“I’ll be at the southwest corner of the park at a quarter past two this afternoon,” I told him and then hung up before he replied.
By ten past, I’m in my usual spot, sitting on the ground. I admired my legs, stretched out before me, long and tan after the summer of running. The grass smelled sweet and the sun was warm. It was a perfect afternoon to be in the park.
I look up at 2:15. I spot him running along the path in my direction. He’s wearing my favorite t-shirt. I smile. He looks straight ahead.
He’s running fast today, breathing hard. He must have started late. I love that he worked hard to be here on time for me. I watch his leg muscles slide under his skin, pushing him along.
He stops at a bench about five feet away from me, leaning over the back and panting. He looks around, avoiding eye contact with me. He stands up straight and tall and slowly pulls the t-shirt over his head. I watch his arms, his torso, stretched out in front of me.
He drops the t-shirt over the back of the bench. He rests there for another minute then continues running down the path, not as quickly now.
I sit absolutely still until he’s out of sight around the corner then I scramble to my feet and rush to the bench. I pick up the shirt in both hands and lift it to my face, breathing in deeply. I love the smell of him. Sweat and shampoo and whatever it is that makes him smell like him.
I throw the shirt over one shoulder and decide to stroll home slowly, making him wait for me to join him there, taking my time enjoying his scent.