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"Iris". . . A Novel By Tina Adkins

Chapter 5

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When we reached my apartment complex, most of the lights were out in all the rooms. I glanced up to the second level, at my apartment, and there was a single lamp on in the window. We climbed the stairs and walked down the hall.

"You have one of the newer two story ones, don’t you?"

"Yeah, when we moved here, it was just renovated."

We stopped in front of my door. I peered inside the window, no one was in the livingroom.

"So, I’ll call you’s two?" john put his arms around my waist.

"Two’s good," I looked up into his eyes. My heart was pounding. We stood facing each other, leaning in for a kiss but neither one of us could officiate it.

"So," he started. "You think you could love me?"

"I think I could. Only if won’t hurt me."

"I couldn’t hurt anyone if my life depended on it," he smiled.

There was an awkward silence once again. My eyes wandered around the hall, trying to find something to look at. "What the hell," I thought. I took John’s face in my hands, pulled him in, and kissed him. "I can’t believe I’m doing this," I thought. "I just don’t do things like this."

He backed away and whispered, "I love you Iris."

"What now?" I thought. I still wasn’t sure. I just smiled and looked away.

"I’m sorry." He lowered his head and bit his bottom lip. "I shouldn’t have said that now."

"It’s ok." I stroked his hair and lifted his head. "I’ll let you know."

"I guess I’ll go," he returned my smile.

"Here," I said as I took off his jacket. "You might need this."

"Nah," he replied. "You can give it to me tomorrow."

"You sure?"


He turned and began walking down the hall. He stopped, turned back and waved goodbye, and watched him disappear into the darkness of the early morning. I listened to the pounding of his feet down the aluminum stairs. After the racket subsided, I opened my purse and got out my key. As I fumbled with it, trying to find the keyhole, I heard someone say my name. "Iris, are you still out here?"

I walked over to the rail and looked down. There was John, peering up at me.

"What do you want?" I giggled.

"Nothing. I just wanted to see your beautiful face one more time."

I smiled at this remark. "How much sweeter can this guy get?" I asked myself. He mouthed a "good night" and left, heading down the street.

I went back to my door and finally found the keyhole .I opened the door and went in, shutting the door behind me. Going through the apartment, I looked in every room for my mom, but finally found her asleep in her room. I went upstairs and into my room. Turning on the light, I tossed John’s jacket on the foot of my bed.

"Man, what a night," I though as I exited my room and walked into the bathroom. My face was all but expressionless in the mirror. I smiled cheerfully, but it faded within a few seconds. "What am I doing? Am I just kidding myself?" I tucked what I could of my short hair behind my ears and quickly washed my face, and dried it on the towel from this morning’s shower.

I walked into my room again and flopped face down on the bed. It felt good to lye down. It seemed like I’d been standing for days. I wiggled out of my clothes and crawled under the covers. I leaned over to my side-table and grabbed the remote, turned the TV on, and found something boring that would lull me to sleep. Ever since we moved to New York I’d slept with my TV on. It always reminded me that I wasn’t alone. Snuggling down into my pillows, I thought about the day. I was lucky, as far as I was concerned. I’d literally just graduated, been to three grad parties, and met the sweetest guy I’d ever seen at eleven’o’clock that same night.

I kicked my feet and felt something at the foot of the bed. It was John’s coat. I reached down and brought it up to my chest and breathed in the leather, smoke and cologne smell that was left in it. Slowly, I found myself drifting in and out of consciousness, and fell into a dream.

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