The sound of hundreds of people talking excitedly as they gazed up at the clock that sat above the town hall was deafening. Julian could hear people close by talking about what they would do in the new year that was getting ready to be rung in, but he didn’t much care for their conversations.
He had never been to a new years celebration like this before and felt his pulse racing as the clock ticked away at its countdown.
“10!” the crowd chanted in unison as the ball suspended over them began descending.
“9!” they screamed as he looked around at the crowd looking up expectantly at the lights.
“8!” He saw a handful of people grab someone close to them with wide, enticing smiles.
“7!” There was a stir through the crowd.
“6!” Everyone took a deep breath, including Julian.
“5!” He felt the crowd close around him as everyone got closer to the dropping ball.
“4!” Someone grabbed his arm and swung him around.
“3!” A woman looked at him with red cheeks. Her hair was a light-brown color with silver streamers tangled in it. On top of her head sat a small cardboard hat that was tethered with a bit of string.
“2!” she whispered as she drew close to him, pressing her body against his. He couldn’t help but notice the feeling of her body heat warming him.
“1!” the crowd called as he lost sight of everyone around him save the woman before him.
“Happy new year!” the crowd cheered as the woman pulled him in. Her lips were like fire against the cold. They burned against his as her grip tightened against his back. His hands moved around her waist as they kissed.
He felt the world shift in the passing moments as the party poppers and fireworks went off around them. A pair of random people standing in a sea of faces, yet totally alone in the moment.
She released him and pulled from his grasp. His eyes opened to see a faint glimpse of her disappearing into the mass. He thought of reaching after her, but didn’t know what he would say if she stopped. His heart beat wildly within his chest as the people around him began dancing to the music that had started at midnight.