A Brief Encounter

Snow splattered, unseen, against the steamy glass
As the train rattled out of the station
It was a fairly crowded train, but not full
With weary shoppers, shopping bags bursting
And commuting workers the weeks work done
Journeying homeword at the dark days end
A cheerful crowd though
Pleased with themselves bright faced and hearty
Full of seasonal cheer anticipating the holiday
Seemingly oblivious to the drafty carriage
I sat alone and felt lifted by the quiet jolliness
Contemplating the collective countenance
Of the self satisfied passengers
Then he appeared and I was lifted higher

My snow angel, with snow
Covering him like sugar on a doughnut
Wrapped up against the cold in
A woolen hat and coat, and a long knitted
Scarf wrapped around his neck
He shook his head and
His light brown hair danced
And the snowflakes melted away form his curly, wavy locks
There was a glow on his cheeks that almost
Matched the hue of his scarf
Either from the cold evening or a
Liberal taste of Christmas spirit
A little of both probably
He made his way down the train between the seats
Leaving wet snowflakes in his wake
He moved with a confident swager which suited him well
As he tottered a little in his boots
Perhaps due to the lurching motion of the train
Or the Christmas punch and eggnog
He was still laughing at himself, which also suited him so well
And then he saw me, and his eyes lit up like beacons
He stopped and stood momentarily open mouthed
Then his smile illuminated the carriage
My heart jumped and soared at the sight of him
I returned his smile and felt my cheeks begin to flush
It had been almost a year since I last saw him
My long, lost ,love Garrett
I had locked all my feelings away, but now they were back
Like a door had opened in my heart and they all rushed out
And I missed him so much
I did not know how much till that moment
We were never lovers, only friends
But very special friends
Very close friends though never more
We laughed alot together, shared confidences
The best of friends, but I wanted more..so much more
But I did not want to lose what we had so I said nothing
I loved him so much, but he was not free for me to love
And Garrett was not free to love me even if he wanted

So I contented myself with our special friendship
My unrequited love remained so
If that was all, well..better that than nothing
I was happy to love him unconditionally
Then circumstances changed, my sister died
I had to move away and I did not see him again, until now
Now he was in front of me, my angel, larger than life
Smiling, laughing, and so damn handsome
I stood up and smiled at him again
I threw myself at him and he hugged me so tight
I smelt his neck as he held me and was intoxicated by his scent
All the old feelings flooded back overwhelming me
Yet could it be my love was not unrequited?

We sat down on the lumpy seats in the rattly carriage
And found we were completely alone
We sat looking at each other not wanting to lose sight
Of one another in case the spell were broken
I removed my glove and he put his hand on mine
As if testing it was not just a dream
Then he slipped his hand into mine
His strong, large hands completely encased my small, delicate fingers
For the remander of the journey we reveled in each other’s company
We caught up with the lost months…filled in the gaps
Still oblivious to our companions
It was as if we had never been apart

Then the train shook to a halt as all too soon we had arrived
Our fellow travelers rushed off to their Christmas commitments
Reluctantly we left our seats and disembarked arm in arm
Then hand in hand we walked slowly along the platform
Still talking and laughing and then out onto the street
Where the shops were now closing and the town was relatively quiet
From one pub Noddy Holder screamed “It’s Christmas” to the world
Only the pubs and resturants seemed to hold any attraction to most
But we joined a small group gathered round the Salvation Army band
And joined in with the carol singing in the town square
Before strolling towards the taxi stand

As the snow fell again we took our place
In the queue of travelers eager to get home
I wanted to be nowhere else but with him
Smiling he turned to face me and kissed me gently on the lips
Such a warm sensitiive and tender kiss
When our lips parted I smiled coyly at him
And flushed a deep shade of pink
Then he kissed a snowflake off of my nose
I slid my fingers into his curly, brown locks
As he carrassed the nape of my neck
Once again he pulled his sweet lips to mine
And kissed me with a passion I could feel in my toes

His arms enveloped me, holding me so close, so tightly
Not wanting to let go, not wanting to lose what we had found
Not wanting to lose the other again
We stood locked in our embrace as the snow fell softly on the scene
He pulled away for a moment then buried his face in my neck
And spoke “I’ve missed you so much, I have missed your love for me”
I had waited so long for this moment…so long to hear those words
To hear my love returned..
Then we kissed again

Cabs arrived and departed through the slush
The queue aroud us just kept moving as if unaware of our love
After awhile we moved from the queue and began to walk
We found a bench to sit down on and started to talk
My love was not unrequited, he felt the same for me
He had always, yet still he was not free
He was torn between the two of us
Torn between the comfortable familiarity for a wonderful woman
A loyal and dependable person…safety
And the passion he felt for a soulmate

It was not fair for him..noone had done anything wrong
So our love had to be a forbidden one
Best friends no more
But I wanted more..oh, so much more
And could not content myself with a special friendship
Now I knew my love was not requited
There was no going back, now Pandora’s Box had been opened
But at least now I knew he loved me
With the same depth as I loved him

We walked back to the taxi rank and kissed one last time
All too soon he got into the taxi
And through the winter wonderland departed taking my love with him
With his palm pressed against the glass he craned his neck
To keep sight of me through the snow spattered window
Until the very last moment..till the cab had gone from sight

He was gone from my arms..gone from my view..gone from my life
But a Christmas happening had changed my life forever
A brief encounter, fleeting….
Here and then gone
His scent still in my nostrils
The taste of joy on my lips
My soulmate gone forever
Yet, forever in my memory…forever in my heart
I would never see him again and moved away
In the beginning of the New Year
Making a life elsewhere, but I never forgot him

And when on a winter’s night I hear the Salvation Army play
Or when the snow falls during Christmas time
Or I feel a snowflake on my skin
I feel his strong, large hands in mine
And then he is once again in my arms
And I smell his spicy scent, and taste his lips on mine
And I hear him whisper"I love you"….he is mine forever

A Brief Encounter

Trish Cooper

Bloomington, United States

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