The next two eventful days of Garrett and Erin's love.
Where was this going to go?
"I feel better, much better, I have had some personal issues that needed sorting out. I think I have gotten to a place that isn't so sad anymore." I saw a smile pull at the corners of her mouth, and her eyes flashed an inner light at me, and she stood up.
"I just wanted to see how you were feeling, and if you were working, I have to go now." I wanted to tell her I never wanted her to leave, but I settled for "It was really nice seeing you." Like I said, not much of a talker lately. She smiled again, and turned, and walked back out the door.
I went back to work with a head full of possibilities, and a strange feeling, I don't even know what to call it. A sense of inevitability, a feeling of destination. Or maybe I just want her so bad, I was imagining things. Back and forth the rest of the night, wanting, and fearing the same thing. What would the next meeting be like? It took less time than I thought to find out.
My shift ended at 6:00 am. I was just walking out of the office, getting coffee to go, when I saw her sitting at her booth. Rachel. Here? now? My hands were trembling as I filled the styrofoam cup, my mind whirling down the different avenues of possibilities. She might not even be here for me. I was wrong, though. When I looked up, she caught my eye, and motioned me over to her table.
"Feel like breakfast?", was her response to my timid hello. I cook breakfast all night long, and am not really fond of breakfast anyway, but I would have cooked eggs in hell to have breakfast with this beautiful creature. My actual response was more like "somewhere else, I hope?"
"There's a new bagel place in town that has great bagels, and leave the coffee here, theirs is far better" Now I like coffee, and I agree, the coffee at the diner is lousy, so if there was better to be had, it was a deal closer.
We took her car a few blocks down to the bagel place, which was just unlocking the doors. The smell of fresh bagels and coffee is so much nicer than greasy eggs and homefries!
We walked in, her taking the lead, me still befuddled that I was there with her. We ordered, and retreated to a small round table in the corner. The new place may have great bagels and coffee, but I don't remember what I ate, and never noticed the difference in my java.
We talked for a couple hours, about everything, school, art, religion, family. She talked easily for a new acquaintance, and after a few moments, I felt completely unthreatened. I felt at ease for the first time in months.
I found out that she went to school at night, worked her off nights, and preferred the quiet nights at the diner to the crowds everywhere during the day. I told her a bit about my old life, I have some really good stories, and I can see them all a little bit different now.
After breakfast I suggested the park. It is where I go to read, and I thought she might understand. She did. We walked along the edge of the small pond at the center of the park, sat on a small bench in need of paint.
Talked, looked, shared, discovered. The second time around the pond, we took hands quite naturally. Rachel was quite close to me, and she smelled great, maybe her shampoo or something, because it wasn't perfume. But that has always been one of my favorite things about women, they always smell better than I do.
I learned she was 23, just a few years younger than me, that she was nearly finished with school, a wildlife preservationist, and that she was originally from Pennsylvania. I also learned that I could love this girl, I had already seen that much.
Images of her tear streaked face assaulted me, and I became quiet. She noticed immediately, and inquired about it. My first instinct was to play it off, to assume the smile and manner, and to worry about it when I was alone, when it was safe. But I looked into her eyes, and instead I sat down, and put my head in my hands.
Speaking quietly, forcing the words p