FIRST ENCOUNTER

FIRST ENCOUNTER

By Douglass D. Scarbrough

A gentleman sat alone near a window in a twenty-four hour diner. The anxious expression on his face made it obvious that he was waiting on the arrival of someone very important to him. Nearly an hour passed and the young man had not yet removed his over coat which casually began from his shoulders and flowed with graceful ease to his feet, nearly touching the floor. He sat at his table in complete silence, and every few minutes he gazed at his reflection in the window to adjust his well constructed hairstyle, attempting to achieve perfection. (However, the only task the gentleman achieved was bringing unnecessary attention to his crisp hairline which made it obvious that he had recently gotten his hair cut.)
Time slowly ticked away and the man appeared to be becoming restless. His fingers tapped on the tabletop without recess. His upright posture in his chair changed repeatedly, and when he finally slouched back in his chair, a thin glass vase with a long stem white rose that he had brought for someone was revealed, and all who watched the lonely young man quickly realized that he was waiting for a woman. A woman who had quite possibly stood him up.
A look of annoyance came over the strangers face as he abruptly stood to his feet causing his chair to fall over behind him. As he bent over to return his chair to its upright position, he heard the front door loudly creak. The diner door slowly opened and there she stood.
With the moonlight as her only background, a woman’s silhouette; about average height, beautifully slender, and long silky dark brown hair stood motionless in the doorway. The stranger was obviously reluctant to proceed through its entrance. The stranger slowly returned his chair to the table as his eyes became transfixed on the woman in the doorway.
After mustering up the courage to enter the diner, the woman slowly walked in and the light above her to gently fell upon her face. The light revealed her bronze complexioned face and soft rose petal-colored lips. Despite her obvious beauty, the young woman’s eyes never left the tiles on the floor.
While standing next to his table by the window and rendered nearly motionless by her beauty, he slowly parted his lips and softly called out to her.
“Is that you Maggie?”
Her face slowly lifted and the light hanging above her head finally met her green eyes which sparkled at him in response to his hail. She immediately knew that it was him. Although she had never met him. His broad shoulders, thick, but nicely-styled black hair and bright blue eyes nearly matched her vision of him perfectly.
Her simple gaze left him nearly speechless. However, he finally managed to speak.
“Hello Maggie. I’m Tim. I’ve been waiting for you.” Maggie turned her body toward him and faced him completely. A soft grin transformed into a bold smile as she forgot all the nervousness that she might have felt prior her arriving. He gestured for her to come closer to him and she began walking toward him. She walked across the room gracefully as though floating on a cloud, and her long white dress flowed behind her like a flag catching a warm summers breeze.
For the first time in their lives they stood face to face, and their obvious attraction to each other only brought forth an unwanted awkwardness. An impassionate handshake was quickly followed by Tim awkwardly assisting her into her chair. As he pushed her chair in behind her, Tim caught a faint whiff of strawberries emanating from her hair. It was an aroma that he would never want to forget.
Tim at last took off his over coat to reveal his favorite suit. On this night he would have called it his lucky suit. A burgundy pinstriped double breasted suit. He then sat down quickly to avoid becoming hypnotized by her hairs intoxicating scent, and engage in conversation the beautiful woman that he had waited for so long to meet.
A waiter in a corner of the diner hesitated for a few moments before walking over to their table. He presented them with a bottle of white wine and two glasses which Tim had strategically instructed him to do after Maggie had arrived.
“That will be all for now.” Tim simply stated as the waiter nodded in response, and then walked away.
Tim pulled the cork from the bottle as Maggie placed her hand on her small white handbag which coordinated with her dress perfectly. She opened it and pulled out a handful of envelopes that appeared to be letters. As though embarrassed about having the letters in her possession, her face fell to the table as she handed the stack to Tim. Tim slowly took the letters from her hand and began thumbing through them. As he neared the end of the pile, he gently placed his right hand on top of her left and smiled at her.
“You actually kept all of the letters that I wrote to you?”
“Yes, I did Tim. I wouldn’t give them up for anything in this world.” she said while her eyes remained on the table.
“Then there is something that I must show you too.” Tim reached into his coat pocket, which now hung from the back of his chair, and pulled out a large envelope that appeared to be filled to its capacity. He then handed it to Maggie.
“I saved all of your letters too Maggie. I could never get rid of them. They mean so much to me.” Tim paused moment. “You mean so much to me.” Maggie’s head lifted and Tim looked into her eyes which glistened with developing tears. Before the tears could leave her eyes, Tim handed her a glass of wine and raised his own up to her.
“Here’s to us Maggie, finally meeting after all these years. If you hadn’t sent your book of thoughts and poetry to the my address instead of your editors, we would have never met.”
“Perhaps. Maybe we would have eventually. Maybe we were destined to meet and fall in love. Maybe destiny’s plan was for me to send you my writings and for you to read them instead of you just sending them back.” she responded with their glasses still raised.
“But I did send them back.”
“Yes. You did. After you read them all and with a letter of your own telling me that you had read all of my most innner thoughts and emotions. You, a complete stranger now knew me better than any man that I had ever met.”
“But…” Tim said wanting for her to continue.
“But there was something in your letter that spoke to me. A voice behind just the writings on the paper. Although I was angry with you for invading my most private thoughts, I wrote back to you.”
“As I did back to you. Again, and again. Eleven years have gone by and I have missed you as one misses the love of their life and soul-mate.”
“Yeah, eleven years is a long time to be without someone you love and desire.”
“But now is our time Maggie. From this day forth.” Tim placed his glass against hers. “To us my love.”
“To us.” she agreed while attempting to hold back her tears of joy. Despite her restraints she allowed one to escape, and it slowly trickled down her left cheek as their glasses rang in celebration.

As Tim and Maggie continued with their conversation, he realized that her beauty was something that he had not expected. His eyes gleamed with anticipation of every movement that she made. The way her lips moved when she talked. The way that she tossed hair behind her shoulder every time that it would get in her face. He dared not blink so not to let a moment of her angelic essence pass him by. His heart found comfort in her voice, which was as soft as a whisper, but resonated throughout his mind nonetheless.

Maggie watched Tim as he listened to her with an honest interest unlike anything she had ever experienced. She opened up and spoke to him with incredible ease. Time and experience had made her heart impenetrable, but what she felt for Tim was an emotion that she wanted to feel forever. He was able to access portals into her soul that she had for so long kept locked. Although they had never physically met, time and love had made their hearts inseparable, and she was mesmerized by him.

Several hours passed and the ascending sun finally interrupted Tim and Maggie’s continuous conversation which had lasted the entire night. The bottle of white wine was now empty and the night-shift diner workers were walking out the front door as the day-shift was parking their cars on the side of the diner.
“Wow! I can’t believe that we’ve been here the entire night.” Maggie muttered out as she yawned.
“I know. These past few hours have really just flown by.” Tim and Maggie laughed as they both looked out the window and into the street next to them.
“I guess that we should go. The sun is up.” Tim said.
“I suppose that you’re right. But I want to do one thing first.” Maggie reached down into her purse and pulled out a black marker.
“What are you doing?” Tim questioned.
“Shhh! Just wait and see!” Maggie lifted up the tablecloth and began writing on the wooden table: ‘Tim and Maggie’s first date! February eighth, nineteen eighty’. She quickly placed the tablecloth back on the table and gestured to Tim that it was definitely time for them to leave.
Tim handed the white rose to Maggie which had remained in the vase of water the entire night, and then put on his over coat.
“I’ve had a wonderful night Tim.”
“It’s been perfect Maggie. I don’t want this night to end.” he responded.
“I wish that I could be with you all the time.” she said jokingly but with a serious tone in her voice.
Without hesitation, Tim quickly responded; “Well, you could move in with me for a while and see how you like it.”
“Do you really want me to?”
“Of course I do.”
“I don’t know. I’d have to think about it.”
Amazed at her apparent rejection, Tim responded to her softly; “Okay. I mean if you say so.”
Tim and Maggie went to the front door and walked outside and were quickly greeted by the cold morning air. Maggie’s shivering body jumped into Tim’s waiting embrace, and he wrapped her up tightly in his long warm overcoat. After holding Maggie for a several moments, Tim gently placed his hand on her face and raised it up towards his. Her eyes sparkled off the golden morning sunrise and Tim wanted only one thing. They both closed their eyes and kissed each other passionately for what to them felt like an eternity. They both had forgotten about the rigid air that was whipping itself around them. Tim and Maggie did not even notice the morning waiters quietly walking past them and entering the diner. They were blinded to everything and everyone but themselves.
Maggie abruptly tore herself away from Tim and ran to the curb.
“Taxi!” she yelled.
“W-what’s wrong Maggie?” Tim asked her confused by her action. “I just thought…” Tim was interrupted by Maggie’s hails.
“Taxi!!” At that moment, a yellow taxi cab pulled up beside Maggie and she opened the door. After tossing her purse into the backseat and placing one leg in the car as though she was about to leave, she turned to Tim and noticed his expression of absolute confusion taking over his face.
“Well, are you coming?” Maggie asked.
“Am I coming where?” Tim responded.
“If I’m going to move in with you, I want to get started as soon as possible.” She said to him with a smile that was warmer than the sunrise. Without responding Tim darted toward the cab and they both jumped in. For so long he had desired nothing more than to be with her, because simply, he loved her. And he knew that she loved him. Wrapped in each others arms, they sat in the backseat of the cab as it slowly drove away from the diner and towards a future waiting to be co-written by Tim and Maggie.

FIRST ENCOUNTER

DougScarbro

Reston, United States

  • Artist
    Notes

Artist's Description

Knowing eachother only through letters, Tim and Maggie decide to test the fates and meet in person. Could the idea of loving someone be better than loving someone actually? Tim and Maggie now must decide.

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