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This Magic Moment

January 14, 2010 by · 4 comments

R. L. Burns

Photo: Flowery *L*u*z*a*

She felt him before she saw him.  Even with the wind howling around the corner of the building, her hair in her eyes, the hem of her black velvet skirt flapping against her calves, she felt him.  She had no idea from which direction he would come, but instinctively she looked to the left. Two cars passed that she ignored, and then…she knew. The car continued on and she thought perhaps she had been wrong. For a split second disappointment flooded her.  I thought for sure I would know!  But wait! The car was back in her field of vision now, had disappeared only long enough to make a u-turn onto the feeder road that serviced the hotel.  Ah! she thought.  I was right. It is HIM.

Her eyes remained riveted on the car as it approached.  The driver – yes, it really and truly was HIM – seemed to be just as transfixed as she. Some part of her brain wondered how he managed not to hit any of the closely parked cars as he drove towards her, but then that thought was pushed away because there was nothing she could do but concentrate on him;  her whole being was focused on the man in the car. She wanted desperately to run to him and throw herself into the car and into his arms, but she remained where she was. She smiled nervously at him then turned away. If I look again, will he still be there? she asked herself. A surge of panic raced through her as she quickly whipped back around. He was still there! This isn’t another one of my dreams!  He’s really here!!


He pulled the car into the parking space nearest her and jerked it to a halt against the curb. He didn’t take his eyes off her as he threw the car into park and got out. There was perhaps only twenty feet between them now. After eleven thousand, three hundred ninety-four lonely, empty days, only twenty-feet separated them. How can this be real?  she wondered. Her mind couldn’t wrap itself around the enormity of it all.

Again she smiled; shyly at first, then hugely. His eyes never left her face as he took the few steps needed to reach her. She couldn’t move. She was frozen, her back against her little blue rental car, as if bracing herself for the disappointment she knew would come when she realized this wasn’t really happening, when she awoke sobbing as she had so often. The feel of the cool metal against her back helped her believe that she wasn’t dreaming, that this was real. She didn’t think of any of that, though. All she could do was watch him advance. Her heart was pounding and she was afraid to blink, afraid to pull the hair out of her eyes for fear that if she looked away for even that long, then he would be gone. 

Neither spoke. They just stared, mesmerized, looks of numb disbelief and abject wonder on their faces. Time crawled even slower and it seemed to take forever – maybe another eleven thousand, three hundred ninety-four days? – for him to reach her. When he was perhaps ten inches away from her, he stopped. His blue grey eyes were eating her alive. My God!  I forgot how intense his eyes are!  How could I have forgotten that? Those eyes bored into hers and he smiled that absolutely beautiful crooked smile that she had not forgotten. They both stood still, just reveling in the fact that they were actually in the same place at the same moment. 

Photo: Sabrina Campagna

She threw open her arms then, and he stepped into them. Their arms locked around each other tightly. Time shattered for her, as did her heart. This time, though, unlike so many others, it shattered with joy; joy to be with this man again, to be in his arms, to feel his heart beating against hers, to hear him breathe…to feel,at last, gloriously alive.  Her breath escaped her chest in a long sigh of his name. “Christopher.” Tears were threatening to spill from her eyes.  He crushed her to him as tightly as he could. 

“You’re real!!”, he whispered against her neck.  “Rose…You’re real.  You’re here!”

And then they kissed.

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