This is the tree in the very center of the front yard of my house. It’s a Bartlett Pear I believe. This tree and I are in a love-hate relationship right now. I love how pretty it is with all the leaves on it and how the leaves look like russet leather in the fall. It loves all the sun and water it gets and how I won’t let the kids tear branches off of it. Right now I am hating it, though. At least, I don’t hate the tree. I hate this, which is on the tree:
Those little flowers are my nightmare. As of last night I am in full blown allergy hell. These trees are planted in every yard in the whole neighborhood. Every single blessed one of them is in bud and bloom. Every single one of them is making my eyes feel as if ants are crawling through them. My head is miserable with sneezing and, my god, the itching that’s attacking my nose is enough to drive me insane. I love spring. I really do. It’s so pretty and makes me feel alive and young, all those beautiful flowers and the color of new leaves on the trees. I’m not blind to the beauty of spring. But I really hate my allergies. I hate being dependent on allergy meds, too, but god bless them, they’re the only thing that get me through the early blooming season. It’s why I love winter and rainy days.
So due to the absolute misery I am in because I am in the grasp of these villainous allergy fiends today’s post is going to be a peek at one of the stories I submitted to my writer’s group. It’s not a book but I am thinking of expanding it into one. This is why you are only getting a peek. I’ve got a couple of projects I am working on and I’m not sure which one I want to use it in or if I’m going to give it it’s own life. We will see. You’re only getting an edited/cut version, but the full story went over well with the men in our group. I hope you enjoy it.
He sees her across the street sitting at an outdoor table of a restaurant. He sits on a step leading to the art museum. He’s been there for about ten minutes. He first noticed her as he got his cup of coffee to go. She was coming in as he was leaving and he had held the door open for her and her friend. She had come in last and looked at him as she said thank you. Her arm had brushed his by accident as she passed by him, and he could still feel the area where her skin had met his. He watched as the women walked to a table outside and took note of where they sat. That was when he had walked across the street to the museum steps. Something about this particular woman had captured his attention. He wanted to watch her. He couldn’t take his eyes off of her.
She laughs at something being said by her friend. At least, he thinks the other woman is her friend. Both women are pretty but there’s something undefinable about her. He can’t quite decide what it is that has attracted him. He can’t stop watching her. Every so often she pushes a lock of her long, dark hair out of her face because it keeps falling forward, getting in her way. She seems unconscious of having to do it so many times. He’s already counted six instances of it. What is it about her that holds him spellbound? He continues to watch her to see if he can find the answer.
Her laugh is genuine, her smile lights up her whole face. She seems to glow in the fading sunlight as if she’s absorbed the sun’s radiance and has trapped it inside her body. He smiles in response to her laugh. Who wouldn’t smile with that much joy being unconsciously released and shared? It’s infectious. He takes a sip of his coffee.
Every so often he catches the sound of her voice. Gentle, well-modulated, she has a voice made for listening to. It’s a soothing voice, he thinks. He’d love to listen to her reading in bed at night before falling asleep, or whispering those soft sounds lovers tend to make to each other in the depths of the night. Does she even have a lover to make those sounds to? How could she not? If he can’t keep his eyes off of her how could any other man?
Suddenly, she turns her head and looks at him across the street. Is she actually looking at him? From this distance it’s hard to tell but he thinks she is. A small smile graces her face. She lowers her head in a gesture of shyness but then looks back at him again. A pink blush colors her cheeks. He smiles at her. She smiles back. He dares a small wave. She lifts the hand on her lap just a little, her fingers waving in response. She is looking at him. His heart beats faster. Her friend continues to talk to her, unaware of the silent communication going back and forth across the street. He bows his head briefly, the smile on his face growing larger. He remembers her eyes from before when he held the door open and she had looked at him. They were the bluest eyes he’d ever seen. He had felt as if he could drown in them and not care at all. They had looked at him and he’d felt as if she had seen through to his soul, as if she had seen both the dark and the light of him, the end and the beginning of his life. And now she had those soul searching eyes trained on him. He had never felt more alive, or more like dying, than he did then.