The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri page 73-74 on the paperback
One day, inside one of the books he’d given her, there was a note asking her to meet him at the cinema. A matinee showing–a hall close to Park Street.
She was afraid to go, afraid not to. It was one thing to fall into conversations with him on the portico, or at the Coffee House, or walk over to the College Square to watch the swimmers in the pool. They had not yet strayed from that immediate neighborhood, where they were simply fellow students, where it was always reasonable for them to be.
The afternoon on the film she hesitated, and she ended up being so late that she didn’t arrive until the interval flustered, worried that he’d changed his mind or had given up on her, almost daring him to do this. But he had dared her, too, to show up.
He was there, outside the theatre, smoking a cigarette, standing apart of the groups of people already discussing the first part of the film. The sun was beating down and he lifted his hand as she approached, angling his head toward her face, forming a little canopy over their heads. The gesture made her feel alone with him, sheltered in that great crowd. Distinct from the pedestrians, afloat on the city’s swell.
She saw no sign of irritation or impatience in his expression when he spotted her. She saw only his pleasure in seeing her. As if he knew she would come; as if he knew, event that she would deliberate, and be as ridiculously late as she was.When she asked what had happened in the film so far, he shook his head.
I don’t know, he said, handing her the ticket. He’d been standing there all the while on the sidewalk, waiting for her. Waiting, until they were in the darkness of the theatre, to take her hand.