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03 A Walk After Midnight

  Had I not waited for five more seconds, I could have missed the whole ten years of memories...

Sipping my last drop of cappuccino in the smoking section upstairs at this joint seemed like forever. Forever as in I would have liked it to be ever-lasting. It was another troubling night with the bunch. The evening offered a whole mood of cups of cafeine. If not, a type o’ fancy coffee like a latté.

If only we had decided to split our ways back to our flats—in Cremorne, Neutral Bay, and Mosman, respectively—we would have missed you, mate! I still cannot believe it—that split second!

It was that mind-boggling smile on such a rugged look. It raised the already high temperature inside the jammed coffee shop. That intoxicating look of yours. It was perhaps such a cliché line but it utterly represented my then-feeling. Where have you been in my life? I asked deep down in my heart.

Albeit an oddity, there was simply no way but to say hello. I remembered you in an all-black outfit with your long hair tight up. Did you remind me of John Lennon? No, you were your own version. But those spectacles just had to go—there I was again, being blatantly honest. Oh oops, it was five to midnight, time to go!

“Can I walk you home?” you asked. I had thought you would never asked. I nodded.

The evening was just picture perfect. Walking down Military road, I closed my eyes to feel the breeze and lullaby of the wind. You told me it was such a lovely night, I couldn’t have agreed more. The lights at El Gringo charmed the mood. It was magical.

Then we halted at that small park in Mosman and sat down. The prose made by nighthawks like us, attracted like a magnet. It felt as if we had known one another for our whole lives, it was almost alarming.

Before we knew it, a direction back to Maisy’s we had decided to take. It was five to six, we might as well go back for a plate of warm French toast with Maple syrup and tall glasses of latté. There was no better way to start off the day but with a full stomach.

“I go out walkin’, after midnight
Out in the moonlight, just hopin’ you may be
Somewhere a-walkin’, after midnight
Searching for me.”

—Madeleine Peyroux