Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Choice, Part IV

Part I

Part II

Part III

Saturday Night Live ended and The Greatest Hits of the Seventies on Four CDs or Cassettes danced on the screen. The over-lip glossed hostess tried in vain to sell the compilation to the young couple. His sisters had gone to bed and they were left alone.

There they sat, absorbed in the feeling of together. They were in a new world. An hour before they were friends, now they were something more. She didn't want to move--didn't want to end this perfect feeling, but it was getting late and he still had to drive her home. She looked up at him and saw that he had already been looking down at her. And then, there it was; the first kiss.

She had a history of first kisses that were decidedly not this kiss. When she was 16, she played the lead role in a musical production. Despite pleas and panicking, her first kiss of all was on opening night, on the stage, in front of everyone. Having no romantic feelings for her co-star, all she could think was that it was slimy and awkward. As the cast cheered back-stage (everyone having known her misgivings about this being her first kiss), she wondered what attraction there was in kissing.

Her real first kiss was on her parents front porch with her brothers' eyes peering out the window. She was giggly; he was shaky. When he finally worked up the nerve to kiss her, the connecting of their lips was more like a slam or a collision than a soft-lens, symphony playing, gracefully executed show of passion.

But this kiss. Well. Now she understood why The Kiss was always right before the Happily, Ever After.

On Tuesday morning, she was dancing around the house as she helped her mother clean. Nothing could get her down; she was always singing. Her mother stopped everything and looked at her, You love him.

What? She cried, nonplussed. Nooo. I've only known him for a little over two weeks. He . . . he . . . I . . . I . . . you, don't . . .

Her mom raised her eyebrows and grinned. I've told you before: Mom's know everything.

This comment from her mother got her to thinking. Did she love him? Like, yes. Lust, obviously. But Love? All day she analysed love. Could she love someone she had barely met? Didn't people have to go through all kinds of experiences together before they could claim Love? Her parents loved each other. They had been married for 25 years. She thought about their relationship. No way. She couldn't love him. But, then, again, were there different levels of love? Her parents loved each other when they were married 25 years earlier. Could that constant longing for his companionship be love?

That night he came to her house and they wandered around her parent's park-like backyard. They held hands and visited quietly in the cooling September air. She found herself thinking, I could do this for the rest of my life.

They sat in a hammock and ceased talking. He had his arm around her, her head rested in her place. She closed her eyes and enjoyed the comfortable, warm feeling that filled her. Quietly, he said, Is it too early to say I love you?

Do you? she whispered back



  1. So beautifully written. I know I'm late to the party, but I am glad the two of you have each other.