We ate an unreasonable amount of food and went for a walk with no direction in mind.
Her arm was wrapped around mine and her head rested snugly on my shoulder. I didn’t care where we were going, as long as this moment never ended.
After twenty minutes or so, we came across a beautiful park near the edge of town.
“What do you like?” she asked.
I smirked at the sudden break of silence. “I like random questions,” I answered and laughed when she poked me in the ribs. “What do you want me to say? It’s such a vague question.”
“I don’t know,” she said changing our direction towards the middle of the park. “You can’t be miserable to the point of not liking anything.”
I thought for a moment. What stumped me was that she wasn’t really asking ‘me’ what I liked. She was asking the human me and I had little clue as to what humans enjoyed.
“I like music, movies, cars, that sort of thing,” I said hoping it would be enough to satisfy her. “What about you?”
She smiled and sat on a bench by a bed of flowers in full bloom. “I like… you.”
I chuckled and sat next to her. I liked her as well, but my intentions were to take it slow. Rushing was a bad idea. “Small steps,” I thought.
“I walked right into that one didn’t I?” I shook my head. “That’s cheating.”
She looked up at me. “What do you mean?”
“You didn’t really answer my question.”
“And you did?” she asked turning sideways on the bench.
“I answered your question fairly. Technically, you did not,” I said extending my arm on the back of the bench.
“You gave me a generic answer of what most people like.” She crossed her arms. “You’ll have to do better,” she added lifting her chin.
I laughed at her attempt to be serious. She was absolutely right. She wasn’t so easily fooled after all. “Ok, you win. It was a fake answer,” I confessed.
“I knew it,” she said proudly and uncrossing her arms.
“I do like music, but not the kind you’d find in bars. I can’t say I found a movie that I really enjoyed yet. And as for beer and cars… they’re fun but are not really my thing.” I paused, unsure of how thoroughly I wanted to answer her question. “I like peace and quiet with a good cup of coffee on the side. There. Is that better?”
“Yes. Now that’s an answer.” She smiled, satisfied. “I like to sing, dance and spend time with my family, they mean everything to me.” She paused for a moment and bit her lip.
She pulled her phone out and leaned on the bench, lost in a sea of her own thoughts. I frowned and wondered what was going on when her eyes snapped back to life.
She put a hand over her stomach and slid her phone back into her pocket. “I ate way too much. I still feel full,” she groaned.
I smiled. “I was thinking about jogging all the way back home, though right now rolling might be faster.”
We both laughed and she moved closer, making my laugh turn into a nervous one. She smiled warmly and put a hand on my shoulder.
“Or,” she said softly. “Maybe you just need to make your heart race a little bit.”
She moved her hand up to the back of my neck and gradually leaned in, closing her eyes and pressing her soft lips on mine. I froze, considering how badly the evening had turned out, this was beyond my comprehension.
I closed my eyes and surrendered to the moment. Our lips parted and our tongues met in a gentle yet electric kiss that took my breath away. I wrapped an arm around her waist and her head tilted as my free hand slid in her hair.
“So much for taking it slow,” I thought.
A sense of urgency clawed at my gut, begging me to flee, while my heart locked me in place with warmth I hadn’t felt in a very long time. I forced myself to remain calm. Times had changed. No one was going to burn me alive.
She slowly pushed herself away and looked up at me. “Feeling better?”
I nodded in response and played with her hair, unable to wipe the idiotic smile that was stamped across my face. Pleasantly stunned, were the only words that could describe how I felt.