Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Day 104: Fields of Gold, Chapter 13

He had a date. But--on the plus side--it was a girl's choice dance. I could hope there was nothing there--at least on his side So, it would have to wait one more day. (The suspense was killing me.)

Sunday afternoon, I brushed through my hair, put on a gray sweater with a black skirt and black shoes, and a sheer lip gloss. I looked in the mirror and realized how un-American I looked. I wished I looked even more...changed. I hoped that Dave would be able to see how different I was, on the inside.

I drove over to his apartment, holding the address on a post-it note on my hand. I parked and walked up the cold metal stairs and down the dimly lit hallway until I was standing in front of his door. The butterflies were back, and they were feeling more like bats. I knocked.

The door opened a slight crack and Dave slipped through, closing the door quickly behind him. He wrapped his arms around me, as I stood up on my tiptoes to give him a good hug. I had forgotten how tall he was. We hugged for a minute, tightly, and I laughed nervously.

Stepping back, he smiled at me with his happiest, lopsided smile, and my knees felt weak. I tried to pull myself together enough to form coherent words. He had some people visiting inside, and they would be a few minutes more--would I come in and meet them, and his roommates? Taking me softly by the elbow, he opened his door and directed me to the couch. After introductions, I tried, desperately, to make polite conversation with complete strangers while all I wanted to do was turn to my right and look at this guy. I wanted to reach out and make sure he was real. I had to remind myself, repeatedly, that we were JUST FRIENDS.

After his company left, he asked me if I wanted to go on a walk. Oh, did I ever. We walked toward some fields at a nearby elementary school, talking the whole time. We had so much catching up to do, but all the things I wanted to talk about were irrelevant and obsolete. So we talked about my mission, mostly. We arrived at the fields, at the base of snow cover mountains and stood gazing silently at them. The ability to be silent with Dave was one of the things I liked the most about him.

He was standing behind me, and--without speaking--he just slipped his arms around me. (There were those weak knees again.) It was a good thing he was behind me, because I'm sure I couldn't have hidden my smile to save my life. Why did that small thing, mean so much?!

In my mind, I could see a huge chasm in front of me. Dave and I were standing on one side--the side where I was in love with him, and he wasn't in love with me. On the other side, we were happily in love with each other. And I had no idea how to bridge that gap. My mind raced, trying to see a way over.

But the rest of me was happy to stay there, in his embrace--looking at the mountains--as long as he'd let me.

1 comment:

Nicole B. said...

My brother was a little tease!