It started with a simple question.

"Do you believe in magic?"

I stood on the sidewalk, staring at the street performer. She smiled at me mischievously.

I have walked past this girl every day for a month. She performs her tricks, trying to catch the eye of somebody, anybody, with a dollar to give. I've never paid her any notice; or paid her at all. Now, today, with a scarf wrapped around my neck and my body cocooned in a winter coat, I gave her scant attention.

She held out a deck of cards, bottom up. The ace of hearts looked back at me. My breath pooled out in the frosty air, rising above my head.

"Of course not."

I walked away.

The next day, I was met with the same question. With a grin plastered on her face, she had guileless eyes.

Instead of a deck of cards, she held out a top hat. I merely scoffed at her as she asked me again.

"Do you believe in magic?"

"My answer hasn't changed since yesterday."

I turned to walk away. Her grin stayed there as her eyes crinkled. Like she knew something that I didn't.

But I did know. I had seen her preparing them for other crowds. They were nothing more than clever tricks. Magic isn't real.

She stepped into my path on the third day. In front of me, she started pulling multicolored cloth from her ear. It seemed that it would never end. I stood quietly as she continued her trick. When she was finished, she simply asked again.

"Do you believe in magic?"

I merely brushed past her as she received applause from the other people surrounding us.

By the fourth day, I had enough. I didn't stop for her on the sidewalk. She followed me down the street.

"Have you run out of tricks?" I asked, after a minute of her doggedness. She laughed; a full, hearty laugh. I stopped and looked at her. She grinned again.

"No. But I figured that none of the other ones matter." I nodded, satisfied, and continued walking. She continued to follow.

I stopped again.

"Well, what do you want then?"

She leaned towards me, face inches from mine.

"Do you believe in magic?" She asked.

Before I could answer, she grazed my lips with hers. My back stiffened.

She stepped back, the grin plastered on her face once more. My fingers tingled.

I couldn't answer her.