We sat kitty-corner at her table, finshed with the dinner she'd made. Sharing a glass of wine. It wasn't an excellent dinner, but I didn't care. We'd known each other just a while, just a few dates, but both of us knew something was "there," and the feeling was calm and happy and filled with opportunity, and promise.

She looked out the window at the night, then looked at me and said,

"I want to ask you something."


"I want to ask, are you with anyone now?"

"No," I said.

She looked down at the table for a moment, and I thought I saw a smile, then she looked up without the smile and asked "And do you want to be wtih anyone?"

I said "Yes."

"To be with anyone?"

"No, not just 'anyone'," I said.

She pushed her wineglass aside so she could lean forward, on her elbows, her hands clasped. She looked into me, without blinking her deep green eyes. Then she glanced to her right, blinked once, and turned back to me.

"So who? Do you know who you'd want to be with?"

"Yes," I said. I didn't say anything more, but I kept my stare, and smiled at her. I waited.

She sat back for a second, looked down, and then sat forward and looked at me. She said, without asking,


She didn't look away. I didn't either.

"Oh yes," I said.

She held her gaze and lost the seriousness in her face, smiling a Mona Lisa smile and said

"Smart man."

I moved closer, and we just looked at each other for a minute. Then I leaned toward her and said,

"Then, let's shake on it."

I saw her face brighten with surprise, and asked,

"A ... handshake?"


She sat back smiling and looked at me for a moment. Then she shook her head sharply, once, and extended her hand. I took it easily, feeling the strength and warmness of her, extended now in her grip. Strong, and gentle. I leaned forward, reached under her arms, and pulled her around the table to me. It's hard to pull an adult around a table, but tonight, now, it was easy. I kissed her.

"And a lot more? Than the handshake?" she asked as she looked into my eyes, then nestled herself into my neck, making a sound only a woman content can make..

And I said "Oh yes..."

© dean cashen, 2004


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