Age 18: the air around my cheeks is like a warm apple. She walks ahead of me—tanned bare feet stepping lightly, avoiding rocks and twigs, on the concrete. I watch her legs that end inside a long blue button up Oxford—too large, even, for her shorts to show except on the sides—which is not to say she isn’t modest. I’m wanting to know her: can she watch a movie at the theater without talking and still want to talk afterwards? will she realize I don’t know myself? the way she tip-toes along the sidewalk seems playful because her back hunches and she keeps looking back, as if she isn’t sure I’m with her. I am with her. she stops at my blue truck to say goodbye and I lean back against it, too aware of myself to stand confidently in front of her—a vine more than a tree, really. the stars are bright , especially for being so close to the expressway, and I notice foggy water trickling down the back window of the car she is standing in front of. one strand of hair, not as wide as my pinky, has fallen across the bridge of her nose and her eyes are scrunched a little—as if she is trying to read the man I’ll become or the secrets I’ll hide. as if she is going to kiss me. she does and I am shocked by the warmth, as comforting and familiar as the shape of the moon over the buildings of another city. I am with her.