She’d always ask him to tell her a story, and he could only come up with one. Her. At first, it would be endearing, how they could stroll and feel each other’s skin graze upon one another, the light air, a spring morning. It didn’t matter when, maybe him sitting at the counter with a fresh cup of coffee, she might walk behind and let her fingertips play with the hair of his ponytail while she found her chair across from him – both carrying morning smiles. The room could gradually fill with laughter as the two shared stories with each other, how remarkable it might be that ‘we are both sitting here right now’ and our lives have traveled so many different directions until this meeting. She might point to his eyes and he would speak to her braids, hers being a part of her life he could remember going back many many years, and as lovely as ever today. He could look into her eyes and think to himself there really is nothing more in my life than I need right now than this moment itself. And he would be afraid to tell her that for fear she might run away. She might reveal the same to him later on that ‘if you knew what I was thinking’ you would run away so quickly. They would smile at each other again and think just how lovely this moment could be, let’s hang onto it forever.
Both would then take a moment to pause and imagine time, look into one another’s eyes for a moment and realize so many decades had gone by, how blessed may we be to see such light in each other’s eyes … effortless, only spontaneity.
Theirs is a happy reunion, decades later when it seemed the planets had aligned in such a way to allow their lives to intermingle in a manner profound, that each day would be spent talking about how magical these times are, and how such a quiz upon our lives seems so confusing, yet simple. The coffee would be shared through the morning, and she would teach him how to cook again, and they would laugh at how easy the process was for both him to put together a meal and her to understand that someone might care for her, and she might care for someone as well.
He would go upstairs to ready himself for a morning walk and brushing past her room notice a sundress hanging in her bedroom, thinking only to himself, I don’t know if anyone could ever look so lovely as she will the day he might be graced with her presence in some outdoor venue in the week’s ahead. He would tell her that story, and then she would return with one of him standing in her doorway with a book bag and strap around his shoulder waiting for her to open the door. Utterances that came out of their mouths were words like charming, and elegant, and real, and now.
They took that first walk together in the snow at a familiar childhood island, where trails of walkers well established took them around the perimeter of the water. She broke the trail for a moment to show him some cut up wood whose faces of circled slice looked like turkeys with their rings and ruffled edges. He thought for a moment whether he should just agree, but then upon further glance he realized she was right, and the markings were a perfect playground for a thanksgiving treat. This walk seemed to hold a special promise having brought two lives together whom hadn’t known one another’s paths for years, yet could remember a name, a time, a memory like it was yesterday. By the time they reached the car, the crisp air of a late winter morning frosting cheeks, he thought to himself, and he wondered. They had been together now for less then a day, and he was about to say good-bye. (Should I kiss her? Should I ask her for a kiss?) His mind was running fast, and he felt like a teenager. He smiled and held her close, and she didn’t resist. He asked if he could and she said yes. That morning, in the parking lot of a childhood memory, the two young lovers embraced and shared a kiss, one that would send shivers through them both not just in that moment, but in decades of time that had been lost with one another and now found again.
We all wish to believe stories like this will go on and time allows chapters to be added, moments to be reminded, and new memories to be created. Thus will begin a retelling of a lovely chapter in the life of ‘the hippie girlfriend.’
© Thom Amundsen – prologue – 5/2021