The faded jeans and pink t-shirt hugged her small frame in an attractive, but unkempt, sort of way. He studied her closely as she walked toward him – trying to see through her too-big sunglasses. The smile on her face revealed nothing about her real situation.
The two had met once before and that first meeting was more than either had bargained for. She, with her blonde locks and freckled nose, and a heart and soul that she wanted to give; he with purely average looks, a good job, and a plan that seemed like light years from ever taking true form but that began unfolding that day on the park bench. In the warmth of the July sun, they spoke of their lives, their heartaches, and their wishes with an ease that flowed like the Chippewa, which ran just a few feet in front of them. She nervously talked the minutes away, shifting herself and changing positions…inching closer. It was small talk, but it wasn’t small at all.
In his head he said, “Just breathe,” but quickly forgetting his own advice, his mind wandered again to, “Will she let me kiss her? Could someone this alive and this much like me feel like I feel? God, just let me kiss her once and then I’ll know.” Glancing down, he noticed how neatly her toes were painted in aubergine and how the color both soaked up the sun and reflected the sky all at the same time.
“Take off your glasses,” he asked. “Let me see you.”
She smiled and slid the glasses from her appropriately sized nose that flared a bit when she laughed too hard.
“My eyes are nothing like yours,” she said. “But I am a really good kisser.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, your eyes…I get lost in your eyes. They’re blue and deep and unlike any I’ve ever seen. My color isn’t as pure as yours.”
He looked intently into the pale blueness of her eyes, seeing again for the first time a touch of insecurity that she tried hard to tuck away beneath her skin. He suddenly saw her. He saw past her beautifully tanned cheeks and the golden hair that framed her face in a way that he’d never ever seen before. As a cloud shaded the sun for a split second, he saw right through to her heart and beyond.
“Your eyes are just how they’re intended to be,” he said. Leaning into her ear, “You’re beautiful – all of you.”
She pulled back and turned away. “No I’m not,” she said, hopping up on the bench and placing her legs underneath her. She rocked back and forth slightly, but he noticed. “The sun must be giving you heat stroke. I define average. You have no idea.”
It was her perception of her own average-ness that connected him to her so fully. She was completely it for him and his heart went out to her easily. He gave it for her to hold in her hands and do with what she wanted because he knew this was it for him. She was it.
They kissed that July day and the days after. They pointed themselves down the path they were both born to be on and they held hands over the wall that separated them. But on that park bench and in the grass under trees when the sun became too warm, they made history, hatched plans, told stories, discussed successes and failures, lifted one another to extremes – and they kissed.
Time belonged to them.