I sat on the cold, stone bench, waiting for you. My hands in my pocket and my breath fogging the air, I watch the snowflakes falling around me. My jacket pulled tight and my scarf snug against my neck, I wait. I check my watch, 6:15 PM. You're late, but I'm not worried, it's how you are. I know you like making sure your outfit matches and that you smell nice, all the little things. The park I'm sitting in is quiet and white, like a gentle cloud. I hear a familiar voice across the snowy park, I look up. It's you. You're wearing the scarf I got you for your birthday, and the hat your dad had given you when you were little. A smile decorates your face as you rush towards me. I stand up and meet you in the middle of the park. You hug me and laugh. You are so excited to see me. I tell you that you looked beautiful and your outfit was pretty. It makes you happy I can tell. You start telling me about your day as we start walking. About how you woke up with only one sock on and how you ate three bowls of cereal this morning instead of two. I stay quiet just listening to the sweet musical quality of your voice. You tell about how your brother spilt orange juice on your shirt but you didn't get mad, you laughed and spilt some on his. You tell me about how you sang your baby sister to sleep and how you say and watched her sleeping. I hear the love in your voice as you talk about your family and it makes my smile wider and my heart happier. You tell me about how hard it was to pick your outfit and how you wanted me to notice it. You tell me about the jokes your dad said at lunch and the food your mom made, how you could just eat it all day. At this point we arrive at the restaurant I had made a reservation for. It's your favorite restaurant. We sit at our table and remove our jackets and scarves, but leave our hats on. We don't even look at the menus, I know what you like here. I order for both of us and over dinner you tell me about how your youngest brother fell asleep on your shoulder during church and how you tried not to move so he was comfortable. And as you wrap up your story you look at me. And say "Tell me about your day!" And over dessert I start telling you. I tell you about how I woke up and went to the gym. I tell you about my run that morning and watching the sunrise over the mountains and thinking about how beautiful it is. I tell you about getting home and making breakfast for my family and eating it together. I tell you about having a snowball fight with my neighborhood kids and letting them win because I didn't want to. I tell you about picking up lunch for my best friend because he was sick. I tell you about sitting on the stone bench and appreciating the world. And I tell you about the best moment of my day, seeing you from across the park. By the time I had finished my story, dinner had ended and we bundled up and I start walking you home. Your dad wants you home by nine. You start telling me about the stars last night and how they shined bright right before the snow started coming in. When we reach your door. You tell me about how you talk to the stars every night and tell them everything about me, and how it makes them jealous. My heart skips a beat. And I look at you, your eyes are alive in the light of your front porch. I kiss you goodbye and wish you a good night. All the way back to my house I am in a daze. And as I'm about to fall asleep I look up at the sky and think about what you said. "I make the stars jealous, when I talk of you. Because I get you and they don't." I fall asleep dreaming about the cold, stone bench, and your warm, soft smile.
The Things You've Told Me
September 12, 2016