She looked innocent. I looked at her and thought of quiet corners with scuffed sci fi novellas, big jumpers, hot chocolate; pictured her hiding from the sun, studious and careful. I looked at her and thought the world would swallow her up.
I didn’t know – didn’t expect – that she had already chewed up and spat out the world long before I clapped eyes on her.
“That tea is too hot, you’ll burn yourself.”
Her voice sounded strange, cut through with an almost imperceptible sliver of harshness. I brought the cup closer to my lips.
“I said. Put. It. DOWN.”
She was wearing a pale orange sun dress, lying back into the rich leather sofa, Cleopatra-like. Regally stirring brown sugar into her own drink.
This was our third coffee shop hookup of the Summer. Usually we just sipped our drinks slowly, split a slice of something covered in chocolate and then found a quiet corner to make out in for an hour or so. Low-key. I’m older, but she’s more experienced. Both sub-leaning. We shared our secrets – the ones that made our blood run cold with anticipatory glee – and committed them to memory. I tied her wrists with Alice-blue ribbon and beat her with a crop one evening, but that was an anomaly. The exception to the rule. She leads, I follow.