The crunching of snow beneath her footsteps lulled Lownly into a deep reverie. She traveled, as if through a dream, not quite sure where she was headed, and not quite sure if she cared. She trudged onward in no particular direction until-
A voice broke her from her trance.
“Sorry to bother you but-”
She looked up into a set of the kindest eyes she had ever seen. The boy looked down at her, but he was not imposing. His cheeks were red from the cold, and his face was dusted with freckles.
“We’re trying to find this building here.”
Freckled hands brought forth a map of the city and gestured toward a red marking that encircled a spot in the map. Lownly took one look at the location and wondered how he could’ve gotten so lost. His body shifted as he read Lownly’s face.
“Haha uhm,” he brought his arm up to scratch the back of his neck and he moved his eyes from Lownly’s stare, “see we’re new to the city and-”
She looked in the direction of his gaze and witnessed a sight completely different from the one standing in front of her. Whatever sense of charm this freckled boy had, the other boy obviously lacked. He couldn’t have looked grumpier if a rain cloud had chosen to follow only him; dumping buckets of water on his head wherever he went. The boy was leaning up against a railing, his hands were stuffed in the pockets of his jacket, and his face appeared to be frozen into a permanent glare.
“Well… we got kind of… lost.” He let out a small chuckle.
“Marco, I’m freezing my balls off here, come on.” Mr. Grumpy was not amused by Marco’s polite interaction with Lownly. It was taking much too long to receive direction.
“Sorry, Jean is uh… not very good with snow.”
Lownly had her first chance to speak. However, she was apprehensive, because when she had awoken this morning, she could not find her voice. She indicated that she was unable to communicate verbally, and that’s where Marco lost it.
Somehow, Lownly found herself standing in front of a planetarium with two strangers who were supposed to be on a date. Marco felt bad for Lownly’s lost voice and invited her to join them. She needed to guide them towards the planetarium anyway, so it wasn’t too inconvenient.
“We met in Astronomy class, so I thought it would be fitting to go to a planetarium.”
Well great. How was Lownly supposed to feel after that factoid? Crashing a romantic date involving the couple’s history; how did she get herself into these things?
They took their seats in the dark auditorium, and a display of swirling lights appeared. Sporadic laughter trickled through the room when the audio crackled through the speakers.
“Space. The final frontier.” Marco giggled, but Jean just sat silently with his arms crossed.
As the presentation went on, Lownly found it increasingly difficult to focus on the universe above her. She could not bring her attention away from the action taking place beside her. Marco had begun by pointing out constellations to Jean, but eventually, that wasn’t the only thing he was pointing out.
“See, Jean, that’s Ursa Major.”
“Marco, you’re such a nerd.”
“Well I see I was the only one paying attention in class.” Marco looked at Jean out of the corner of his eye, as he displayed a smug grin.
“How could I pay attention to constellations and the speed of light when there was a hottie sitting behind me?” Jean leaned in.
Just then, there was a sudden flash of light, which illuminated the blush creeping onto Marco’s cheeks as Jean kissed his ear.
“Oh come on. It’s dark in here”. Jean whispered, as he sank back in his own seat, obviously feeling rejected.
“No, I mean…. don’t stop.”
Lownly wasn’t sure if this would be the extent of their flirtation, or if they would take it farther. It didn’t take long for her to find out.
Marco’s face was almost split in half, his smile was so wide. Jean only smirked. He let his hands do the talking after that. Lownly was doing the best she could not to blatantly stare at Jean’s hand running over Marco’s crotch, but let’s be honest, who could ignore that? Marco breathed slowly out of his mouth. His eyelids began to droop over his eyes as they rolled back in his head. Jean leaned in close and whispered something in Marco’s ear. Marco tried his best to maintain composure, but Jean’s gentle rubbing over the outside of Marco’s jeans gained momentum.
We’ve reached terminal velocity.
Blast off in 10 – 9 – 8 – 7 – 6 – 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1
Light flooded the room.
Marco and Jean jumped in their seats.
Lownly snapped her head forward, but Marco and Jean didn’t seem to notice. They looked at each other. Their breaths were still staggered as they composed themselves, and smiled. Jean leaned in for a kiss and Marco met him half-way.
Lownly turned her head away from them and smiled. She wasn’t sure what twisted strings of fate had brought her to this moment, but she knew that this had happened for a reason. She had found the subjects for her next story.
Jean and Marco stood up from their seats, and Lownly did the same.
“Hey. You wanna go have coffee with us?”
Lownly was surprised to hear this from Jean. His spirits certainly had been lifted (amongst other things).
“I’d love to.”
“You found your voice!” Marco practically jumped with glee.
“It’s a goddamn Christmas miracle.”