Another snow story. When we reached the plateau and were in front of the fire she put her bag on the table and bowed her head. I thought she was resting. I laid my head on her shoulder for a moment and she whispered “Amen,”. When you’re surrounded by snow each peck feels like pressing your lips against the innards of a frozen fruit. Cantaloupe or peeled peaches, all wet and cold. Her mouth was nice and warm on my mandible, below my ear. I took off my hat and put it over my face. She took the ends of my scarf and tried to tuck them around her neck.
It was getting dark so we went back down the way we came although the sun had set by the time we got all the way down. Bus tickets are not real tickets but made of receipt paper and mine was squashed beyond recognition when I took it out to show to the driver. “Don’t worry about it,” he said. He told us that this was the last bus that went out to the mountain and it would be cruel to not let us on.
Instead of going straight to our room we looked around at shops. There was an adult store with these neon hips of a woman next to the name, flicking back and forth.
When we got upstairs we found another girl sitting on her bed, all packed, waiting for the bus that would take her to the airport. “Oh!” I said, like it was a surprise that she wasn’t staying in this room forever. She’d been in this room when I arrived and now she was leaving. I crouched down to hug her. I’d forgotten her name but I grabbed her to me anyway. In the past I’ve been criticised for being a bad hugger, only hugging with my arms and not my whole body. She held me back shyly.