I sit at the bar, I order a bottle of wine, thinking to console myself, to celebrate being able to flee the big unfriendly town.
She walks in and sits next to me. She is bright red lipstick and dark hair, sun-kissed skin, big warm eyes. She sits down next to me. I offer her a glass from my bottle and we begin to talk.
There is warm and sunshine in her smile, her smell, and I can't help notice that I sit closer to her without meaning to. I wonder why she would want to be so close to me, so near me, but as the wine warms me up and soothes the nerves that have been on edge for weeks I find her charm enticing, alluring, memorizing. She touches my hand, sending those warm sunny vibrations through the air, my arm, and my mind.
I touch her back. Warm skin, warm hand under mine. The conversation is friendly with a touch of dark, sharing. Real conversation in a quiet warm bar, conversation that is not just small talk with a bartender trying to make a tip.
I offer to walk her home as the bottle is finished. She says it's not too far. On this late-night walk I notice the city. The lights, the enchantment. I feel like I can suddenly understand that fascination it holds for so many people. Maybe it is that I am suddenly happy, suddenly have a reason to want to be in New York. Maybe it is just her hand in mind. I find myself holding onto her, Korean style, arm in arm, hand in hand as we walk.
I walk her up to her apartment. We stand by a window and look out on the view she has. New York, her slice of it, a slice I can appreciate. Here, now, something different. Something new.
I look at her, into her, into her sweet red lips. She tastes like wine, our shadows on the window like wine-tinted stains blending together into a puddle to block out the city. Her lips are red. Her hands are warm. I find myself waking up on my last day in New York, suddenly wishing I had more time.