Melbourne Train Girl had been in the city since lunch time. She wasn't meeting the Short Boy until nine. At exactly 8:02pm she walked to the tram that would take her to their decided meeting place.
When the Short Boy had told her the name of the place to meet in, Melbourne Train Girl wasn't quite sure whether it was a bar or not. She replied to his SMS.
"Is that a venue, or an oddly named architectural landmark?"
He had laughed in reply, and told her it was a place. That day he sent her an email with a map in it. Just in case Melbourne Train Girl was thinking about getting lost, he said.
Melbourne Train Girl left the tram and walked down Bourke Street. It was a Monday night, so restaurants were all closing early. Short, stout Italian men in aprons were dismantling umbrellas and stacking chairs on the street, whilst younger, thinner Italian men swept floors and wiped down tables inside. One restaurant owner greeted Melbourne Train Girl as she passed. She waved politely, and continued walking.
It was exactly 8:52pm when she arrived at the laneway. She decided to wait for him on the corner. She stood in her red shoes until exactly 8:58pm, when she changed her mind and walked to wait inside the bar.
"What can I get you?" the barman greeted her.
"Just a glass of house red please," Melbourne Train Girl replied with a smile.
"What are you up to on a Monday night?" he asked as the dark red liquid ran down the inside of the large glass. Melbourne Train Girl's fingernails were painted the same colour as the wine.
"I'm meeting a friend," she smiled, more to herself than the bartender.
"An old friend, or a new friend?" he asked, and Melbourne Train Girl caught a knowing glint in his eye. She knew he had picked up on her nervous fumbling inside her bag for change.
"A new friend," she replied, smiling again, this time at the bartender.
He left her to sit akwardly on the too short stool, with her too large wine glass on the bar. Melbourne Train Girl waited and watched the door.
When the Short Boy arrived he greeted her with a kiss on the cheek. They went to sit on a quiet couch in a quiet corner once he had ordered a drink.
Melbourne Train Girl drank red wine.
The Short Boy drank vodka.
Their conversation was lively. They laughed a lot, and the hesitancy she had been feeling toward liking him disappeared completely. With each drink the space between them on the couch narrowed. There was an intoxicating tension hovering in the air. Melbourne Train Girl didn't pull away when her foot brushed his leg, and the Short Boy didn't hesitate when his hand brushed her arm.
They lost track of time.
Melbourne Train Girl should have been at the station at 12:13pm for the last train. It was already 12:24. The Short Boy asked if he could offer her a lift. Melbourne Train Girl smiled and said she had no choice but to accept.
The Short Boy had a very nice car. It made Melbourne Train Girl feel young, and very much a student. The Short Boy can also speak fluent Japanese. Melbourne Train Girl can only speak semi-fluent German and a little French. That also makes Melbourne Train Girl feel young.
When they arrived at her house they said goodbye. This time his kiss was directed at her lips, and not her cheek. It was only a tiny peck. And that was somehow more exciting than any other kiss Melbourne Train Girl has ever had.