Love Happens ...

By: Lee Rector

I wonder if she remembers it this way, if she still sees that day in her heart as something magic and eternal. Could she possibly know how this dizzy dream has fueled me through years and years of discovering that love comes but once in life, and when it does it never, ever, fades.

It’s that kind of spring day today ... like that day when we met, and it still plays before me just as it were happening now. I can freshly see the vision, smell the smell, taste the taste, feel the warmth of the sun, and my heart, and her voice.

A breeze was softly blowing, and she in that cotton dress walked past. I stared. The fabric of the dress was pressed against her flesh outlining breasts, waist, and thighs. There was nothing underneath. Her hair tossed back and flowed golden behind her like a polished mane, and those eyes, those blue, blue, deep, deep, sky blue eyes supported by high cheek bones looked out from below positive brow with an inquisitive air. And her flesh, amazingly, was my flesh. I could tell even from a distance that she and I were one, and had been so forever.

Who are you? How could you be so beautiful? Oh but if I could touch a woman like you I would be changed, forever changed. I would be freed, I thought.

And then, as if out of some kind of dreamy awakening you stopped in front of me and turned to face me. You were holding a paper cup. You said, "Hello," and pushed the cup out towards me, "wanna drink?"

Slightly puzzled I took the cup and tilted as it touched my lips. Expecting a sweet flavor, it was the subtle satisfying rush of cold, clear, water.

I looked into those gentle eyes that I had often fixed upon gazing across the Library in our philosophy classroom. I held that stare for an extended moment of enjoyment then said, "Now that we’ve shared water, what do we do?"

It was a Heinlinean moment ... a stranger in a strange land so recently quenched ... I was he, and she was she, grocking and it was happening in real life.

"Why do you hate me," she asked?

"Hate you? What makes you think that I hate you?" I was confused by such a question.

"You stare at me in class," she said.

"I stare at you because you are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen," I replied.

And there it began. It was simple, immediate, striking, quiet, and slightly unbelievable. Love happened. I was holding her cup of water. I took another sip and passed it back. And it was like a communion. At no other time have I felt so close to another human being.

It was sudden love like I’ve never known. And it became the benchmark by which I would measure all that would be and all that was yet to come. And even today in this very warm, distant and remote, and spring-like place, on this February 14, 26 years after the tasting of her pure, pure water, I still recall it as though it were happening now.



 Last Edited: 01/24/2002

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