Seated on her porch steps, he waited. Wiped sweaty palms on denim thighs. Their tremble steadied by gripping knees.

Her knees were his palm’s perfect fit. The funny bone he’d tickle to relish her smile. Knees she didn’t like – called them her Nun’s knees. Scarred, pitted, thin-skinned. An adventurous childhood’s tell-tale residue; tree climber’s scratched; bike-fallen skinned; grass-gamed stained; puddle-jumper’s scuffed. Uniquely hers. Agile for morning runs, like now.

A siren made his head rise, following its echo down their street.

He waited, holding that ringed-rock in his hand.

She never showed.

He never got to ask.