Children at Play

It’s Labor Day and it humid. A supposedly crappy day for a picnic. But we always make the most of it. Once again, it’s his car, his time, with me. I cherish it.

Pulling off the main road leads to a worn road. Surrounded by trees we enter. We speak.

“I feel as if this is where a serial killer would take his next victim, you know,” I say softly over the 101.9 radio station playing at a low volume

“Would you ever meet someone for a first date in the middle of woods”

The earth was starting to reclaim itself. Mother Nature taking revenge on those who tried to conceal her perfect beauty.

The road continues to twist and turn. Dips and divets cover the road. Potholes that haven’t been repaired. The earth was starting to reclaim itself. Mother Nature taking revenge on those who tried to conceal her perfect beauty.

“Sure, why not,” you respond. “The woods are quiet and romantic. Taking a walk through them and talking and getting to know another person. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

“How do you know they’re not a serial killer though.”

I watch the speedometer increase. 10 miles above the speed limit on this tiny narrow 2 way. I tell him to watch it, but he remains consistent, following it for what seems like forever.

“That’s a fair point. Maybe not the first date, but the 4th or 5th one, like this. When you’re still getting to know someone and just want to feel connected and alone with them”

He rounds the last curve, slowing down at this point. He rolls into a stop. Looking for the faded parking lines, squinting, questioning where they are. They’re almost impossible to see. He decides this was good enough.

An open field sprawled across his windshield. A fresh picnic sits at my feet. There’s a blanket in the back. We had planned to get out, but then the rain starts. It’s a light drizzle it cools the air. The windshields become blurred as the drops cover it. We cracked with windows and shut the car off.

I lift out our sandwiches. Turkey and Amish baby Swiss on wheat. With butter, not mayo. I passed him the purple container. The blue one was for myself. The cheese 100% pure. Fresh from the farmers market. We bought it together, on our last date.

His fingers rub my hand.

Staring straight into his eyes, “It’s a shame that it started to rain as soon as we got here. I wish that we had a more scenic view, you know? Something special to remember today by.”

His eyes darted away at first, then come back into focus.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I already have the best view that I can imagine.”

“You make my heart skip a beat. You make my stomach aflutter with the movements of a thousand butterflies. Dare I say it, I think I’ve fallen in love with you,” I think to myself.

He takes a bite of the sandwich and smile.

“This is good cheese. Two thumbs up for me. I guess the Amish really do do it better” he laughed.

The kind of laughter that bounces off walls, ricochets off the stained glass and makes those around you see the good in the world.

The laughter of a priest laughing at his own joke. The kind of laughter that bounces off walls, ricochets off the stained glass and makes those around you see the good in the world. That’s the way his laugh was. It was beautiful. I looked down, it sure did look good. I took a bite and smiled. I guess that guy really did know his cheese, I don’t know how I could’ve ever doubted him. We finished off the lunch. Every last crumb consumed. He didn’t rush it, but took his time, savoring everything he consumed. He was a quiet, introspective. A man of few words, but a heart that was whole heartedly consuming.

He opened doors for me, payed the first date. He was a gentleman, he was my secret though. My parents would disapprove of us dating. My friends would say “he’s weird” and “not right for you Angela.” I had an outgoing bubbly personality. I was the life of the party, and he was a lamp. He was bright, full of great ideas, but nobody ever compliments a lamp. But they’d never understand that.

He swung his own door open.

“The sun! It has lived to see another moment, to help another plant. To save us from the over consuming darkness that eats us alive, turn our souls into black pits of depression, oppression and loneliness. Oh sunshine! My good friend I have missed you from the moment you disappeared. Now come, grace this beautiful woman with your rays and let her feet never touch the saddened pits of life.”

He grabbed my hands and we danced.

My smile was impossible to hide, this wonderful carefree spirit overcame me. We splashed into puddles, screaming as the water sloshed against out calves. We were like children, loving the earth and each other and everything. He grabbed me and pulled me into a kiss. It was long and passionate the world seemed to stop spinning. He was my world at that moment. My forever, I wanted this day to never end. That was until, he grabbed my hands, and we headed off into the woods.