They both watch the audience filling in the seats below. The lights dimmed a few minutes ago and soon after shifted his left hand over to hold her right hand. Neither of them has spoken since. He clears his throat for the third time in a minute. Without turning his head, he leans over to his left and pauses.
She feels his warmth and smells dinner’s shiraz on his breath. Her heart is pounding so loudly against her chest that she speaks to mute it’s beating.
“Lots of people…” she says.
“I have something to …” he says. The speak at the same time, both finishing in laughter.
She turns to face him and the tips of their noses are a finger’s width apart. It is hard to focus on his face, but she resists the impulse to back away.
“What was that?” she whispers.
He breaths her in, a smell of clean laundry and cinnamon. He has lost his words, but knows exactly what to say.
“You smell better close up,” he says.
The flush of red crawls up her neck and into her cheeks as she locks her eyes with his. The din of the theater mutes, the people around them disappear, and the only thing she can see is the pulsing of a small vein in his bottom lip. She watches it beat. “I’ll move after three” she thinks.
One. Two. Three..
Reality rushes back as the spotlights illuminates the stage and the orchestra brass belt out a D chord in unison. The audience erupts in applause.
“For me,” she thinks. “They are clapping for me.” She puts the pad of her pointer finger on his lips, smiles, and turns to face the front. “Because I smell better up close.”