I could hear the inner wheels of Henry’s mind grinding as he lay silently next to me, both of us facing opposite directions with only the smalls of our backs touching.
I sat up holding the comforter up to my chest as if to shield me from the vulnerability ahead. I turned and spoke to his back, “I knew this would happen the minute I saw the back of your head.”
He picked up his head and rested his chin on his shoulder. “What?”
“Well, actually… I knew this would happen when I first saw your back…in your fabulously sexy, dark-navy suit with the silver pinstripes…then I saw the back of your head. But, still, I knew.”
Still confused, Henry now swiveled his body counter-clockwise to lie facing me on his side. “You knew what?…From what…my head? All I heard was you think I’m fabulously sexy,” he let the last word trail off slowly like he used to do while teaching, using sarcasm to get his point across, only this time, it was seductive, luring me back down next to him.
I let go of my death grip on the comforter and slid back down on my side into his open arms and nestled up close to his chest. We were now looking into each other’s eyes.
“When I walked into Albert Hall, while I was focused on finding Room Six, you were hunched over at the water bubbler. I couldn’t help but say to myself, ‘Wow. Who is this with the phenomenal taste? He’s a student here?’ You then stood up straight and walked into the next room. I only saw the back of you head. But, I knew. The salt-and-pepper hair was a dead giveaway.”
As he kissed my forehead, he muttered, “I still have no idea what you are talking about. Are you calling me fabulously sexy again?”
Eventually, we had to pull ourselves away from each other and the seclusion of my bedroom as it was Monday morning and we both had classes to teach. As Henry showered, I got up and started the coffee.
“Ugh. Rain again,” I muttered to myself as I opened the window blinds. Opening the blinds was painful, not because of the light hitting my un-ready pupils, but because I felt each one of those horizontal lines of light shattering the cocoon the weekend in bed had just built around me and Henry.
Reality was rearing its’ ugly head with the possibility for sheer and utter disappointment when Henry leaves, as he had not responded to any of my feeble attempts to convey the true breadth and depth of my feelings. I had tried several times during the course of the past two days to gather the thoughts, feelings and emotions rushing through me for the past year into what needed to be the perfect combination of words to tell to this man, the most wonderful man I had ever met, I was in love with him.
I could still hear the shower running. I started to prepare myself for the worst. I started running scenarios of our departure through my head.
“Thanks for an amazing weekend. But…I’ve already told you…I’m happy in my current situation…”
“East or west coast?”
Henry startled me. While I was preparing myself for the dreaded “You’re a Great Friend” speech staring out the window, he had gotten out of the shower, gotten dressed and poured our coffee. He was standing at the edge of the kitchen holding in one hand my “I ‘heart’ LA” mug and in the other, my “I ‘heart’ New York” mug.
“LA or New York,” he clarified.
“Oh…New York, please. Thank you.”
I stood frozen in anticipation as I watched Henry gather his belongings from around the apartment. I was still in my bathrobe, still gripping my “I ‘heart’ NY” mug and still unable to breathe.
“Well…” Again, his words rolled off his tongue with great seduction.
We were now walking towards each other. When Henry reached me, he took the mug out of my hand, placed it down and began kissing my neck.
“Stunning, sexy, and irresistible,” he kept kissing me as he spoke.
“What?” My mind was preoccupied with his lips, not conversation.
“Turquoise, strappy high heels and your refute of Georg Hegel’s theory of the Absolute.”
“What?” I repeated, still preoccupied.
“That’s when I knew I had fallen in love with you.”