Big snowflakes float above my head. I zip my coat all the way up.
We’ve returned home, back into the cold, and are now wait for a taxi to take us.
Judah and I stand beside folks who still wear their leis around their necks. I squeal when the icy wind blows. Judah turns to me and fixes my scarf, making my heart beat quicker.
“I want to go back,” I whine, “It’s so cold.”
Judah grins, showing teeth.
“I’ll keep you warm, sweet cheeks,” he pledges, taking my hand and putting it in his jacket pocket.
I wrinkle my nose at him and say, “Yeah, yeah, sweet cheeks.”
He then attempts to bite my nose, but I back up in time.
A short limousine pulls up, and Judah opens the door for me.
After the ride, we stood in front of his apartment door, which was abandoned for a long time. It looks the same, though.
I watch Judah hand the taxi driver some money, before coming up the steps. He grabs his keys out his winter jacket. I stare at his grey eyes. He unlocks the door, and we walk in.
Judah sets the heater’s temperature.
I slip out of my coat and dial Mara’s number on my phone. I’m not sure why I haven’t earlier...
“OH MY GOD! IS THAT YOU? ROSALIE?”
Now I know why.
“Mara, hey. I’m sorry,” I say, “I was away.”
“WHERE ARE YOU? ARE YOU OKAY? WHAT THE HELL?” she screams, “WHERE ARE YOU?”
Judah grins, as he walks into the living room, because he can hear her shouts through the phone.
Spending the day with a girl helps me regain my sanity. Although, Mara’s insane herself... I’m not sure how valid this day is.
“Hawaii? I don’t believe you.”
We walk around in the mall, while other people around shop for winter sales.
“It was another spontaneous move,” I shrug, “He just said ‘let’s go’, and we went.”
“My goodness! I’m so jealous! How you get to go to freaking Hawaii without inviting me?”
I laugh at my friend, “Alright, next time.”
“Do you know how many girls on this planet wished that their boyfriends took them on vacation? All expenses paid!” Mara goes on with no end.
I pause in my tracks.
“That’s the thing that bothers me, though. I don’t know where all this money is coming from... I mean I get that he’s a gangster, but everything is top dollars.”
Mara pokes my head, “And you’re complaining? Something is wrong with you.”
“I’m not complaining,” I poke her back, “I’m just wondering.”
“Ugh! Does it even matter?” Mara waves her arms, “Where’d you even find Judah? Jeez, I really need to find one. Super hot. Super thrilling. Take me to Hawaii and you can have all kinds of ways with me—I won’t even care.”
“Mara,” I groan.
My phone beeps with a text from Judah.
I’m outside when you’re ready.
“Ready to go?” I look at my best friend.
Mara mutters, “Hm. Should I pick up some lip balm?”
“Judah’s waiting outside—”
Mara quickly grabs my arm and dashes to the nearest exit.
We walk down the pavement and spot Judah smoking.
“Is that a Maserati?” Mara gasps.
I shrug my shoulders, zipping up, “He drives something different every other day.”
“And you were going to make him wait,” she squeaks, “What is the matter with you?”
“Chill out, Mara,” I roll my eyes.
We reach Judah. He flicks his cigarette bud into the snow.
“My friend Mara needs a ride,” I say casually, knowing she’ll flip.
Judah flashes his eyes at her. She beams. Just this once, I’ll indulge her.
“Hop in,” he says, walking to the driver’s side.
When I reach for the door handle, the doors fly upward. Mara squeezes my arm with her mouth wide open.
I don’t know if I’m still jetlagged or coming in with a headache, but I rest in the bed staring at the evening light projecting through the window.
Judah walks in leisurely. He rubs his jaw, as if he’s having a hard time thinking about something.
I stare at him. He sprawls his body next to mine, kicking one knee up.
He looks as tired as I do. I turn, and the bed sheets make crunching noises.
“Hey,” I say with a hush. He stays still, not really acknowledging me. “Is everything alright?”
His eyes open and watch me slide closer to him. Maybe we’re both jetlagged or something.
Before I could ask a new question, Judah drapes his arms around me and rests his head in my neck. He takes a deep breath and sighs it out slowly, blowing on my chilled skin.
My fingers poke out my oversized sweater and brush his hair.
“Now... yeah,” he sighs.
I close my eyes, enjoying his strong embrace. I feel his slow heartbeat. I listen to his fading breaths enter and escape his lungs, as he falls asleep.
I watch the clock by the night stand shed away hours. I stare at his face.
Once, Judah mumbles my name.