Statue-still I sat with a silly grin on my face.  No doubt about it: I was in love.  The world had shifted and everything changed.  The sky was deeper, the stars brighter, the air more alive.  I looked down at my hand and closed my eyes.  I could still feel the warm, the touch of his hand in mine.  I filled my lungs to capacity and fell in slow motion back onto the pillows on my bed.  As I released a deep, contented sigh, I thought back over the last two days.

Friday morning I was awake early.  I showered, dressed and then drove over to where Kevin was staying.  It felt strange and a bit exhilarating to be bunking school.  For a second I thought of my students, but quickly captured those thoughts and buried them.  The kids would be fine.  It was only one day.  I parked the car and strode up to the front door.

The master of the house opened the door before I reached the top of the stairs.  “Good morning!” he bellowed.  “Looks like someone is ready for adventure.”  I smiled and entered.  A warm smell of bacon and fresh baked bread filled the house.  “We didn’t think you two would want to go exploring on empty stomachs.  Sit and have breakfast with us.”

Over coffee and croissants we talked.  We spoke of the church and life in San Francisco.  Kevin spoke of his work in a rural hospital and life in South Africa.  As we began to clear the table Kevin and I were “shooed” away.  “You two go have fun.  Kevin, you’ve got the key, so let yourself in whenever you get home.  Bye!”  And with little ceremony we were herded out the door.

We spent that day exploring Muir Woods, basking in the sanctuary-like quiet of the magnificent mighty redwoods.  We meandered through Sausalito and drove slowly up windy roads to the Marin Headlands.  From that lofty vista we floated above the mist and looked out over the Bay Area.  We drove back across the Golden Gate Bridge and then parked and walked the famous span.  I took Kevin to my favourite pizza dive and we ate thick slices of cheesy dough.  With full stomachs, hearts and minds I dropped Kevin back at his domicile and drove myself home.  It took me ages to drift off to sleep, but when I did it was with a smile on my face.

Saturday saw us heading to Berkeley and exploring the campus.  Since public transportation in the Bay Area is so good, I left the dust-coloured Pinto at home and we traveled on a train that shot under the bay.   On our return we walked to Fisherman’s Wharf and strolled along the piers.  We ate crab and Parisian sourdough and visited Ghirardelli’s chocolate factory. We rode on the clanging cable cars. We talked and talked and walked and walked.  As we waited for a table at dinnertime at a restaurant on Pier 39, I discovered Kevin’s hand in mine.  I had no idea when that had happened, but it felt like a perfect fit.  After dinner we wandered around the Ferry Building and just before midnight we realised we should be heading home.  We made our way to the streetcar to find that we’d missed the last one by minutes.  We laughed and decided to walk the 9 kilometres straight up Market Street to my Twin Peaks home.  The stars shone overhead as we climbed the steep hill.  Every so often we’d stop, turn around and look back over the glittering city

It was after one in the morning when Kevin got home and even later than that for me.  But I don’t think either of us slept much that night. It was the beginning of a new life for us.

 

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