Thursday 1st January 2009by Tina
They stood at the rooftop of the building, standing on the ledge, leaning over the the railing watching as the skies filled with smoke from all the firecrackers and fireworks being lit at the ground. Earlier that night, they had dinner, and had been talking about their past year and their plans. When the first set of fireworks were lit up at the distance, all conversations were forgotten. Around them, there was a quiet murmur of other people standing all around the rooftop, sharing food, drinks and waiting for the final minutes of the year to tick by.
Different colored lights lit up the sky on the left, and the siblings beside her tried to guess where it was. He knew she was careful not to look down as she was afraid of heights; he was careful not to touch her as he was afraid of what would happen when he does.
After this year ends, what would happen to us? He thought, looking at her upturned face as she watched the fireworks display from another place.
She glanced at him and gave him a smile, nudging him a bit with her elbow. He returned a weak smile, hoping that she didn’t notice his hesitation. His hands were starting to sweat and it was getting harder to maintain a steady hold on the ledge.
“Look!” she said, her head turning to the other side, her finger pointing excitedly. Even brighter and more colorful lights shot up from the ground to the sky, lighting up the smoke-filled air. The wind blew and lifted her hair up and he watched her excitement with a nervous smile.
And then it was almost time.
“Ten!” Someone on the other side of the rooftop shouted. Other people started looking at their watches and joined the countdown, too.
She grinned and started counting as well. “Seven! Six!”
“Three! Two! One!”
“Happy New Year!” Everyone chorused. A group of people started singing Auld Lang Syne beside them, raising the bottles of beer that they brought in salute to the New Year. Firecrackers exploded like crazy and everywhere they looked, different colored lights lit up the smoky sky.
And as expected, the couples standing around them turned to each other and welcomed the New Year with a kiss.
He looked at her again, watching her eyes light up with every pop and boom and explosion in the air. Her smile was as bright and excited as the occasion, and his knees almost buckled when she turned to look at him.
“Happy New Year!” she cried, throwing her arms around him in a joyful hug. He was surprised at her show of affection, but glad, too.
He hugged her back. He felt her laugh against him, as well as the faint yet steady beat of her heart. She tightened her arms around him, as what she always does before letting go, and then started to pull away. He leaned back slightly but held her arms so she couldn’t fully let him go.
“Hm?” She said, looking at him questioningly as he held her. Her eyes were friendly and innocent, and in a way he felt like he shouldn’t do what he was about to do. But he was already there, and there was no turning back.
A few feet away from them, two guys lit a small fountain and then stepped back as they waited for it to light up. As the first sparks rose up and up and up from the tiny cone on the floor, he reached for her face tenderly, met her eyes and leaned in slowly, gently…until he finally felt the sparks.