>You saw her many more times after that and through it all you learned more about who she was. Her interest in fashion, her chaotically wonderful homelife, her reservations and aspirations. And the more you learned, the more you liked her and the gentle energy that she beamed with whenever she was happy.
>And the more Leni learned about you, the more she liked you in return. Someone she could talk to for hours on end, someone who would listen and talk back, someone who would be patient in correcting her without punishment. Your interests and temperament ran parallel to her own, side-by-side, with no intersection or impact more calamitous than a tight hug or a comprehensive meeting of mouths
>Still, for as much as your relationship deepened, one aspect of it never changed
>You walked wherever you needed to be or wanted to go
>Your driver’s license was left bereft and redundant.
>But you didn’t mind all that much
>You saved on gas
>You saved on parking fees
>More money you could save for college and for dates with your girlfriend
>”You know something, Loud? I don’t think I’d mind doing this with you for the rest of my life,” you remembered saying.
>And after months of walking alone or with companions who weren’t Leni, this day was a greater jolt of familiarity than you could ever have expected
>You’re so overcome with nostalgia by being there with her, that when the sun comes down, you’re surprised when you don’t wind up dropping her off at her house
>Instead, you have returned to the hotel. A home of sorts. One you share with Leni. Affordable, intimate...temporary
>You feel a tug on your sleeve. You look down and there she is. Right in front of you just like she had been during those suburban trysts, but unambiguously more grown up. Despite her light and slender frame, she easily pulls you through the lobby, up all ten flights of stairs, into your room, and out of your clothes.