A few things I’ve learned the hard way.
I took a deep breath, raised a trembling hand, and knocked.
I heard footsteps inside. A small pause as the lock turned. And then, the door cracked open. The first thing I noticed–and what I suddenly remembered from a lifetime ago–were those blue eyes.
Nearly a year ago, I was dreaming of the Pacific Northwest. I’d stir in the night, reeling from images of gentle rain and dense forests and cool, misty air in my Southern lungs. Of course I’d been there for just a moment–just a flash in the larger scheme of life. But as I flew home from that fateful trip last September, I vowed to return one day–for no other reason than because
“What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t happened yet.”
They sit close, beneath the branches of a sprawling oak tree.
Inside, live music rattles the walls, but out back on a small, wooden bench in the summer moonlight, it is quiet.
When I close my eyes, breathe deeply and imagine my happy place, it’s this.
Always, always, it is this.
Last week, I found my luggage tag from a long-ago trip.
Rifling through my collection of bags, I reached a green duffel at the bottom of the stack.
Oh yes, I thought. I forgot about this one.
I have no idea what he’ll look like or what he’ll do or even how we’ll meet. Maybe I’ll say the wrong thing and he’ll step on my toes when we first spin around a dance floor. Maybe he’ll grin and trip over words when all he means to say is I want your number with a desire that knocks the wind out of me. Maybe he won’t wait three days to call and maybe my past will cloud my trust. Maybe one kiss, and then two, will cure it.
We sit, knee to knee. Coffee for him. Beer for me, because everything happened so long ago.
“I nearly threw up when I asked for your number,” he jokes.
“I remember,” I say, grinning at the thought. “It was–”
“–endearing,” I correct. “I found it utterly endearing.”
“Yeah, but no one would find that endearing now.”
I pause. “I would.”
“Well,” he says, turning his cup around, “that’s because you’re a special kind of girl.”
This weekend, I took a trip.
A small, two-night trip with my three best friends.
Best friends isn’t quite the right term, but it’s a convenient placeholder. Emily likes to call us soul siblings, which I think is far more accurate. Family by choice, connected at the core of our beings until death do us part.