by Troy Wallace
She was wearing a sweater - I don't know the color, but I know it narrowed at her waist and spread at her hips - when I finally saw her, and it was perfect that she should be wearing one, because we'd always been the kind of people who come together when it's cold, who respond to fall the way animals respond to spring. Cracking leaves and chimney smoke had always made us want to kiss, would lure us outdoors to meet someplace and walk with our arms linked and our bodies huddled together. Her hair was shorter now, but the smile was the one I remembered from high school, the same one that made me fall in love with her before I could really have known what love was. She welcomed my wife first with a hug and a nice to finally meet you! before I got myself close enough for that touch. Her head rested lower on my chest than my wife's did, I noticed, and I restrained myself from touching her hair. She waited with us in baggage claim and drove us to her small apartment, spent the day guiding us around her Christmas-decorated and snow-frozen town, and told me while my wife slept soundly that she was happy to see me so happy.
Troy Wallace lives in the Midwest and is very, very cold.