An early birthday story... set up for the end? or beginning?
The room was darkened, lit only by a single candle upon each small round table. A delightful trio was playing easy listening jazz on the stage. If you had to pick one word to describe the mood in the room mellow comes to mind. The mood, the lighting, and music- it was all so easy and mellow. Laughter erupted from a table across the room. It seemed like everyone’s mood was as laid back as the music.
He stood up, walked around the table, and held his hand out to her. She couldn’t believe it. He wanted to dance. In her mind she was thinking, he never wants to dance. She placed her hand in his, as he led her to the floor. She glided into his arms leaning her head on his shoulder. Slowly they swayed in time to the music. At first his lead was stiff, but as he allowed the music to touch him his lead became more fluid. She loved to dance. She also knew how much he hated to dance. It was a big deal to be out on the dance floor and it would have never happened with a faster song, she was sure of that.
She raised her head and looked at him. She realized that just that movement had startled in him back into the stiffness that had just past. She waited for him to relax again. While she waited, she watched him. In his arms, she felt safe. She watched his eyes, so deep and lost in thought. She watched the candlelight glint on his silver hair. She watched as the corners of his mouth slowly curled upwards. He abruptly stopped dancing bringing her out of her reflections. He took her hand and led her back to the table.
They sat quietly at the table taking in the ambience. It truly was a special night. It was rare for the couple to have any time alone together. Neither knew when they would be able to see each other again. The music seemed to sweep each of them to their own private thoughts. Plans, work, together, apart, neither knew what the other was thinking. When the music paused they both started to talk at the same time. Laughing at the awkwardness, he encouraged her to go on.
They held hands across the table. Looking into his eyes, she smiled “I’m not sure where to start, but here goes. It’s been too long since we’ve taken time for us. We are pretty much on our own paths. It seems like we have so little time together.” She stopped and looked down at the hands that had held her. She rubbed them gently with her thumbs as she composed her thoughts.
He was starting to feel apprehensive. Concern washed over his face but she was lost in her own thoughts. His features darkened as he waited patiently for her to continue.
She spoke so softly he wondered what was going on, or was this the end of their relationship. “I know that each of us have our own separate lives. That’s part of what makes the times that we have together so special. I just wanted you to know, that I really treasure the time that we do have together.”
He breathed a sigh of relief, rubbed her hands while he stared into her deep blue eyes. She wasn’t finished, but at least he knew he wasn’t getting the boot. He quietly sat watching the woman he cared so much about. She was offering herself to him like an exquisite orchid.
She looked up into his eyes, “Your birthday is coming up. We won’t be able to be together, but I wanted to let you know my wish for your birthday.” It was as if the room had disappeared. The band left for the night. All of the other patrons had vanished, and the only thing he heard was the sweet sound of her voice. All he saw was the love radiating from her eyes. The only place he wanted to be was to be with her.
“My wish for you, my darling love, is that you find joy and beauty in everything around you. I hope that you find the way to make all of your dreams come true. I want you to know in your heart, that you’re in my heart every day no matter where either of us is. I know you’ve had to make do with the situation the way it is, but honey, I’ll always be there for you.” She lifted his hands to her lips, and gently kissed the backs of each. “I’ll come to you, no matter where, no matter when.”
The band started another slow love song. He tilted his head toward the dance floor. They walked together, for the second time to the dance floor. There was no stiffness in his step this time. He was so relaxed, as she leaned her head on his shoulder. He gently kissed her forehead and whispered, “This is the best almost my birthday I’ve ever had.”
March 25, 2007
Revised July 7,2010