“We’re free!“, I yelled as Lark and I left our Italian final, which was the last one for both of us.
I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t take me that much longer than her to finish.
“Coffee across the street as we wait for Grey?“, she asked me. “I think he still has to help Cartwright review essays for another half hour or so”.
I held out my arm to her. “After you milady”.
She laughed and took my hand. I love winter, but when Lark came back into my life I found that there was one thing I disliked about it. Her hands were always covered in mittens and I missed the feeling of her skin on mine.
We made our way across the street and grabbed some seats inside. She chose the seat facing away from the window so I got the street view this time. We set our coats and backpacks down before I left to grab our drinks.
When I got back Lark was deep in thought and I wondered again what was going on with her, and I was getting close to just asking her about it point-blank. Over the past two weeks, I’ve heard her sneaking out of the apartment when she thinks were sleeping.
I trust her, but I also worry. Something is bothering her and I don’t understand why she wouldn’t just tell us.
“One caramel latte with oat milk”, I told her as I slid her drink across the table.
She took a sip and let out a sigh. “There’s just something about hot coffee on a cold day after your last final of the semester. I don’t know about you but I feel invincible”, she joked.
“Speaking of the final, don’t you have your meeting with Vera tomorrow?“, I asked her.
“That reminds me!“, she exclaimed. “I keep forgetting to check in with Vera about the address. I was going to ask today, but it slipped my mind again”.
“Just send her an email now”, I advised. “I bet most people are done with the exam by now so she’ll probably see it shortly”.
She nodded before taking her phone out and typing up an email. I looked around while she was busy and my eyes caught on a man across the street. He was just standing there staring in this direction, and for a moment I thought he was looking right at us.
I looked away from him to see if there was a bus stop or something nearby but there wasn’t. He was just stood still a sea of people that passed him from both directions. It made me nervous. I looked away again to get Lark’s attention. “Do you know that guy?“, I asked her as I pointed out the window.
She turned around to see what I was talking about but when we both looked out onto the street again, he was gone. “I swear a weird dude was standing right across the street. It looked like he was staring at us”.
Lark turned back to me and smiled, but the gesture didn’t quite reach her eyes. “It was probably just someone random. This is New York after all”, she said with a shrug and went back to her drink.
I tried not to think about the man again but as we sat and waited for Greyson, my eyes kept moving back to that same spot.
By the time we left the coffee shop and made our way to pick up Grey, that eerie feeling hadn’t left. If anything it had gotten stronger and it felt like there were hundreds of unseen eyes trained right at Lark and me.