The snow had stopped only a couple of hours when Kim plucked up the courage to step outside. The wind had howled ferociously throughout the city, an unholy sound tearing through old buildings. She remained, the entire time, in the library at her college, tucked away from the snow storm that blanketed the world in one little moment of bliss.
She would not be going home any time soon. The January snow had all but ruined her plans to visit her family that weekend. Since the Christmas break, she had become accustomed to the pleasures of home once again; central heating that someone else was paying for, food in abundance, a wide range of television channels at her disposal, and waking up at noon to a cup of tea. She wanted it all regularly, now that she knew what it meant to live away from home for a few months.
“Do you think lectures will be cancelled?” she asked someone nearby. He was an older student in the college. She didn’t know him, though she wished she did. That very notion came as a surprise to her, and she felt her cheeks blushing. She hoped he would assume it was the cold catching up on her.
He frowned as he thought about it, and she thought the look suited him oddly well. “Last time we had weather like this, no one could make it in. Most of the lecturers couldn’t, anyway, and that’s enough to shut this place down.” He stuck out a hand. “Patrick. English.”
She took his hand lightly. “Kim. History.” Her cheeks blushed again. “And what about people who go home?”
Patrick thought about that, frowning again in deep concentration. A smile sprang to his face. “Stuck up here, now that I think about it. All the roads were iced over, and the trains stopped running properly. I had half a dozen people sleeping on my living room floor for a week, most of them pissed the entire time.”
She liked his smile, and she wished she didn’t notice it. She wished she didn’t notice how, even slightly crooked, they fit nicely into his mouth. She wished she didn’t notice how white they were, and how his smile took up his whole face. Most of all, she wished she had remembered to take her hand back, and she remained standing there frozen as the grass in front of her. Kim had no idea how long a handshake had to be before it was designated awkward or inappropriate, but she was sure she had by far surpassed that length of time.
“People act differently when the weather’s like this,” Patrick explained. “I’ve seen people turn sweet in an instant in an effort to share a bed with someone, and others turn violently selfish at the idea of sharing a rented common area with outsiders. I’ve seen people who’d normally be sober turn into drunks, all because it’s too cold outside to even consider the idea of remembering it all.” He leaned in close to her, closing the between their bodies but still holding her hand. His grip was firm, but gentle, and Kim wished she didn’t love that about him. “It’s very easy to fall for someone when you have nowhere else to go.”
“Is it?” she asked quietly, wishing she didn’t look into his eyes. She had a thing for bright blue eyes, even if she didn’t realise it until she’d met Patrick.
“You haven’t noticed?”
She blushed, and this time she knew he wouldn’t believe it was the cold. Not this close. “Maybe I have noticed, after all,” she whispered. She could feel his breath on her face. It smelled like mint and coffee. She felt a chill go down her back, and it sent a shiver through her body.
Patrick noticed it immediately, and let go of her hand. Kim didn’t have time to get disappointed, though she did wonder if maybe she shouldn’t have felt that way so soon. Patrick had immediately wrapped his arms around her, hugging her in close to him with just enough room that they could still look each other in the eye.
She wished she didn’t feel so safe in his arms. She wished she didn’t immediately feel better as he warmed her up, his giddy smile fading to a calm grin. “Is that better?” he asked her.
Her list of wishes was already growing long, but still she added to it, wishing she hadn’t said, “So much better,” and wishing that she hadn’t sounded so damn pleased with herself when she said it. She let out a sigh. “Can I be brutally honest with you?” she asked him.
“Well, it is brutally cold out here,” he replied.
“I’m kind of trying to get over someone since the summer, and I feel like meeting you is only going to get me confused.” She wished he didn’t look at her the way he did. He wasn’t disappointed. He wasn’t upset. He was still smiling, and he was still holding on to her with deceptively strong arms, and she wished she wasn’t noticing any of it.
When he kissed her, she wished she could feel guilty about it.
When she kissed him back, she wished she didn’t feel so elated.
“Can I be honest with you, now?” Patrick asked her. She nodded slowly, unsure of her words. “Well, two things. One; I hope you can get over that certain someone soon. And two; I hope you don’t mind that I’ve been wishing for snow for weeks just so something like this can happen.”
Kim blushed again, and felt herself relax. Patrick must have noticed it, too, because his smile came back on his face again. “You know, I really don’t mind at all.” Kim was all too aware that she was out of wishes. Not that any had come true, and not that she minded. She looked him right in the eyes, smiling. “You were right. Falling for you was easy.”
This story was written with this photo as the writing prompt: http://writingpromptphotos.tumblr.com/post/72021190102/snow-day-secluded-courtyard-in-dublin-photo
I don’t normally: (a) use a photo prompt or (b) write a story like this one. How do you think I did?