Was that a smile Jama noticed? She walked next to Marco with the rest who were going out for a little Jazz after work. He took her hand and Jama did her best to resist, but she knew she'd be lost in the city without him.
He noticed the backpack a block or so later, strapped to her. Marco took it.
"Oh, my God. This could kill you." He squinted as if he physically couldn't carry the backpack.
"My life is in that backpack." Jama was serious. She couldn't tell if he were joking or not. On the way she explained that her laptop was in it along with her belongings. She couldn't leave it all behind in the hostel where she slept.
Marco shook his head as if that was wrong as they headed into the small establishment. He reached for a pretzel in the freebie bowl at the bar. He popped one in her mouth before she knew it.
"Nice, right?" He told her they made them here.
Jama nodded while chewing.
Marco found a place to sit and pulled her into his lap as if he needed to take care of a lost lamb of some kind. He took a bite of his pretzel and fed her the rest.
Soon enough drinks came around. Little glasses of pear wine. Marco grabbed two and handed one to Jama.
Jama did as she was instructed.
The sweet wine burned her throat. She wondered what was on his mind as she swallowed the wine.
"You, have to slow down." He told her.
"What?" Jama squinted.
She shook her head, no.
"Please?" His smile was so pleasant.
"Because, your butt is very bony, and its killing my thighs." He said in her ear.
Jama swelled a frown. What did he want from her?
Soon they were on the crowded floor. Couples were very close. Jama felt so out of her element. She was used to stomping about at raves with her mates. Everyone was so romantic, as if they must be lovers. She wasn't sure she could adapt.
Marco placed his hands on her waist. Jama didn't mean to smile. She wanted to be mean and hateful, but it was impossible in Marco's presence.
His smile was back, and Jama bit her lip trying not to smile so much.
She felt his hand on the small of her back. His fingers edged downward as he tucked her toward him even if her face was right at his chest.
He smelled of cinnamon and cigarettes. The wine made her woozy as she hung on to him. She felt as if they were gliding, perhaps it was more of a gallop. She felt as if she might be in a soft dream.
Usually, she could hold her liquor. What was wrong with her?
"My backpack." She suddenly remembered.
"Its behind the bar." He promised.
"Really?" She didn't remember him doing anything with the backpack.
She felt his lips on her eyelids. She thought she might be permanently asleep, but then his lips found hers. When he kissed her, she felt alive, as if she need his touch. The music played on and she felt as if she might be unwinding. How in the world would she ever get home?