They were making out when he stopped.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
“Nothing.” He pulled away, noticed the sunset was dazzling. He wondered if it could break your heart to watch the sun.
“Why did you stop then?”
He shrugged. “Not sure.”
“Is it me? Is it my breath?” She cupped a hand in front of her mouth to check.
“No, Ellen. It’s not a big deal. Can’t you just give it a rest?”
She looked on the verge of tears. “I’m sorry, Ned. It’s just- well, every time we make out it seems like there’s so much going on. I mean, at least for me there is.”
He nodded, took her hand. “Let’s walk back to my dorm. C’mon.” He put his arm around her.”
“ No- wait.” She moved a step away. “I want to finish.”
He crossed his arms. “Okay, go ahead.”
“Every time we kiss, you stop. It’s like I can feel you shut down. A wall goes up.”
As the remaining traces of sun glowed through her hair, he remembered the moment he first saw her. She was playing acoustic guitar on the lawn of the campus library. Her voice, as she sang “Landslide” rang with confidence, her long wavy hair cascaded over the guitar’s frets. She’d gathered a crowd and halfway through the song, she glanced up and saw him.
He took her hand, traced the lines of her palm. “Remember that day we met?”
“What happened to her? Where’d she go? The woman who sang that song?”
“I’m right here.”
“No, Ellie, you’re not. All this worrying, these doubts. That’s not the girl I met.”
“Oh, how perfect.” Her mouth twitched. “So, this is about me? Your inability to get aroused-”
He dropped her hand. “Inability to get…?” The freshly cut grass made him miss home.
She nodded. “Isn’t that what you call it?”
“How about two people who thought there was more here than what actually is.”
Her eyes narrowed. “So, that’s it?” She tucked her hair behind one ear.
He wasn’t sure what to say so he said nothing. The sun slipped below the horizon.