12. He Did What He Could To Keep Me Warm

“My arm was not what she needed, but the arm of someone else.

My warmth was not what she needed, but the warmth of someone else”

~ Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)


If he only knew…

It was a cool evening. A group of friends, Leo included, and I decided to go to a club. My visiting sister was invited too. After all the dancing, we were ready to walk home. The night was a lot colder than when we had set out. My sister was not prepared for the cold.

I brought my jacket even though I had a higher threshold for cold. I was more accustomed to the climate that constantly changes without warning. I gave that jacket to my sister for her to use. I was wearing a knee-length dress and stockings. The fabric of the dress was thin and the stockings were only slightly thicker than sheer. If I had not given my sister the jacket though, she would have frozen. I also walk fast, as nurses tend to do.

The “leader” of the pact teasingly asked the Lion to let me have his jacket. I refused before he felt obliged to offer because I knew I could withstand the cold more than he.

Instead, he came up to me and held up one of his arms, which left one side of his coat open. He invited me in.

It was an offer I could not refuse. I didn’t want to refuse. So I didn’t.

It felt like the most natural thing (for me anyway) to step into the circle of his arm, we stood side by side, one of his arms over my shoulder, my arm around his waist. His coat wrapping us both.

We walked that way, keeping in step, from the club right back to his place. Walking together was effortless. Neither faltered.

At his building entrance I thanked him, and we parted company, a little closer to home. My sister and I then walked back to my place.

It was one of the best nights of my life.

I never did thank my sister for that chance.





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