Sunday, May. 12, 2019 @ 10:27 pm
After our skin has dried, after a long time luxuriating in doing nothing but being together, we put on our clothes and boots and hike out to the lookout. We sit together on the rock outcropping, stunted and gnarled trees punctuating the expansive view of the river and mountain ranges beyond. A breeze comes and goes.
“Did you bring some good snacks?”
He watches with interest as I pull out a cutting board, crackers, goat cheese, and smoked salmon. A knife and two plates. Snap peas. Hulled strawberries cool and refreshing from the shady depth of my backpack.
“So that’s why your bag is so much larger than mine.”
Other hikers arrive on the rock. They take selfies. They flex and their girlfriends take their photos. They feed the chipmunks. We eat slowly and talk about everything and nothing.
The other hikers leave. We have the rock to ourselves again. I shift up to sit near him. He pulls me in between his legs and I lean my back to his front, his arms around my chest. He smells my hair and kisses my neck. I ask him questions, and he responds, talking near my ear. I like his voice. I like how he thinks.
“What was the best day of your life?”
“The day I picked up my dog from the SPCA,” he says. “We got into the car, and she jumped into my lap and looked up at me. The way that she looked at me was like You are my person. I will never forget that.”
We hike the two hours back to the car. We parked beside a lake. As we’re approaching the car, hot sun reflecting off the asphalt, my skin salty and dusty from the trail, I suggest another swim. He agrees.
We change out of our boots, and we walk together towards the lake across the parking lot. I reach over and touch his back, and he puts his arm around me. I like this.
Again, half-dressed beside a cool lake. There is only one spot to jump in from, and I go first. I dive into the water, and it’s warm in comparison to the previous. He follows, and we swim around each other in the water, tumbling like seals. I float on my back and he dives down into the clear green depths. Young trout scatter across the lake bottom.
We climb out of the water and stand in a sunny patch. We share my towel.
Later, after driving the winding highway along the coast, he pulls up in front of my apartment. Turns off the ignition. Turns towards me.
“Do you want to come over for dinner on Wednesday?”
“It’s a good thing that I have this thing tonight, because otherwise I wouldn’t ever leave you.”
I hug him and clamber out of the car. Grab my pack and boots from the back seat. Walk towards the apartment building, turn, and wave goodbye.
I pile my gear inside the door of my apartment and collapse onto the floor of my living room. I light the plate of candles that is beside my yoga mat. I sit for a long time, staring into the candle flames, out the windows at the waxing moon.
You are my person.
I hear him saying those words. I feel his breath on my ear, my neck. My heart aches to hear those words in a different context.
You are my person.