Winter turned into spring and my feelings for Vic blossomed like summer roses. I tried to keep them hidden but I couldn’t conceal what was happening inside of me. Something was thawing. The ice floes protecting my heart were melting in the sunlight of my desire.
Anxiety picked at me. Maybe I wasn’t Vic’s type. Still, I ironed my best blouses and washed my hair before heading to work.
I had kissed him once, on the cheek, when I visited him in the hospital after a minor surgery: a single incendiary touch of lips to cheek.
He’d shaken my hand after our double date: a one-time warmth of hand to hand.
We touched again on the morning before Valentine’s Day, when Vic popped into the alarm room. He raised an eyebrow, his blue eyes boring into me. His gaze set me on fire.
He crossed his heavily-muscled arms across his blue fireman’s shirt. “I heard somebody looks mighty pretty today.” He ran his gaze over my frilly white blouse, embroidered blue jeans, and the red tennis shoes I’d bought the day before. “I see it’s true, Miss Red, White, and Blue.”
I smiled, glad he’d noticed the care I’d taken to look nice. It’s all for you, but you don’t know that. Do you?
I felt confused when his grin changed into a frown and he strode to my side. Spreading his fingers wide, he moved his large hands close to my face and said emphatically, “Look at the size of these hands.” Then he just stared. For a moment, he seemed baffled, as if he had no idea what to do with those outstretched hands. Then he cradled my face with them.
At the touch of those warm fingers, I inhaled, trembling, my heart fluttering. Knowing Vic’s propensity for humor, I decided he must be playing and I just didn’t understand the game. At a loss for something witty to say, I told the truth, “Vic, you send chills up my spine.”
“Oh, stop it.” He pulled his hands back and turned away. Two strides took him to a small window, where he stared at the parking lot in front of the station. Three more strides took him out the door. I pressed my fingers to my cheeks where he’d touched me and wondered what the size of his hands had to do with anything.
I’ve wished ten thousand times since then that I’d asked him what was happening. Or that he would have turned to me instead of turning away, and told me what was coming down the pipe.
But that’s a “whole ‘nother story,” as they say. The story of my memoir Angel Hero, Murder in Hawai’i, A True Story.
I can tell you this much. Green-eyed Aurora was spot on in her prediction for me. My world transformed after I took a chance and spoke my mind. And true love really does last forever.
If you enjoyed my seven episode blogpost story, Speak, Love, Last, please leave me a comment.