It was a small place, not very fancy or upscale, but comfortable- and, the coffee was good there. It was mid morning, and most, if not all of the ‘morning rush’ java drinkers had long departed from one daily ‘grind’ to another.
They sat. Not next to one another, but at a small table, facing each other. And while there was a beautiful aroma in the air, the heavenly scent of coffee and scones and delicate pastries- there also was an air of slight tension – at first.
“Why”, she began. “Why in the world did you, out of the blue, book a flight and come half way across the fucking country, just to see me?!!”
He sat, listening. His coffee was black, strong, but it was brewed, not the trendy espresso type. He liked it that way – his way. And, that’s how he lived his life – his way.
“You know, I don’t even KNOW YOU!”, her voice started to actually break a bit as it climbed slightly in pitch, clearly she wasn’t happy – not unhappy – after all, no one had ever flown over two thousand miles just to sit and have a cup of coffee with her – but still! wtf?
Still he sat, listening. His eyes never leaving hers. She looked him squarely back too. She was a very strong woman, he could tell that instantly. He liked that in a woman. Of course, he had known all along that she was incredibly strong; he wouldn’t have flown this far to have coffee with a woman of weak character. He knew what he was doing. But, he also knew, that he had made her uncomfortable, and as such, was doing everything in his power to emanate an air of calm. Because, actually, he was a calm man. And, a very patient man too.
Now she sat, still wanting to continue with a barrage of questions, but she too was generally a calm person. She was feeling a little more at ease now, observing that this man, was actually listening. Huh!? She thought, maybe he is a little different. She began to study him. Studying his features. He was older than she. And, although not ugly, he was rather….ordinary; he was a strong man, with very strong hands; she did like that. But, she could never picture herself with someone like him, his hair was already turning a silvery gray; however, at least he had hair, she almost let out an audible chuckle. Calming now, and with full composure regained, once again, this time in a very quiet and almost sultry tone, she asked him, “Why, did you do this; come all the way here to see me?”
He heard her question, but was focused- Her eyes. The entire time that they had been sitting together, it was her eyes. They were captivating. Snapping out of the spell of her eyes- momentarily- he readjusted his position a little, leaned slightly forward and put his hand on top of hers. “I would have flown half way around the world to have this moment.” Her gaze didn’t change, he continued. “Do you remember, that time I asked you, ‘If you could travel to any destination, anywhere with no limitations or concerns, where would you go?’ And you never answered me.”
She nodded. She remembered that silly and absurd question – a message he had sent. She had thought about it – not just answering his question, but actually had thought deeply about where she would go. She didn’t know where all this was going, but, for the moment, she sat and was actually feeling better – although, she had already planned, if any part of this gets to be too much, or too weird, she would have no problem getting up and leaving him in the dust – preferably with a glass of something liquid in his face!
He watched her nod, he knew she would remember that. And he watched her wheels turning inside her mind. He was a master at reading people. An instinctive gift. He was highly intuitive, for a man. He continued. “I can’t explain this in terms that will make rational sense. But I will do my best.” He watched carefully as he spoke now. “When I asked you that question, had you reciprocated, and asked me the same, I would have described probably two different places and dream destinations. One of which, might have been a return trip to Italy- the beautiful town of Sorrento perhaps. But, more importantly, I would have first described this coffee house, and meeting you here to talk and be together.”
She stared. Her mind was racing. Taking another sip of her coffee, again she queried, “Okay, look, I’m not saying it was a bad thing, or that I am unhappy that you came all the way here….but”, she was almost at a loss for words, she really didn’t understand him at all, “Why!?!”, she asked again. As he began to speak, answering her question, when he said her name, it was as if an electric current had pulsed completely through her body. Now SHE was leaning forward, and listening intently. She could feel this. This…whatever it was, was palpable. An energy. Is this what they refer to as ‘chemistry’? She thought she knew what compatibly and having chemistry with someone meant, but, never….never, had she felt this.
He noticed her shift and lean forward, her entire countenance changing, brightening. He continued, “From the very beginning, the first time I saw your face, your eyes especially, I knew that I would have to meet you- be with you. At least once. Even if only for coffee and a conversation. The universe had conspired to place our paths in a course of intersection, how could I not follow through with such a quest?” He paused, watching her as he used words like ‘Universe’ and ‘paths of intersection’. Continuing, “I can’t explain everything I feel. And, truthfully, I am not sure who, whether it’s you or it is me, that is supposed to learn some life lesson out of all this – maybe we are both to learn something, I don’t know.” He saw that her mouth was almost opening slightly, she was hanging on his words now. Being careful, he simply said, “One thing I know absolutely for certain, everything happens for a reason. While, to us, as we live our lives, our busy and overly complicated lives, we see almost everything as random and coincidental events. I believe nothing could be further from the truth.” As he spoke now, he saw her regain her comfort once again, she was nodding in agreement.
She was actually starting to like this. Not necessarily him, but, the conversation. This must be a dream she almost made herself laugh, and she noticed that he noticed her grin. This noticing of each other noticing, made both of them smile. The air had lifted, and there was a new energy all about them. This time, she placed her hand on his, “So, basically, let me get this straight.” She paused, kind of giving her head a little shake side to side, “You are saying, that you flew all the way out here, just to have coffee and talk?”
He smiled. A big smile. And they were sitting at such a small table, and they were already leaning forward – so intent on all the conversation – it was very easy for him to do….leaning further forward, he gently kissed her beautiful lips and said, “Yes! Exactly!”
And, they kissed again- a little longer this time.
Originally written & published on my tumblr sub blog, drm-trvlr, January 17, 2017.
More to the backstory in another post ✍🏼