Hold

The alley was wide, but few people used it. It may have been because the tall stone buildings on either side kept out the sun most of the day except for around 12 o’clock. That’s where they stood, surrounded by murky shadows while strangers passed by on either end of the manmade ravine.

“Are you sure?” he asked. He bowed his head to look at her, but she wouldn’t meet his eyes. “Are you sure?”

She nodded slowly.

A breath of wind wound its way down the alley and swept up a few of her golden hairs, coaxing them to flutter before her face and land on her moist lips. His dark, gentle hand brushed those strands aside, tucking them behind her ear and letting his palm rest for just a moment on her warm cheek. She might have been blushing, but the half-light around them made her almost expressionless face appear more serene than he had ever seen it.

He felt her jaw tighten.

“Come on. We should be going.”

Her heels clicked on the cement footpath as she walked. But he lingered ever so briefly, saying goodbye to the air where her perfume and his hand still hung.

Photo by Daniel Gregoire on Unsplash

Story by Gregory M. Fox
from A Breath of Fiction’s archives
originally published October 16, 2010

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