The split of a second

She was silent. She was looking at this stranger next to her with a questioning look. She did not really care about what he had to say. She wanted him to stop staring at her.

“I wonder why you answered that,” he said. His feet were on the chair spindle, his arms were resting on his knees as he reached one of her knees, holding it between his warm hands.

“What?” she asked, the brown lacquered bowl still very close to her mouth.

She focused again on the warm chocolate, which was warming up her inside and outside, her hands firm around the half full bowl.

“When I asked about us before. You said maybe. I wonder why,” he said looking at her.

She kept drinking her chocolate, swallowing small sips at a time. She drank until the bowl was empty, not uttering a word. She just wanted to finish her morning drink and leave that place and his staring eyes.

He was waiting She adjusted her body closer to the table, and then he was not holding her knee anymore.

He was waiting, but she had no answer for him.

“I have to go,” she said. She got up to look for her belongings, a city backpack which she threw in one of the corners when they started undressing the night before. Her winterproof jacket made her look fat and ugly, but also safe. She was leaving. She did not want to answer and tell him that there was no “us”. She opened the door and turned around to briefly smile at him. He was still sitting there in the same position, still looking at her with his deep brown eyes. She swallowed and held her breath briefly. She turned her back at him and his silent pleas before she could change her mind.

A split of a second in which she could have chosen another life. Instead fear opened the door and she left, never to meet him again.

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