The Mike guy’s embrace holds me tightly until the world around us begins to dissolve into a world of meaninglessness. Nothing else matters. Tommy doesn’t matter, my past mistakes don’t matter; my past losses don’t matter either. All that matters is that Mike is holding me while tears continue to run down my face. His kiss is something new to me; so hot and needy, yet so refreshing and patient. The cold breeze blows my hair and tickles Mike’s cheek and I remember how long it has been. Winter is coming and I have been here for more than five months.
The accident was on a warm April afternoon and now I am standing in a different country with a much cooler atmosphere in October. I compare my life to then and other than the sudden appearance of Tommy everything has changed—whether it is for the best or not, it has all changed. My heart beats a different pulse; my eyes see a dullness that could possibly be the color that I lack in my world.
Mike’s kiss softens and he holds my face in his hands; his fingers trembling slightly.
My mouth is wet with my heavy words as I struggle for breath to say what is pulsing through my veins. “I… Mike, I…”
He tightens his grip on my face, but still remains gentle with me as if I were a fragile rose petal that has fallen during a summer thunderstorm. “Jenna… I love you.”
I become a marble statue as I let his words revive me. My cool skin trembles as I finally feel the cold wind around us and I welcome its chilly embrace.
“I love you.” I finally say between short breaths that overtake my suddenly living lungs.
My tears are nonexistent as Mike and I kiss each other for the first time with knowing. Knowing what we are doing, what we have done, and what we want to establish. Over Mike’s shoulder I finally see the still figure watching us.
It is Mike’s friend.
“Mike?” He says loud enough for us to hear, but almost inaudible in the fall afternoon air.
Mike holds me tighter and whispers, “Jesse.”