I opened the petite box that lay on the mahogany coffee table before me. Well, almost opened it. An uncomfortably warm hand rammed the lid back in to position, trapping mine between the box and his hand. I looked up. Grinning lopsidedly at me was that same pair of sea-green eyes that first did a half year ago…
By seven o’clock, that Sunday morning, the coffee shop just round Rosemary Avenue, had the classic, soothing music playing off the kitchen radio set and the aroma of freshly ground coffee beans wafting through the dense morning air. Through the melancholic clouds did the sun rays fall softly and warmly on my face. Ah, it was the perfect beginning to a perfect day.
There stood the one headline of a popular newspaper that my curious mind drew me to. “WANTED” with an investigative sketch of a young man. Taking it all in just in case I was the one who saw him, I trudged towards the quiet chatter of early morning New York citizens, who did seem to have acquired an unexplainable addiction to morning coffee.
I pulled back my chair, laid the fragile china of black coffee on a wobbly fold up table and placed my Gucci hand bag on the stark white chair next to me. Staring out at the hustle and bustle of the controlled movements of everyone rushing to work, I took a long, deep sip. I started liking New York City, its adventurous feel of the bright nights and the busy mornings and the satisfaction I received from the wafting smell of ground coffee beans and slurps of milkshakes and the sucking of saucy fingers. Sometimes I would see a tall, sea-green eyed man and once, my curiosity got the better of me. I followed him one night and as he took a turn at the corner of a dark alley way I lost sight of him. And that was it, the last time I saw him. I did not know him but when that happened a haunting loneliness settled in the pit of my being.
The warmth of the sun was becoming stronger now, pushing against my lower back and the tar lanes became a swift flow of yellow cabs opening and closing against the laughter from private jokes and burning cigarettes whose smoke seemed to choke me at the most inconvenient times possible. I imagined that I too was rushing off to attend a board meeting or to drop off my children at school and so I wished well for their routines and day.
It was the rustle of paper, the gentle thuds on the icy floor and I turned.
Sea-green eyes that glistened, stared directly at me, into me. He was tall with a balanced stance and a firm, set jaw and facial structure that seemed attractive in its own way. A full bottom lip, a thin upper lip. He ran his nimble fingers through a crown of thick sun kissed hair that began to curl at the nape of his neck, which just added to his confident aura.
I recognised him as the young man in the “WANTED” poster.
The fragile china slipped out of my grasp and as I started to alert people, he held me and in a swift movement closed my mouth and explained that he was part of the FBI and that this was all a trap, a game which has just got a taste of its prey. A strategy, he told me. The practical thing to do was to forget him, but it was fall and a stroll through Central Park, suggested by a young man, seemed inviting…
His smile had the will to delight me, the touch of his soft palms, and the scent of his neck. His voice can change my ordinary into my sublime. Whenever I fell into the pit of sulky faces and wished that life was better, he would be there creating a safe haven, waiting with his arms ready to comfort me tight and lovingly.
There was silence. So I turned in his arms to face him and returned his silence with a questioning look.
“Close your eyes and think about the thing that makes gives you most joy,” he glanced affectionately in my direction, “or your favourite place.”
So I take a step back, out of my safe haven and do as I was instructed. I close my eyes. And think of the time when life stood at a standstill, a red robot that suddenly sprung up from the darkest thoughts of jealousy. Yet those sea green eyes blinked in front of me, warm and comforting. It was the day I was advised by granny not to make any compromises with those that don’t seek out my highest good. I did just as my stars predicted.
Yet I seemed as lonely and disembarked as my mind, heart and soul could have ever been. It was nothing I had expected. And though I stood my ground, it was decided that that was all I could handle for one day and the tears could not hold back. So I ran. I ran for all that I cared about. I ran back for what welcomed me with engulfing arms. I ran and I kept going till… till my eyes fixated itself with the one pair that ever possibly could stop me. Sea green and wide, it was his. And one by one, rapid and hot, tears slid down my flushed cheeks. And then, he ran and I stood. I stood waiting for what I cared about the most.
“Hey, don’t cry,” his warm hands wipe at my tears gently, “this was meant to be a calming exercise. You meant to think happy thoughts, grateful thoughts.”
“I am,” I got carried away by all the thinking, that it began to feel like the present, my present, “I was just being grateful to the Lord for placing you in my life, Sam.”
I looked away. I looked at the soft dew drops on the daisies that I picked in the morning. At Sam’s FBI cap that lay strewn on my couch. At my possessions before me. At how all this did not matter when it came to my gift from God. Nor did all the freshly brewed coffee or loud laughter and rich cuisine matter.
“You know what I’m thinking about,” I asked tentatively.
“You always ask me that!” And at that I threw my head back and laughed.
“Remember how…” Sam stared at me deeply and almost meaningfully serious.
“We first met,” and now it was his turn to laugh, “Angel I always know what you are thinking about.”
…and I then I knew that I loved well and wisely.