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My Secret Place

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A long drive along the River road. The St.Croix dutifully flowing South to Afton where it merges with the swift, dirt-ridden Mississippi, lies always on our left as we steadily make our way towards our destination. Blinker on, we pull off to the shoulder. We slide the key out of the ignition and climb out of the cool air-conditioned car. The sounds of cicadas' gentil thrum mixed with the gurgle of water against rock hits our ears. Walking hand in hand we make our way through the thick summer air towards the wall of oaks lining the opposite side of the street. The clear night stars shien down and guide our steps through the brush and to the railroad tracks that run parallel to the asphalt path we arrived on. Slowly but surely he leads he safely along the perilous railway, never letting go even for second if I should fall. Little did he know I was doing the same for him. We rely on each other for support and this time the meaning is literal.
We follow the tracks for awhile but even as slow as we were walking the time went by too quickly. Every moment there alone with him was as precious as the last. Soon enough we reached the end of our path: the bridge. The rickedy, rod-iron bridge permanenty brown with rust and decay stands like a silent sentinal in the very center of the river. When word reaches that a train approaches, the wide wings swing into place to connect Minnesota with it's eastern neighbor, Wisconsin. As soon as the train passes, the bridge inches it's was back into a position as to let the over-sixed boats float by. Fortunately for us there is no train this night and the sentinal stands still.
Walking to the edge we sit down as one with our feet dangling over the inky black depths of the water below. Completely oblivious to any other distractions, we simply soak in eachother's presence. No need for words or endless chit-chat because it doesn't matter. All that matters is that the sun will be rising in a few hours and so will the daily inhabitants of the river and thus or perfect bubbleof midnight silence will be shattered. So there we stay ubntil he puts his arm around me and I nuzzle in that much closer into the warmth. Just the scent of him gives me chills; he holds me tighter. Intrigued by the glittering web of lights above us we lean back against the hard packed earth and count the number of shooting stars we see. Each time I wish for it to never end.
He still stares at the stars but I am now staring at him. He may not have the chiseled face seemingly straight out of greek art but it's the small imperfections that make him god-like to me. He notices my eyes are on him and he turns to me. I just smile and he smiles back in his own goofy way that never fails to make me laugh. Giggling, I whisper "Je t'aime", for even I knew though he was a three year spanish advocate he knew what that meant and ever so softly he breathed, "I love you too".





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