“What are you doing? Why aren’t you wearing your shoes? What?” He laughed at the absurdity of the situation. I was standing in his back yard, fully clothed, on grass, barefoot. It wouldn’t even be such a big deal if I were in my swimsuit. I often came over when he was working and just hung around his pool until he was free to pay attention to me.

“Come with me.”

“I’m sorry?”

“Take your shoes off.”

“Why?”

“When was the last time you walked on the grass barefoot?”

He paused for a second. “What if I step on a bee?”

“Your foot will swell up and it will hurt like a motherfucker. Come!”

“I have to work.” His voice was stern, but his eyes were glistening with amusement and curiosity.

“I know,” I said softly and stretched my arm out in hopes that he would take it. He discarded his shoes quickly, never breaking eye contact and intertwined his fingers with mine. The grass was a bit wet and so was the soil. I enjoyed the soft feeling of it, cooling my feet, tickling my toes.

“Stop thinking so loud.”

“Huh?”

“I can hear EVERYTHING. Turn your brain off. Let go,” I shook his hand. “There is no end goal to this. We’re just walking. That’s it. Enjoy the moment. Feel how soft the ground is. Bathe in the sunlight. Relax.”

 ***

We gradually reached the end of the meadow, asphalt cutting it off without warning. I stepped forward without stopping, feeling him pulling me back.

“The grass ends here.”

“Do you want to go back?”

He fell silent for a few moments. “No.”

“There is a stream over there,” I informed him, pointing over his shoulder to thick bushes, casting an inviting shadow.

He nodded, pulling me with him. We stepped into the cold shadow of the trees, him immediately sitting down on a log. I stepped into the cold water, a shiver running through my body.

“Cold?”

“Pleasant.”

“I love you.”

My head snapped up to look at him. His eyes were wide open, he looked like a deer that froze in the middle of the road, waiting for the car to hit it.

“You confuse me. A lot. No one has ever done that, everyone seems pretty straight forward. Everyone is so easy to read. When you meet someone, you don’t know them. You talk to them, you observe, you create an image. You ask questions to get answers. With you it’s not like that. It’s the opposite. I can’t read you. I have no idea what is going on with you. But I know you. I know you more than I know myself. I have the answers and I’m trying to find the questions. It’s frustrating. I swear you made me question gravity at some point! It’s ridiculous!”

He didn’t say anything, he was just looking at me. expressionless.

“I love you,” he repeated.

“You’re mental.”

“Probably.”

“Deranged even.”

“Most likely.”

“Lunatic.”

“Definitely.”

“I love you too.”

Published by Evelyn