Usually on the terrace of our dilapidated apartment building. After the last unsightly fragment of clothing had been taken off the washing lines that criss crossed around us. When the stars came out and it was dark enough for the week's leftovers to look like a feast.
I brought a board game. And a bottle of tomato ketchup. He brought pen and paper. He liked to keep score. And the last bottle of water from the fridge.
We tried to eat at first. But neither of us had an appetite. We tried to play but argued too much about the rules. So, we just lay back on the hard concrete and pretended to count the constellations. Sometimes he sang. Sometimes, I tried to.
A lit candle would have made the scene vaguely romantic. A few more people would have made it seem more like fun. But we did not intend those hours to have either a mood or a purpose. We just wanted to be. I picked at the concrete like it was wool and he fiddled with the ring on his finger. The silence we shared was rich. Powerful. And there was nothing we needed to say.
Soon, the last muffled noises of night time traffic faded away. The last television sets blaring in the distance were turned off. Lights went out in the windows of the high rises that surrounded us. And all the good people and all the bad people in the world seemed to have gone to sleep.
We felt a sense of victory. Like the only survivors of a daily holocaust. Or the King and Queen of whatever was left after the last war on earth. For a few minutes it seemed like even the breeze that wafted gently between us was an unwelcome third.
And then, it rang. I don't remember if it was my cellphone or his. At the first blast of polyphonic cacophony, I felt the rage rise in me. He looked fixedly at it as if something terrible was going to happen. And he was right. I felt my fingers clutch a stone, heard a dull thud that grated and screeched and suddenly, it was all over. The cellphone sat in a pool of its own debris. Its ringtone quelled by my act of provoked violence. We looked at each other, shaken. I was overcome with guilt. I broke into a cold sweat as he took charge. Disposing off the morbid remains with the calm of a serial offender. He took me into his arms and comforted me.
"We'll get you another one tomorrow, ok?"
I nodded, breathlessly.
"Now, let's go donwstairs and call your mother."