Amelia and I walked around the park 3 or 4 times before we were satisfied with getting to know each other. I carefully explained that I had no sister and etc, and she gave me a more detailed version of her bio.
At the second or third time around the lake my hand was twitching its way towards hers, but she, maybe, conveniently avoided it by pointing out a turtle in the water.
I stuffed my hand in the pocket of my jacket as I watched her smile apoligetically.My face burned and she avoided looking at me until the blush passed. I realized it wasnt accidental.
I could tell I would have to go slowly with her.
When we reached the familiar bench for the fourth time I had learned she used to have a cat named Topper who died last summer when she was in San Diego. She had been devastated and admitted in a shy whisper that she still cried about it. Her father was a lawyer named Jack who was on the verge of divorcing her mother, but spent long vacations away from the family to cure any bouts of disagreement. Her mother, Lauren, held herself together by cleaning the house more than twice a day and taking long baths and spa trips. Her parents loved her, but ignored her.
Her sister was an obsessive-compulsive eight year old version of her mother who spent her time obsessing over germs and diseases. Amelia forgot to mention her name.
This was as much as I could get out of it all, me being impossibly distracted by the way she flicked her eyes with such expression and how she lightened her walk when she was explaining something more optimistic.
But then we were at the bench again, and I was fantasizing everything that wasnt happening, and feeling drunk off everything that was.
God, I am in love.
Suddenly I snap back into the moment, and there she is, skipping rocks across the water, and the water was shaking gently, like me.
I look up into the sky and see the clouds darken and sway and I think, how perfect, it's raining, because I love rain.
But Amelia is noticing the same thing and her frown gives me the contrast of my upside-down one.
"You don't like rain?" I ask.
She rolls her eyes and shakes her head, like a weary old dog.
"Never have, I kind of doubt I ever will." She groans. "You love them, don't you."
I mean to lie, but my grin gives me away.
Then thunder cracks and we both realize we should be going.
"Oh god." I check my unadorned wrist. "You dont have a watch on you?"
"Nope." She grins sideways.
My voice lesson was at 3 and I was guessing that since normally a walk around the lake took up to around half an hour, or longer, 4 rounds at our slow pace would add up to maybe 3 hours.
"What are you missing?"
I sigh. "I had a voice lesson at three. And I'm pretty sure it isnt three any more."
"Nope." She smiles again. "You sing?"
"Hah." I snort. "Not very well."
"If you say so."
And then we sit on the bench and watch the sky darken and cast it's gloom over the city.
"No storms, then." I confirm.
She looks at me curiously. "Nope."
We sit in comfortable silence for a while.
I'm noticing more beetles scurry across the ground.
And I'm growing uncomfortable with accidental remembrance of hours of homework. It was my teacher's compensation for the ignorance of my recent absences. (The park had seemed extremely appealing then).
Finally I mumble an excuse for leaving and Amelia nods.
"Yea, I know. Me too."
I breath a little more after that and make no move to get up.
I desperately want to move my face a little closer to hers and make that tiny little touch of the lips against hers...
But I cant, and I dont.
Amelia smiles like she knows what I was thinking and reaches out and squeezes my hand.
"I told you that you have beautiful hands, right?"
I nod and let the tingles race up my arm excitedly. I want to throw my arms around her and show her what she is missing, that hell yea, she's gay, or she should be. But again, I dont.
"I've got to go.." I get up and blow her a kiss. "But maybe I'll see you tomorrow?"
She turns her head and grins. "Maybe, Wednesday."
Then I wave goodbye and race toward the street and minutes later I'm home, and it's raining and I'm soaked, and wobbly and drunk off reality, and the sky is spinning, and god, I am in love.
And I realize I dont have any way to contact her.