I remember us sitting there at three o'clock, four o'clock in the morning, clutching our cups of instant coffee, and arguing.
I don't know why, but people always seemed to gather in our room, mine and Liz's, at the end of the evening. Sitting on the beds, the chairs, the floor, drinking coffee and trying to come up with the meaning of life.
We were all young enough then to believe that we really would discover it. Girls and boys of eighteen and nineteen, passionate, idealistic.
And as the other voices grew silent, there was just you and me, still arguing.
We always seemed to be on the opposite sides of any question, however trivial, and we debated our points with thoroughness and vigor. You would state, I riposte, you declare, and I deny. I can't remember if we ever reached a single conclusion about anything, but Gods, it was fun!
We would be there, our eyes locked on each other, gesturing, becoming more and more emphatic, drawing energy from one another. The others, sitting and looking on, sometimes wincing at some particularly sharp comment or plangent point.
Your eyes were blue I remember, your hair so very blond.
Anne would move closer to you as we got more involved in the discussion, lean her head on your shoulder. Nicholas' arm would go around me, and pull me close. Both of them, staking their claim, sensing the frisson between you and I, attributing it to sex rather than the way your piercing intelligence would undo or invigorate me, the way my merciless analysis of your points would spur you on to ever greater feats of creativity.
I loved your mind, but I never loved you.
You were stimulated by my wit, not my face and body.
Except..... just once.....
Christmas, and there was mistletoe hung over the door. Anne had fallen asleep, and I showed you out. You looked up at the mistletoe and grinned. "Well?" you said. I leaned in for a quick kiss, but somehow, it didn't turn out quick.
Your hands held my shoulders and pulled me towards you. Our lips opened, and our tongues met. You slipped your arms round me and pulled me tight against you, and my hands went up, and twined gently around your neck. The kiss just went on, and on, and on...
When it broke, finally, we were both flustered. Your hands caught mine, your thumbs stroking over the backs of my fingers. Then, suddenly, you dropped them, took a step back.
"Um, bad idea" You said.
I nodded. "Very bad"
"I should go"
I nodded again.
"Pity though. Wrong place, wrong time."
I nodded a third time, and you left.
No-one ever guessed, but afterwards, from time to time, in the middle of an exchange, you would smile for no reason, and I would echo the smile.