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Outside is gray and beautiful. Rain drizzles calmly down, giving everything a wet glisten, and putting crystal drops of water under tree branches and fence wires. Everything in easy tones of silver and white, with a little color seeping through. And when the heater shuts off the soothing tapping of the rain on the roof and windows surrounds me.
I hear the door open behind me, at the same time the wind gusts, and blows at me the scent of wet earth and cooking. Food always smells better when it's raining like this. God knows why or how that happens but it is definitly true. The door closes, a whisper of it on the carpet, then a soft fump as it slides into place. Supposedly, the doors to all apartments should be locked at all times. But really, why should it be locked if I'm inside? If it starts to burn down it'll be that much harder for me to get out of the building. Not that the apartment should ever burn. I'm careful.
Two hands drop into view then press against my eyes, making me blind. They're warm and soft.
"Ahh!" I say, smiling. A chin drops onto my head and a body presses against my chest. "You should know better than to make me blinder than I already am." I feel her laugh in her throat and chest, a vibrating that feels the same as it sounds.
I wrap my arms around her and clasp my wrist in one hand behind her. "Let me see." I say softly, "You know I know who you are."
Her chin lifts off my head and she whispers into my ear, "Who am I then?" I can picture her beautifully orange wavy hair cascading onto my shoulder. I smile, and with her hands still over my eyes, I tilt my head back.
"Aphrodite? No." I answer myself, "Venus? Uh uh, better." I move again so I can whisper this next into her ear. "Elizabeth."
"Aww." Liz exclaims and releases my eyes, only to captivate my lips with hers. After a moment she breaks away and something drops into my lap. "Now I'm glad I got these."
"These?" I pick up a little box, wrapped in brown paper and string, like I showed her and learned in a book. I chuckle, a present. "A bit early, isn't it? I'm still waiting for the motivation to put up a tree."
"Maybe, but on time would be too late." She says, hugging me from the side. Her eyes shine bright and emerald as she smiles up at me. Standing I am about half a foot taller than her.
"That makes no sense, you realize that right?" I reply, smiling back at her. She hugs me tighter and tells me it will if I open the box. So I do. Pulling the bow of string loose and drawing back the paper, exposing a rather plain looking box. I feel her watching me closely as I lift the lid off. Inside is an upside down ticket, and at the bottom, bold and wrong side up but still legible, Wicked.
I feel my eyes widen and my jaw drop. A small chuckle of disbelief escapes my lips. I look at Liz and she's smiling, no beaming, up at me.
"Oh, yeah, and..." she reaches into the box and pulls out the rectangle of paper. Her smile is almost spitting her face, showing her small cute teeth, and she makes a V with two identical tickets. She giggles at my surprised, and I guess comical, face. I pulled her close and kissed her, this time longer. And when I broke off, I found myself kissing her again because I could not find what to say.
Finally, I say, "Thank you!" and repeat it maybe ten more times. I read them over and realize that on time would be too late the tickets are for December 18th. As I put the tickets back into the box, and the rain drums on the outside of the apartment, my only though is: However will I repay this?