‘Maybe I was born with you inside me. Maybe I have always carried you with me. Maybe you are all the wild in me.’ ~ Tyler Knott Gregson
The inn was packed with men and women dressed in business attire, their heads bent forward while their fingers glided across the glass surface of their cell phones. Bosses and employees continued conversations that had begun in morning meetings, the subjects touching on nothing and everything. Wait staff rushed by with trays full of hot food and cold beverages. The air was filled with the scent of homemade chicken soup and the yeast of warm bread pulled fresh from the oven. Coffee cups clattered as they were refilled and ice cubes clinked in glasses topped off with fresh water. Silverware scratched across empty plates while mundane conversations continued to buzz.
Lauren placed her hands palms side down on the antique oak table. She scrutinized her long fingers and cursed herself for getting a manicure before meeting with her long lost love. She’d never been what you’d call a high maintenance woman. All she needed to do was apply a little mascara to her sparse eyelashes and coat her berry colored lips with store brand chap stick.
Frank tenderly stroked the stones in the ring on the third finger of her right hand. It tickled as the sensation traveled from her arm and down her spine. With his touch, Lauren felt as though someone had walked across her grave, found out all of her secrets and read all her old love letters. She lifted her hand from the table and wrapped it protectively around his. His hand was course from hard work, but when she touched it she swore it turned to velvet.
His green eyes bore into her as he said, “look at me.”
Lauren did as he requested, and in that moment she couldn’t stop staring at him. He was still beautiful. The man was dark haired, skinny and tall, with a mouth that was perfect for kissing. He looked into her blue eyes and discovered the irises were flecked with gold. Why hadn’t he noticed that when they were young? She smiled, and he swore he saw the sun rise in her eyes. Frank tucked a hand under her chin, leaned forward and gave her a quick kiss.
“My God woman but you are gorgeous.”
“I am not,” Lauren replied. “I am only slightly pretty.”
Frank slid his hands underneath the dress she wore specifically for him and with a low growl replied, ‘If I say you’re gorgeous, you are, because I never lie.”
The restaurant continued to buzz with conversation while the wait staff flurried around them, but the activity was lost on them. Lauren fell into his arms, her desire at its genesis. Frank gave her a gentle kiss on the pulse point of her throat and she moaned right there in the middle of the restaurant. She wondered if anyone had heard her, and then realized she didn’t really care if they did. If Frank was anything like he was when they were young, he was finding pleasure in enticing her with people around them.
Lauren whispered into his ear, “what do you see in me?”
“Your worth”, he replied as he turned and slipped his tongue into her mouth.
She had forgotten how good his kisses were, and it was all she could do not to bite his lips. Frank finally pulled away so that he could continue their conversation and to not attract too much attention from the other restaurant patrons.
‘You my darling, are like me, don’t you see that, after all of the conversations we’ve had?’
Lauren replied, ‘I guess you’re right.’
Their kisses continued, as Frank’s hands roamed underneath her dress. He caressed her plump legs and boldly brushed his fingers across the soft cotton of her panties. Lauren’s body stiffened and it was all she could do to keep from crying out.
Frank we have all the time in the world for this, so let’s wait.
Moving his hands to rest on her knees he kissed her forehead and nodded his agreement. She put her hand in his, and began to talk about their life together. He whispered how much he loved her while Lauren weaved her stories. Frank was enamored with her spirit and wondered what had taken him so long to find her again. He realized that all of his crooked roads had let straight back to her. Sitting here in an inn during a busy lunch hour, he knew that his home was with her. The inn began to empty of the lunch crowd. Bussing staff cleaned and reset tables for the dinner hour.
Frank and Lauren paid the bill for their untouched lunch and drinks. Hand in hand they made their way outside and back to their separate vehicles.
“I promise to see you soon,” Frank told her.
“Don’t make me any promises, just say we’ll meet again.”
“I want you in my life every day.”
“It’ll happen, when you’re ready”, Lauren told him.
“I love you darling.”
With a quick kiss she said, “I know, and that’s what gets me out of bed every day.”
With that Lauren got into her car and drove away. At the stoplight she turned, smiled vibrantly and waved goodbye.
Frank would like to say that their story ended happily. That he and Lauren finally reunited for good and lived together, but that was the last time he saw her. Now every time he drove past the inn, he thought of her and what he should have done. That day he should have brought her flowers. He should have run away with her. He should have made her his wife. But he didn’t do any of those things. He wasn’t sure if it was fear of the future or his past that kept him from her. All he knew was that he would miss her every day until he breathed his last breath.