It was, perhaps, the first time she ever actually sat in his presence for any length of time, without him being surrounded by his entourage; able at last, to cast her full attention upon him, and him alone. He was different than the rest, this she had always sensed, but sitting and listening to him, purpose and thought given to all that he said, only confirmed what she already knew. She found comfort in their closeness, and didn’t want the ride to end.
Having reached their final destination, it did end, all too soon; but while her attention was diverted elsewhere, he was never far from sight and ever present in her mind.
Then something unexplainable happened, as she stood before that looming historic landmark, and she looked around curiously to see if anyone else had felt it, but it appeared that no one had. She followed the others inside and was delighted by the checkered floors, the pillar columns, the open balcony and the matching chandeliers that lit the foyer. They entered the auditorium and she was awestruck by the beauty and elegance surrounding her; feeling very small and insignificant within the grandeur of that room.
They made their way to the balcony, took their seats, his being only two down from hers, and while she could hear the incessant chatter somewhere in the back of her mind, she paid no attention, as her thoughts drifted elsewhere; transporting her to a time and place very far away, known only in her imagination, yet feeling so very familiar.
The lights dimmed and an audible hush fell across the audience, as the enormous chandelier made its slow ascent toward the muraled ceiling. Unbeknownst to her, she was on the edge of her seat, gripping the railing, her eyes glued to the sparkling crystals, while just a few feet away, his eyes were glued on her. The first notes of the orchestra sounded with a boom, reverberating throughout the entire room, and she jumped in her seat, as a delighted smile that matched his own, played across her face.
The music continued, as a story unfolded, playing out inside her mind. She didn’t know what it meant, only the way it made her feel; and as the second movement crescendo built to a powerful, emotionally charged climax, she felt the tears well in her eyes. She slowly turned to look in his direction and found he had already done the same, their eyes locking in a powerful gaze; and in that moment, everything was felt and understood, that their words had never expressed; his soul mirroring her own, his heart offered up within his hands, his eyes conveying it was hers for the taking.
The remainder of the symphony was lost to her, as her thoughts replayed that moment, over and over inside her mind, so as to be certain what she thought was real had not simply been imagined; concluding that surely it must have been, for he was so far beyond what she could ever hope to have that her mind convinced her it was nothing but illusion, born of her yearning heart.
It was late and the ride back was especially quiet. She sat behind him, off to his left; so that each time they passed under a street lamp, his profile was illuminated in the muted light, yet clearly she could see the faraway look on his face, and couldn’t help but wonder what it was he was thinking.
So close she could reach out and touch him, her desire intense to do just that; if only for a moment, to feel the softness of his hair, the muscles tense beneath his shirt, the beating of his heart beneath the palm of her hand…
But she didn’t.
And soon the city was nothing but a memory, the lights left far behind; as darkness settled on them, transforming him once more to nothing but a shadow; unattainable from her grasp, ever present in her heart, left to forever haunt her thoughts.
©2011 Jill Terry