He saw her walking around the square as he sat on the bench. She had looked in the photographer’s windows at the pictures. She stopped to look in the windows of the half-dozen antique shops. He watched as she slowed as she passed the old candy shop and it made him smile to see her look like a child as she admired the candy and treats.
When she turned the corner and he could no longer see her, he wondered if she would return. After a couple of minutes, when she didn’t, he rose and walked to where he had seen her last. There she was about a block down the street. He watched her quietly as she walked away from him, but then she surprised him by turning and heading straight toward him.
For an awkward moment, he felt exposed and trapped. He didn’t know what to do, or where to go. He looked at her and then quickly looked into the window he was standing next to. He was acutely aware as she passed and finally the window display came into focus…………baby clothes! “Oh, great!” he thought, “If she noticed she probably thinks I am a dad or soon to be one. That is just great!” He had to think of something quick if he had any hope of at least learning her name before she was gone. As he looked up the street, she was gone. “Well, crap!” he thought.
Walking slowly back to his bench, he was deep in thought. “I can’t believe it. She was beautiful! What were you thinking,” he chided himself. Finally, he looked up and there she sat on his bench. She was staring at him as he approached. “Were you following me?” Her tone was sharp, but he swore there was a glint in her gorgeous green eyes. He stared at her for longer than he intended, and finally answered, “Well, yes, but…” She cut him off. “And why is that?” She was very straightforward, so he thought, “What the hell?” I saw you and I wanted to meet you.” At last she smiled and his breath caught in his throat. “She really is beautiful! What a smile!” “Well, are you going to introduce yourself? I mean, if you wanted to meet me, isn’t this the perfect time to do so?”
Again, he was pleasantly surprised by her boldness. “She will keep it interesting, “ he thought. “My name is Peter. Nice to meet you.” “Well, Peter, it is nice to put a name with my stalker.” Her smile assured him she wasn’t serious. He laughed and apologized, “I’m sorry. I hope I didn’t upset you.” “It’s ok, but you could calm my nerves with a class of wine?” “Wow…um, where?,” he thought. “My place or hers? She moves fast…….um, um…..” “How about the wine tasting room around the corner?,” she suggested. “Oh, sure,” he said with a feeling of confusion immediately followed by a sense of relief. “I don’t know what I would have done if she had asked me to her place. I couldn’t do that,” he thought.
They walked quietly to the location she suggested. “Amazing how not talking feels so natural,” he thought, “but what do I say to her? I am so boring, I don’t have any talents, nothing interesting to share.” When they arrived, the both ordered a glass of wine and sat at a side table, away from the speakers so they could talk. The group playing were good, but I really wanted to talk with her, if he could find something interesting to talk about.
“So, when you aren’t stalking, what do you do?” she smirked. “Ok, she is funny. Now I really have nothing to share,” he thought. “I am an educator. I teach high school. What about you?” She stared at him for a moment in disbelief. “Really? Really, you are an educator?” “So am I and I teach at a high school, too.”
All of a sudden, all sorts of doors opened and he was confident again. He smiled at her and drank in her beauty as the conversation that lasted a lifetime began.