A waitress, summoned by the sound of the broken decanter, appeared carrying a hand broom and from the corner of my eye I saw her stop and decide to leave the moment to us. I was grateful to her for that, but that was all the thought or time I had to spare for her. All of me was lost to the beauty of Ilyena, even her name sounded like love…
Her lips, not painted but stained with a reddish hue from the wine, parted and she spoke. “I am horribly jealous and quick tempered. I thought you may need to know that.”
“And why is that?” I asked fishing.
“Are you a tease as well as a good kisser?” And just like that she called my bluff and let me win.
“We have both in common it appears.”
I pierce a small piece of mango from our shared plate and lift it, dripping with honey, to her mouth. A kiss of another sort. A culinary kiss. And as with any good kiss, when it’s over, I miss it. I miss her, though she’s right there. It’s the pull of my everyday tugging at my practical parts and I know I’ll go back to it though I hope not to. I want to stay with her.
“You’re staring at me.”
“You’re a vision.” There’s that coy smile again. I’ve never done anything more worthwhile.
“Is this your usual third date?”
“I don’t remember. It’s been two years or more since I’ve been on one. Does it feel usual?”
She returns the favor of the mango with a blackberry and as it bursts in my mouth she shakes her head.
“No. Why two years?”
“I was waiting.”
“You it seems.”
“And what is it I’ve got?”
“Anyone can get that.”
“No one has.”
“I like your eyes,” she says simply. “Dark, but they change from the shade of your hair to an ocean green.”
“They do?” She nods yes.
Where will I go if not with her? Everywhere will seem so empty without her voice. Without feeling her fingers between mine. Without her two steps to my one falling beside me. I don’t know if those thoughts were in her head too then or if she read mine, but she got up and curled into my lap. We watched the sun set over the valley falling away beneath our feet. It is a memory that keeps me alive.