She insisted on discretion. I did my best to comply. After dinner sometimes, we walked back to my place, inevitably chatting up some passers by about their children and their lollipops. She was half an inch taller than me and occasionally wore little clogs that made her an additional inch taller. Walking next to her, I felt very young in those moments.

I could never tell if she was in awe of me or simply tolerated me. She made me wonder if we meant anything or if we were convenient. I was her first, and it was weird.

When we held hands, she used to take her thumb out of the interlocking pattern of fingers and tuck it into the space between our palms and let it rest there. It always felt so comfortable to hold her like that. One day in the shower she was washing my back and rubbed the bar of soap over small ridge of bone at the base of the back where the body starts to split into symmetry, and it tickled so much I nearly fell over. Every time we showered together after that, she would torture me like that and giggle as I squirmed.

I left her place the next morning trying to remember her name and wondering if I was going to tell my sister.

She was the most unpredictable girl I had ever known. I could never decide if I adored her blindly or adored the smile she placed on my face with hers. She called me once right after having sex with another guy, and we talked about our jobs. We were never been photographed together, just the two of us.

The lights had to be off. I had to be on top. She didn’t want me to look at her while we were doing it. But she swore that she liked doing, so after we decided to break it off, we did it again.

We’d lie on the floor together in various states of undress and let the CDs run through to the end. No one ever paid my hands such attention. I’d tell stories of little consequence, and she would toss me a half smile of contentment, and the flickering light of the candle in the corner would catch her eye and we would fall silent.