She gazed at open water leaving me far away in the lonely that settles in when bodies close force you to broaden every other distance when flights are long.
Silence grew heavy and her public half smiles and careful not to look too long glances spoke clearly, and I respected the signals and maintained the neutral zone.
I was thinking about tight security, backroom strip downs and slow skin inspections. But yesterday's long walk came back to me, and I drifted into the Muir Woods quiet beneath the ancient Redwoods listening to whatever speaks that awe and wonder walking in a time out of time in a land of graceful giants.
When I came back, she was looking at me. Curiosity had overcome her careful stratagems and she risked a query. I took her to my woods and walked her through the soft floor of the fallen off from far above and the wonder of a quiet that those sentinels maintain. Inhaling the delicate resin and watching fearless black tail deer walk right in front of you with their new prongs and graceful steps. Words failed me but I stumbled through and tried catch the beauty of deep twisted spiral bark going up out of sight and tiny meadows of delicate ferns and sweet faced fawns laying down hardly to be seen.
'Seat upright sir' brought me back and I complied and stowed my notebook in the underneath. Then I looked over and she was back to looking out. I could see the dense lights below and knew we were close.
Little said again as we landed. I helped get her luggage down. She was smiling sincerely.
We all milled around just inside the terminal trying to get our bearings. I felt a hand barely hold mine and heard 'I have to stay in the terminal and catch a connection to Stuttgart. Would you have dinner with me?'
I had no certain plans and so joined her. She, Irish born, black hair and pale had somehow gotten blue eyes from her red haired mother. She was speaking and a boy gaming on his little screen while he walked hit a bare metal pole and everything flew up and scattered down. He appeared to be fine and though it was a bit concerning she couldn't stop laughing; we both tried to squelch it, but laughter continued on until tears rolled down and sides hurt.