It was perfect
It’s 8:00 on a Saturday morning when my cell phone makes the “MSG received” noise.
I’ll be there at like 8:15 and I start work in the lab at 9
Time to go; I lift my laptop bag onto my shoulder and walk out into the cool, crisp morning. The Sun is behind some high clouds and the coast down South is shrouded in early morning mist.
I’m on my way ETA 30 min.
It’s been almost 2 months since I’ve seen her. I feel empty without her and I’ve forgotten the little things that I used to know so well. I’m trying to enjoy this walk, the weather is so beautiful and the city is so quiet below me as I walk up Loma Alta to meet her on the bridge between the East and West campuses. Every footstep I take brings me a little closer and raises my spirits just a little bit more.
There I’ve made it to the top of the hill, all I have to do now is the short walk to the stoplight and make it across the street. I’m so close, but I’m getting nervous. What if her mom sees me walking down the road? What if someone recognizes me and we get uncovered? I better hurry up and get there.
I made it; I finally made it. No one saw me and I see her standing on the bridge. All I can only make out her silhouette but I know it’s her. I can just tell by the she walks and the way she move and takes a long look in my direction.
Just seeing her face has made it all worth it, she turns her head and I can see her smiling. I’m smiling too, well beaming actually. She points one of her delicate fingers at a monarch butterfly that she’s been watching for some time now. We’re standing on opposite sides of the butterfly. My whole body yearns to move closer to her; I’m not going to. I don’t want to scare the butterfly off with my shadow or the vibrations of my footsteps.
Isn't it beautiful?
It is beautiful. That monarch sits there and soaks up the sun on this cool morning. By now it's 9:00 and she says it's time to go. She walks past th butterfly and shadow's it for a second before she comes and stands next to me. She's inches from me but I feel so warm, almost as warm as the cup of coffee in her hand.
Her coffee is warm and sweet, from the Mesa Coffee company. It was so refreshing when I sipped some. My mouth was so dry, but one sip refreshed my dry mouth like an oasis returning on the first winter rains. We walked down some steps and I commented on some of the sample CAD designs on a bulliten board. We're smiling and looking at each other the whole time, bumping our shoulders and walking toward the door to the Digital Arts lab.
Devion wasn’t there so we waited outside the door talking and wishing the concrete wasn’t so wet so we could sit down; we stood. We’re standing there talking and she’s sipping the all to sweet coffee that her little brother got for her. We’re looking at the posters that are hanging on the walls, making comments on and talking about Rob’s chess set.
It’s already getting warm out; not warm enough to for us to take off our jackets. We both seem to know that the day is going to be warm and sunny. She’s reading my mind already.
It’s been a while since I was here in the daytime.
Yeah like a year…
Finally Devion arrives, he’s late; about a half hour late. She jokes with him about it and then tells me to remember that, so we can bargain for a longer break. The lab is about the same as the last time I was here. 70+ computers humming along; they have about 20 new Macs now too, before it was all SGI’s.
Go get a chair…
While I go get a chair, she’s looking for the directions to the Nethercutt Collection Museum in San Sylmar, CA. She’s here working while the rest of her family is off to L.A.; she stayed, it’s amazing. I’m trying to be as quiet as possible while she talks on the phone to her mom. I’m not supposed to be here with her. In fact I’m not really supposed to be her friend at all. Every time I look over at her she starts smiling and rolling her eyes.
When she’s done, she logs onto AIM. She shows me her bot and then starts talking the wonderful and talented Achromatic. He’s talking about watching the sunrise and sleeping for a bit. He seems like a neat person. My friend Krystal came on around 10:30. We were having one of those moments when we seemed to be reading each other’s minds. I don’t think Krystal could tell the difference until we told her. I couldn’t help smiling when we were counting the squares on the ceiling (there are about 570). All morning long it was like that. She was talking on AIM and checking people in and out the lab, handing out headphones and cameras.
My hands are cold…
I’m holding her hands; they’re so cold, but every second I hold on they get warmer. It feels so good to hold her hands. I’m rubbing my fingers over her soft skin. I wish I could hold on to them forever. She’s looking at me and smiling so purely. I would put my arm around her but, they’re busy holding her hands.
It went on like this until about 1:15. We talked to Krystal; she wanted us to bring her hot cocoa. I wish we had cars so we could bring her some. We talked to fogboy0 after that, he seemed to be having a good time after the PSAT’s. Otherwise we just talked and looked at each other. The things we had forgotten about each other were flooding back. The way she typed, the sound of her voice when we are not separated by a telephone, the smell of her hair, or the way her lips part when she smiles. I was so bored; content and happy, but bored. I even tutored some women who were working on a video about the AIDS Walk using iMovie. I didn’t really want to leave her but I wanted to help them. She was watching me the whole time while I was gone, I could just feel it. That and I could see her head over the top of the monitors.
As soon as Devion gets back we should go outside and roll around in the grass…
I’m getting anxious, I want to go outside; I can tell she wants to too. We keep looking at the bright sunny lawn outside and then back at each other. I yearn to go outside and walk with her in the sun, trace a trail through the grass. That and I’m hungry. I want to go to my dad’s apartment, get something to eat and put my sweater down.
He’s back! Finally we can go. Go get something to eat and take a little rest before her 45min. break is up; well it might be longer because he was late getting here.
C’mon let’s go…
I follow her to the doors and we go out, one through each door. We’re free, for a little while. Cami stops and we both take off our sweaters so we can take in the beautiful weather. We’re walking side by side again; we always seem to. I walk on the left and she walks on the right about 3 inches apart. We’re walking along, taking in the weather and the surroundings, our strides matched, bumping into each other. Steering a course, down the bridge and past the theatre buildings. As we passed the water fountian she puased for a second. looking at it, looking at the whole area around it, and getting a quick look at me
The water's off...
It’s warm and there’s a fresh wind blowing. I’m walking on the grass that grows on top of the bluff, walking past the bench where we sat and talked about life and where our friendship really took off that night in May. She’s talking about searching for that tree again this winter. We walk around the back of the Garvin Theater and up to the exit that leads onto Oceano Ave. It feels so good to be walking with her again. We’re still walking and talking as we turn and head down the street; every few steps pausing to take it all in.
She holds my sweater while I go get the key. As I turn around to go back to her, she's at the top of the stairs now. The sunlight is filtering through the space in between the buildings. The bird of paradise and the green trim almost give the place a tropical feel. The sun is reflecting of the wall and setting her a glow. Her skin is raidient and her lips and cheeks are colored like a single rose petal.
We step inside and head to the kitchen, looking for something to eat. She finally settled on some cereal, with rice milk, because she didn't want me to open a new carton of milk. I made a sandwich. She finished her cereal just as I finished my sandwich; washing out her bowl in the sink, she walked into the living room. After I've put away all of the food, I go into the living room too.
We're both in the living room, she's on one futon; resting with her knees bent and one hand under her head. I go and sit on the other futon. I'm drinking a glass of grapefruit juice and looking at her. I can she the flutter of her eyelashes and if I listen, I can hear her breathing. Everything is so calm and peaceful now. Oh if I only could stop time and go lie next to her for a while. She seems to breathe peace and serenity. I get up to go to the bathroom and on my way I hand her a pillow. When I get out, she's putting on her shoes; getting ready to go. She knows it's time to go; we don't want to but, she knows she has to go back to work.
We probably should get back...
We walk out the door back into the bright sun and the warm breeze. I lock the door and we talk about coming back after she gets off work. Our walk up the street is cheerful, but a bit saddened; we wanted to stay. After we get back on campus near the fountain, we start to look at the sailboats and kite surfers enjoying this beautiful day on the warm blue Pacific.
The whole way back we talked about sailing, work and a multitude of other things. I stopped for a second to look at a catamaran that was framed by the grass and some palm trees. It would make a really nice photograph. I explained sailing theory to her, well the basics anyway as we crossed the bridge.
We need to go sailing sometime
I promise I won’t dunk you on purpose
She keeps telling me reasons why she’s scared or how she’s going to get really wet. I understand her fears and regrets, but I still think she’s being a little paranoid. I knows she knows that I wouldn’t get her too wet. I don’t know why I want to take her sailing so badly; maybe I just want to share something that brings me so much joy, with her; someone who I enjoy being with.
We talk about that and our friends as we stroll back to the DAC Lab. The day is getting close to ending; we’re talking about work and our friends. I feel really, really happy right now, almost like my cup of joy is brimming, about to overflow. She notices a butterfly flying past us on the on the bridge. I reach out and put my hands over her eyes and ask her how she could live like that all these years.
It’s all your fault
It’s always my fault. But I can’t take credit for that because it’s all her fault for melting my hard unfriendly shell. This walk feels really good. Well all our walks feel go so far.
When we make it back to the air-conditioned comfort of the DAC Lab, and the sleek counter, familiar computer and chairs at the help desk. She tells me that we have an hour and a half to go. I guess I have to sing this time too. I better think of a good song to sing. As I started to think of a good song, she starts to play one on her keyboard. She’s talking to one of her friends about the laptop she picked out this morning, her new dream computer. As she types, my mind springs to action. She’s inspiring me to figure out the hull shape for a new project at work. She’s typing away as I draw out smooth curves and write down ideas into my notebook.
The next hour crawled by; we were talking and smiling. I talked with Devion about the new Apple OS and hardware. She keeps chatting on AIM and doing her job. Every once and a while she show’s me something on E2. She started to show me websites that she had designed and she talked about some of the ones that she was working on right now. I feel so honored that she asked me for my opinion.
Attention everyone the lab will be closed in 15 minutes.
I’m giddy with anticipation. We’ll be able to leave soon. Take another walk, a longer one this time. Maybe we’ll go and crash on the grass or back on my dad’s apartment.
Attention everyone, the lab is now closed
We’re free! Free! We walk out through the doors and outside. Past the Science buildings and we end up on the curb that overlooks the stadium. She was talking on the phone to her mom again, I don’t think it’s going good. By the way she’s talking and moving it looks like our time together is limited to 2 hours or less. She’s trying to convince her mom that she’ll be fine. After she’s done I take the hint and we start off towards a Starbucks. She’s on the phone again; we made it the few feet to the bridge and then stopped.
She’s talking to her mom about her boss and trying to convince her to stay in L.A. a little while longer. She’s trying to buy us time. After she got off the phone, I knew it didn’t work. We start to head for Starbucks near us. It’s about a half an hour walk from here. She puts her folder in my backpack and we start off. Across the bridge and up past the library; we talk about the Laramie Project and almost walk into a picture that a man and woman are taking of themselves.
We keep walking until we’re off the campus and on the back roads. She wants me to take the back way so we don’t run he risk of getting spotted by people that might expose us. We’re walking down tree-lined streets with neat little houses on either side. It’s so quiet and peaceful; we’re walking and talking about architecture and the cool things we’ve seen. We’re only about 2 inches apart, our pace a little slower and our voices a little softer.
She looks at me funny every time I stop to look at a flower. She asks me why, but I can’t tell her yet. I haven’t found the right flower to give her yet. I want her to know how special she is to me.
We reached a little street called San Miguel. She’s on the phone again, our time is getting short; even as we skip down the street arm and arm. I can feel the sand trickle down the hourglass that hangs over our heads. We walk and talk for almost a half hour. We’re both standing there on the corner of the busy street that we had avoided.
I feel so exposed
I know, I do to; we’re standing here on the corner waiting for the light to change. The Starbucks is so close, I keep looking at her and we’re talking about the people that might catch us. I’m smiling and we’re still talking and standing close to each other. We made it across the street with out being seen by the people who could take this wonderful day from us. That Starbucks is inviting and warm looking. I hold the door open for her; after all she’s paying for my caramel frappachino.
She buys me a frappachino, we go and sit down at a table. One of those 2 person tables that they have all over the place. I get up to get our frappachinos; they taste so good, a little bit of heaven. That cherub across the table from me bought my coffee for me. We’re talking about all of the things we’ve written each other. She’s looking through my portfolio and talking about it. She shows me things from one of her grey notepads. I saw the original piece of paper that she copied for my birthday present. It feels really good to know that she trusts me. We keep talking like this, leaning in close and looking at each other out of the corners of our eyes.
It’s almost time to go
I’m looking at her; I know I’ll have to run out the back door soon. I hate that. She goes to sit at a table outside; I follow her out because I still have things to say to her. I walked outside to give her the shell that I used to write her name upon the sand that night. I see my friend Robin walking towards us, she says hello and then leaves. Cami sees her mom’s car and it’s time for me to go. I run inside and out through the back door.
We’re still here
I’m outside, Stall so I can get across the street
Okay we're safe.