I’m caught as her hands delicately flip through the pages of a tattered Jack Kerouac novel. The early morning rays pierce their way through the isolated corner window of the oak lined coffee shop, catching the steam as it ascends from the cup in front of her. She reaches, and my eyes trace up her arm. A single freckle sits half way, there’s beauty in its isolation. The cup touches her lips and they contort like cushions, lightly padding the rest of her face; that of a soft summer glow. I can see the eager wonder embedded in her wide brown eyes nearly biting at the words fading from the worn pages. If I were to reach out now I might be able to catch the bug for myself. I might be able to catch a part of the excitement, a part of understanding.
I can see it. A crisp fall morning, just enough to see your breath, the fallen leaves crunch under our feet as we walk across the hidden wood bridge. We hit a clearing across from a prehistoric field where the thin white trees rise out of a tall thick of grass. We stop to admire and you make a comment about something or other. I didn’t realize, I was too busy watching your cold lips shift as the frost just began to get to them. I just hope it wasn’t it a question. We continue, and as we do we notice several tall benches pulled out from the ground, apple bonkers you would call them. I love that movie. Pushing through branches and thorns we manage to find a mansion lawn. Well, not really, but who mows a random field in the middle of a forest? It was big enough to be the fucking white house. We lay down together and watch the clouds float by. They’re fast today. I think the light wispy ones are called cirrus? They could be. It doesn’t matter. We walk a back-end wooded trail looking for an abandoned mansion to explore. One more turn, one more turn we keep saying, we’ll find something. Nope. We hit nothing but a parking lot for the area. Disappointing, but it’s alright, because we discovered it together. We stumble across a fallen gnome home, maybe once used to house humans. It’s just rubble now. Two exterior walls left standing, and a rusted out barrel to the side. I climb to the middle and make a dumb joke about playing house, you laugh and play along. We walk back over to a bench around the path and sit down. There’s nothing across from us but a tall marsh. The moment is short lived, but it’s not the destination that matters, it’s the adventure, as you would always say.
I look back up and realize the girl has closed her book and is beginning to stand up. The sound of her chair across the floor puling me back from life. I sit and watch as she walks to the edge of the coffee shop, her legs slide through each step. I could say something now, I could get up and tell her about our life, but that life has already been lived. With a creek off the door and a ring of the bell, she takes a step over the threshold, the cold city wind blowing her scarf back inside, possibly in a desperate plea, but I’ll never know. She steps outside and catches the close winter sun. I watch as she walks past the glass wall of the building, disappearing around the corner. I wait for a moment, possibly for some untold miracle, waiting to see if she might get an itch and see it though. Nothing. I turn back to my pen as the door rings open, bringing with it the next life to live.