Mystery Man

The loneliness builds the cold lead in my stomach. Following the crunch of branches and twigs, my feet ache and burn from wondering in this desolate place. Hoping to find someone to walk with, to share my photos with, and be there when I need them. The hairs on the back of my neck rise with my camera lens in one hand and the screen in the other, Loveless, the burst of a flash as my guide. Coming around the corner to find a man with his feet apart staring straight at me with his yellow death eyes. The kind of eyes that you would see on a wolf prowling to kill. When I was little I would watch the local wolves hunt in the forest, one turned to look at me with the wild eyes. I will never forget those golden- yellow eyes.
The man’s eyes meet mine. Eyes that tell me to follow him. Raising his hand keeps me moving forward, and with each step I take, he fades into the threatening hedges slowly until all I see is his arm from the elbow down. Goosebumps rise up my spine, but he still waits for me to grab his hand. I find my arm moving without me.
His hand touches mine. His hand reminds me of my father’s when he would pick me up after falling and scraping my knee, the roughness as if he worked all day in the garage with his tools and weren’t used to be gentle. A shiver runs up my arm and a warm connection is made that feels safe. The type of connection you would have when you know someone loves you. He pulls through the hedge. The needles and twigs poke and pull on me to keep me from moving forward, his hand moves on without me and I lose the connection. The shivers and the warmth disappear with the hand, but I run forward. My heart pounds in my ears, hoping to find the love and rememberable hand.
Bursting through the bush, I stumble to the ground onto my hands and knees, and look at shiny leather boots, slick black trousers and the button-up shirt that is loose-fitting to his body. His face, the dimple in the cheeks, the little patch of hair on the chin, his tanned skin, his yellow eyes, all covered with full, wavy, shoulder length brown hair. Warmth fills my heart while he bends down and wraps his fingers around my upper arms and pulls me up into his arms as they circle me. My head rests on his chest. I listen to the drumbeat inside him as my body starts to turn to jelly one muscle at a time. My Loveless in my hand. I take a picture to remember the man with the wolf eyes.





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