Sitting there across the table, sipping the tepid coffee, I quietly waited as I took in the emotion I could feel brewing. I tried not to stare, I didn’t want to make her self-conscious about the tear-streaked mascara nor did I want to belie propriety by revealing the connection I felt or the beauty I beheld. When she started to speak, it came as almost a whisper, trembling words… how she had broken finally with the on-again-off-again boyfriend she had been with over the last two years. How she had been keeping a small journal of her thoughts, that he had found it and broken the sanctity of her space. She held the small bound pages in her hands tightly, as if they would again be taken from her. She paused as if for a loss of words. Did I know she cared for me? I didn’t dare imagine I said. She opened the journal to a place marked with a scrap of paper. I was surprised, it was one of my poems that I had shared with friends. She had written it and I saw the comments below. Personal notes, questions as to whether it could be about her. I raised my glance to find her eyes. There were more words, she had been writing to herself each time our paths crossed, each time a poem caught her eye, each time our eyes had lingered across a room. I hadn’t been alone in my thoughts it seemed. Her boyfriend had read the words and questioned her. She had finally said the words out loud, first to him, then to herself, now to me. She wanted to find out if there could be more.
I stared into my coffee, as usual my mind was alive with thought and yet, one of the few times I felt at a loss for words. Yes, I had the thoughts, but now…. should I admit it to her, she was vulnerable and I didn’t want to make a misstep. Yet I could feel her eyes on me, pleading for some sign. I placed the cup on the table and reached for her hand. I explained that she was indeed in my thoughts more often than she knew. I had hoped, dreamt, even resigned myself to believing I was out of my league, she was a beautiful woman. I knew it would be difficult to explain the connection I felt to her, as if at times I knew her thoughts, pains, feelings while she was nowhere around. She would think I was crazy, so I kept that to myself. We talked of the times our paths had crossed, of friends, of our past and even our hopes for the future. Time could have raced, but it seemed to stand still.
When I looked to the window, the sun was coming up. We had talked through the night and yet, it seemed like no time at all. There was a current running through our fingers that kept us from releasing our bond. I was surprised, almost taken back when I saw her cheeks color, but at my quizzical glance, she just simply asked if I would kiss her. Maybe she was the one reading me. I leaned toward her, my hand touching her cheek as my lips finally found hers. The kiss was tender, but it didn’t break, that lingering touch that neither wanted to end, not now. We again stopped time and tasted something that it seemed had been building for some time between us. That simple kiss melted the wall between us and we found arms pulling each close. This was no rebound or a loss of inhibitions, it was the culmination of a search.
I knew we needed to talk more, to make sure of what we felt. It seemed now that we had finally let thoughts become words, word become actions, neither wanted to let it go, not yet. I knew we needed to rest before we could think of trying to navigate or way back to our cars. With the light flooding the cabin and the excitement of the moment, I knew we would not be able to sleep, not here. I took a chance, I rose and took her by the hand. I stopped at the trunk by the end of the bed and pulled two pillows and a blanket from within. Then I pulled the heavy fur from the end of the bed. I didn’t offer an explanation, but she didn’t hesitate, she followed me to the back wall. No, she had never been in the cave, but would accompany me without question. I had used this before when I was here and wanted to be alone, so I knew she would be surprised to know there was an alcove in the cave with a bed. One advantage was that when the door was closed and the artificial light turned off, daylight didn’t intrude. We’d curl up and grab a few hours sleep, nothing more….
– more later –