He watched her walk over to the couch and sit down next to him and silently cheered what he hoped would be good fortune.
She wasn’t close enough to try the old yawn and put his around her move but she wasn’t at the far end of the couch either.
She smiled at him and looked at the television.
It was the kind of smile that made him wonder if she was just being friendly or if maybe there might be something more to it.
Men often misunderstood friendly gestures from women. He had learned from past experience that the kind of smile she gave him could be interpreted as approval to approach or content to share the couch.
He had learned from past experience that the kind of smile she gave him could be interpreted as approval to approach or content to share the couch with him.
But she didn’t fit into the category of other women and hadn’t for what felt like an eternity.
That was because she and him had once referred to each other as ‘us’ or ‘we.’
They had been not just a couple, but the couple and that made the moment very different from the others he had once known with others so many years before.
If you had to use labels or insisted on categorizing things he would say she wasn’t just the one who had gotten away, she was the one and that was what scared him.
Thing was he wasn’t quite sure to make of what he felt. It was a mix of fear and supreme confidence.
Fear that he would never get another shot with her and that she would be gone forever intermixed with the knowledge that somehow, someway everything would work out.
That uncertainty and uneasiness was why he hadn’t tried to hug her when she walked in.
Every time they made eye contact he felt like she could see right through him and wondered how she could so easily take his measure.
No one else did that to him. No one else gave him butterflies in his stomach.
He loved it and hated it.
Loved it because it validated what his heart kept telling him and hated it because his brain said to be cautious.
Heart said ‘believe’ and head said ‘blow this heart and all that will be left of you is a gaping hole where you used to live.’
Heart called head a series of vicious names and head just laughed.
“Can we make some popcorn? I love watching movies and popcorn always makes them more fun.”
He nodded his head and walked over to the kitchen.
When he thought she wasn’t looking he took a moment to stare at her again. Time had been very good to her and he swore she looked a full decade or more younger than she was.
“Is everything ok? Is there a stain or something on me?”
He almost jumped out of his skin when she asked. She had noticed him staring.
“Yeah, it is fine. I thought I saw something move outside.”
She nodded her head and said ‘ok’ but her eyes said she didn’t buy his excuse.
For a moment he thought about telling her he was daydreaming about kissing her and what she looked like in those jeans but decided against it.
Five minutes later he put a bowl of popcorn on the coffee table and sat down.
Thirty-five minutes later she laughed and said if he wanted some popcorn he should move closer to her so they could share the bowl.
The first few times her hand brushed against his in the bowl he figured it was just an accident. Nothing intentional, just what happens when two people share a bowl of popcorn.
But after the third and fourth time he began to wonder if maybe that was the sign he was looking for. So the next time she tried to grab some popcorn he made a point to accidentally take some from her hand.
“Stop stealing my popcorn. I want that back.”
Even if he hadn’t seen the giant smile on her face he recognized that tone of voice as the one she always used when she was trying to tease him.
He tossed the pieces into his mouth and shocked himself by saying if she wanted them she could come and get them.
“I don’t want your chewed up popcorn.”
“Uh, ok. I am really sorry about that.”
This time he didn’t look at her or catch that little thing in her voice that made it clear she wasn’t angry.
“How long am I going to have to wait before you try to kiss me?”
He was so shocked he barely managed to babble something about having popcorn breath.
“I do too. Now are you going make me embarrass myself again or are you going to kiss me.”
Three hours later he watched her walk from the bathroom back to the bed and wondered how he could be so lucky.
“Don’t climb in yet. I want to look at you?”
“Why? I think you just saw all of me.”
“Because you are beautiful and I never get enough of you.”
“You don’t have to flatter me to get what you want.”
“I am not trying to flatter you. I am telling you the truth. You are amazing.”
“Men always say things like that afterwards. I am telling you, there is no need. I want to do it again.”
This time he shook his head at her and told her again he thought she was stunning.
“I thought so from the moment I first saw you and I still think so now.”
“You are too nice to me. I don’t deserve it.”
He smiled and shook his head again.
“You deserve all that and then some.”
Later on when she thought he was asleep he heard her say she hoped she could be his forever.
Morning broke and he opened his eyes to an empty bedroom.
He stretched and wandered over to the bathroom.
“That was the best dream I have had in forever.”
Just before he started the shower he thought he heard someone ask what he wanted for breakfast.