Two a.m. is so breathtakingly silent. I’ve always loved the night, cherished the hours when it feel s like I’m the only person alive, when I can move about as I please and be completely alone, even in places that are crowded during the day. The emptiness of it emphasizes the beauty of it, I love to walk the city at night and take in the scenery. I don’t do it as often on tour as I do when I’m at home, but I have left hotel rooms on a few occasions and explored strange cities when I couldn’t sleep.

To me, the dead calm of late night is incredibly relaxing and invigorating at the same time; it always feels fresh and new and makes me feel alive. Usually when I walk at night it’s at home in Tampere, and I have come to love my city and appreciate its unique beauty. I do a lot of thinking on my walks, contemplating life, who and where I am. The allure of the city makes me recede deep inside my head, and sometimes I’ll roam aimlessly until the sun comes up. I especially like to walk the route between Jonne’s flat and mine. It’s a couple kilometers away; he lives in a more expensive, nicer building than the one I live in. But there are some beautiful things to look at along the path – sculptures and interesting looking buildings and trees and flowers in the spring and summer. And besides, I like to walk past Jonne’s window and know that my best friend is sleeping safe and sound inside. He’s always been so incredibly important to me, and I love him with all of my heart. It feels good to know that he’s sleeping and that nothing can harm him, not while I’m watching over him.

That’s where I am right now; going to see Jonne. It’s snowing, but the air is still, and my coat is warm; it doesn’t feel too cold outside. The snowflakes sparkle as they reflect the city lights, and the freshly fallen snow is powdery and crunches beneath my feet. Walking on it feels strange, almost like running a finger over velvet.

I’ve come to Jonne’s building, and I’m smoking a cigarette, watching the smoke curl around me in my peripheral vision and listening to the complete and utter silence as I stare up at his balcony. His curtains are open, but it’s too dark to see in. I imagine him dreaming in his bed, curled up – how innocent and beautiful he would look.

And then suddenly the glass door to his balcony opens and he steps out into the night in his above-the-knee black satin robe, and my heart stops. He sees me immediately, and just sortof stares for a moment, and I look at his breath in the air and as scared as I should be to be caught here, the only thing I can think is that he must be cold, he should be wearing something warmer. He disappears back inside as suddenly as he materialized before, and I don’t know what to think until the door of his building opens and he comes running out to me in that tiny robe and a pair of pink fuzzy slippers. He kisses me deeply, and his mouth is deliciously warm and tastes faintly of cinnamon. We kiss until we’re both breathless, and he has one hand in my hair and one on my jaw – mine are on his tiny hips, pulling him close to me. He pulls away finally, panting, his breath freezing in the air. “God, it’s beautiful out here,” he comments, as if he didn’t just kiss me.

I notice that his cheeks are red and I immediately unzip my coat and pull him tight against my chest, wrapping it around him. “You must be freezing. Come on, let’s go back inside.”

He settles in in his livingroom and I make us both a cup of tea with honey, which does a lot to warm him, and I can tell he’s grateful.

“So, I suppose I should ask you what you’re doing outside my building at 2:30 in the morning,” he says finally, pulling his legs up onto the couch, getting comfortable.

“I was walking,” I say, looking down into the reddish-brown liquid in my cup, studying it. “I like to walk at this time of night.” I look up at him briefly.

He looks disappointed. “You weren’t here for me, then?”

I think about how to answer that for a moment. I know I have to be careful; he is my bandmate. “I’m not stalking you or anything, I just like the way things look in this part of the city. But I also like to know that you’re safe, part of me does.”

He smiles after he hears me say that. “Lauri, that’s… You’re really sweet, you know that?”

I blink stupidly. Me? Sweet? And just when I’m busy pondering that, he pounces, moving over to my side of the couch, his lips hovering inches from mine. “You’re also a really good kisser, you know. I’ve never told you, but you have really soft lips, and kissing you makes me go all… tingly.” He claims my lips again, then, and I can’t resist it because it really is quite good, the way he sucks, nibbles, licks at my lips, until they’re kiss-swollen and red and we’re both panting not just from lack of air, but from the passion with which his tongue explores my mouth, seeks out my tongue, plays with it, tastes it.

“I’ve always had a crush on you, you know,” he murmurs, sliding his hands under my coat and shirt, feeling my bare skin. They’re cold, and I yelp.

“Sorry,” he grins, pulling them out and rubbing them together, blowing on them, warming them up before putting them back on my body. “I’m so glad you were outside my window, Lauri. I was feeling so lonely tonight. I dreamed I saw you out there, and I woke up and went to the balcony and there you were. As soon as I saw you standing there I knew you felt the same.”

“I always have,” I tell him, loving the way he closes his eyes as I kiss him. He’s so beautiful, so much more than 2 a.m. ever could be.

***

I still go on my walks, now, but I go on a different route, because now Jonne and I live together. He goes on my late night walks with me, and it’s made me treasure them even more, because no matter how busy we were during the day, it’s our time to be alone and love eachother. Sometimes neither of us speaks a single word, we just enjoy the quiet and having each other’s company. Other times we’ll talk and talk and talk, he’ll pick my brain and I’ll pick his and I always wind up feeling wonderfully fulfilled afterward. Even on tour, when we have enough energy, we go and explore whatever city we’re in, and sometimes get lost together.

The fact that he sees and understands and appreciates the preternatural silence and ethereal beauty of the night makes me love him even more, and the bond we share in it brings us closer together. We’ll both always remember that night he saw me from his window, standing outside under a streetlamp with snow in my hair, wanting to watch over him and know that he was safe. I’m his dream come true, he tells me, the unlikeliest love of all. His best friend who loves the night and was somehow drawn to his window to save him from his loneliness and love him better than anybody else ever had before. He loves me with all of his heart, and that’s more than good enough for me.