Chance of a lifetime
I followed him through a tour of the house,
then accepted when he offered me a cup of tea. Barry had a sophisticated
kindness about him and listened attentively as I chattered nervously
about myself. His silver-rimmed glasses accented a few gray streaks
in his dark hair. Soon, his warm, inviting smile put me at ease,
and we spent the next two hours talking casually. Ultimately, I
decided not to take the room and reluctantly bade him good-bye.
The months went by quickly while I busied
myself with preparation for the move. I thought of Bany often, but
couldn't consider calling him.
"I'm moving to New York in three weeks,
"I said to Stacy as we walked out of my office and into the
dining area. "As much as I'd like to see him again, it would
only complicate my life.
"Well, brace yourself for complications,"
Stacy muttered, then nodded toward the door. Barry, with his big
blue eyes and engaging smile, walked into my restaurant.
"Hello," he said softly. "Do
you have time to join me for a cup of coffee?"
"Of course." I tried not to gasp.
We slid into a booth and our conversation
picked up where it left off before. He, too, was making a career
change and was moving back to South Africa. His departure date was
one week before mine. Now I knew I had to calm my pounding heart.
We obviously had no future together. He took my phone number and
invited me to dinner sometime. I accepted, suppressing my sadness,
knowing I would be leaving in two short weeks and the date would
probably never happen.
But it did. He picked me up a few days later
for a movie and dinner. We talked for hours about our lives, our
hopes, our separate dreams--- mine in New York, his in South Africa.
Never had I spoken so freely, so comfortably, with a man. He reached
across the table and took my hand. I thought I saw in his eyes the
same love l felt swelling in my hear. He said, "I'm just sorry
I met you only one week before l leave."
"We still have seven days, " I
"Then let's make the most of it."
He helped me on with my sweater. Hand in hand, we strolled to the
car and made plans for the next day and the next and the next. As
he drove me home, Tracy Chapman sang, "Give me one reason to
stay, and I'll turn right back around." Was his heart singing
along like mine?