I didn't see my wife.
I saw a thin faded sundress, and the silhouette of a woman underneath. She was reaching for her bag. Sun-bleached golden, long wisps of her hair brushed the floor of the station as she bent to the ground. The backs of her sandals dug into her heels, like she'd been walking too long and too far.
Curiousity moved me up the back of her legs, to the strawberry birthmark just at the edge of where her skirt met her skin.
I shifted in my seat, trying to be discreetly interested. There are a lot of creeps in bus stations. This was a traveler's last resort. People don't take Greyhound for the adventure. They take Greyhound because they're too poor to travel. And wherever these people were going, you could bet it was somewhere tourists wouldn't even stop to piss.
Besides, a nice ass doesn't guarantee a nice face. I waited it out.
Here she goes. Why do girls do that with their hair? When they bend to do stuff and then get back up and whip their hair out of their face? Do they know it's an instant hard-on or are they completely oblivious? So after the flip of the hair, I see the eyes. This is a sad, sexy woman. The kind of eyes that have seen pain and heat and everything in between. The kind of eyes that see right through me. The greenest eyes I've ever seen. She had one eyebrow raised to the somewhere behind me, making it safe to stare.
I traveled the slide of her cheeks, the round of her hips, the arch of her neck, and the faintest edge of white lace winking at me from behind the strap of her dress. Her skin was copper from a mix of sun and hard work. Her nails were short and clean. Her hands, fine-tuned and steady.
This was the kind of woman who could take a shot of tequila without making a face. The kind who walked past me everytime.
So while I'm thoroughly checking her out, hiding the growing show of appreciation in my pants with a copy of Time Magazine, she starts walking... still staring at the great somewhere I'm not. I'm letting her get away. So without thinking, I stick my foot out, and she goes flying. Can you believe that? What an asshole! Now she's on the ground and it's my fault. So I jump up to make sure she's alright and she just looks straight through me and says, all business-like, "I'm fine, thank you."
I reach my hand out to her to help her up when I see that her ears are turning red and she's breaking a sweat at her temples. It hits me that she's embarrassed. And it strikes me funny for some reason; that a woman like that could be embarrassed.
So I start to laugh. And I can't stop. It's the kind that comes out with a guffaw, with snorts and hiccups. The kind that makes a guy look real cool. At first she's looking at me like I'm an asshole. And then it strikes her funny too. So there we are in the middle of the Greyhound station, tears rolling down our faces, when I look down and realize that I'm still holding her hand. And she's holding mine back.
I remember it like it happened this morning.
It's funny because when she'd ask me when I realized I loved her, I never could answer her. I couldn't think of when. I'd just shrug and say, "I don't know."
When she was pregnant with Jill, I wouldn't cross the room to put my hand on her belly when the baby was kicking. But at night, when she was sleeping, I'd slide down the bed and put my ear up to her belly and listen.
I was stupid, pretending she didn't know I did shit like that.