I lean down and kiss her, and not a short goodbye kiss, but a real kiss. Slow and drawn out and expressing what I feel for her, which is more than I should feel for a girl after knowing her for such a short time and yet I still do. My feelings for Amber are more than I’ve felt for girls I’ve dated for months. But why? Why do I feel this way? Was it the sex? Did that one night mess with my head, making me think I love this girl after knowing her for just a few hours? That can’t be it. I’ve had sex plenty of times and never felt this way.
Someone’s car alarm goes off and I slowly back away.
“You weren’t supposed to do that,” Amber says in a soft, breathy voice.
“You said I could if we’re in public.”
“But I didn’t mean—”
“No changing the rules now. If we’re in public, I can kiss you. That’s what you said.”
“Fine, but it doesn’t matter because we’re not going out like this again. We’re going back to the letters. You said you’d try it so that’s we’re going to do. No texts. No emails. Just letters. You broke the rules today by coming here but we’re going to get this back on track.”
I just smile at her, then wrap my hand around hers and lead her inside the apartment building. We go up the elevator and when we’re at her door, I say, “I didn’t break the rules.”
“What are you talking about?”
“By showing up here, I didn’t break the rules of our arrangement.”
“Yes you did. You were supposed to just write letters.”
“And do romantic gestures. That’s what you said. And today was a romantic gesture. I showed up at your apartment unannounced. I surprised you. Surprises are romantic gestures.”
“Oh.” She looks perplexed. “Well, that’s not really what I meant.”
“You can’t define romantic gestures. They’re different for everyone. And to me, surprising you like this was a romantic gesture, as was buying you your favorite muffin.”
“Did you look up the definition of gesture? Because you seem to know a lot about them.”
“Not really. I’m kind of learning as I go. This is all new to me. I’ve never had all these dating rules before.”
“I know it seems strange but I warned you I was a little crazy when it comes to romance. And given the way we met, I just feel like we need to step back and start again. I don’t want us to just be about sex. I want more.”
“So do I.” I kiss her cheek. “I have to go. I’ll call you—I mean, I look forward to your next letter.”
She smiles. “I’ll put extra time into it.”
“I hope so,” I say, walking to the elevator, “because if it’s like the last one, I’ll fall asleep before I even finish reading it.”
The stunned look on her face is the last thing I see before stepping into the elevator. It’s fun giving her shit about that letter. She knows it was crap and I could tell she was embarrassed by it. I can’t wait to see what she writes me next to make up for it.