’d announced, before she began marching across the street. I had to run to catch up.
“Where is that?” I asked as I struggled to match my pace with hers. She walked very fast for someone who was relatively short, only about five-four to my six feet.
She peered up at me, a strand of hair whipping across her face. “Don’t you like surprises, Nick?”
For some reason, it made me ridiculously happy to hear her say my name. “No, not really,” I responded, but she only grinned, a mischievous glint in her eyes.
We walked in companionable silence for about ten minutes before I took notice of a giant ferris wheel in the distance.