A man is reminiscing about his childhood, specifically the first time he ever walked with a girl. He was twelve at the time, cold and a bit heavier than usual on account of the two oranges in his pockets. The cold is on account of it being December when the ice remains on the ground and you can see your breath.
He has not yet started with the girl because first he has to walk alone to her house. What he remembers most about that house is the yellow porch light that stayed on 24/7. His arrival is signaled to her by a dog that barks and then there she is with a little bit of makeup on her cheeks and gloves that she’s just now putting onto her hands.
Daring to put his hand on her shoulder, he guides her down the street past a used car, a freshly plant grove of trees and down to a drugstore, a trek far enough to have them breathing a little heavier by the time they get there.
The ringing of a bell announces their entrance into the drugstore where they head straight to the candy aisle and he gallantly inquires what she would like. This makes her eyes light up as a smile appears on her face. He’s only got a nickel in his pocket, but he doesn’t give that information away when the first thing she picks up is some chocolate costing a dime.
When they reach the counter with chocolate, he puts the nickel on the counter and then places one of the oranges in his pocket beside. The cashier looks at him, but says nothing. He returns her stare and in the silence between them he knows that she knows why the orange is there.
When they are outside again, the fog is heady and the traffic light. For two blocks, they walk hand in hand and he releases her only so she can unwrap her chocolate and he can peel his orange, recalling that the brilliant orange of the fruit contrasted so sharply against the oppressive winter grayness surrounding that it might have looked to someone far enough away as if he were starting a fire rather than peeling his snack.