It was windy and rainy but he had somewhere to go. It never even occurred to him that he might want to put it off. The weather was awful, he didn’t have a car and so weather was something he just dealt with. Of course he could have postponed and stayed dry.
But he had promised her a loaf of that great baguette from his favorite bakery and he’d be damned if he’d pass up a chance to spend a few minutes with her. He took an umbrella, but mainly to protect his hair…he wanted to set up a good image. It was useless, the rain blew sideways making it a moot point. Besides the rain itself he had also to contend with trucks and buses kicking up fountains of water as they went past. A few times he almost lost it on the slippery cobbles but he kept going. Love imparts its’s own logic and motivations.
Of course he didn’t know how she felt about him yet. The loaf was sort of an offering. A bauble presented by a suitor hoping to impress and lure the object of his affection into further entanglement. He had seen glimmers of hope but to be honest he was hardly desperate. He was sociable and not bad looking. Often he would dally for a day, or a week, or even a few months with one of the much younger women that frequented the downtown cafes. But she was different…closer to his age; just the right blend of looks and brains. Desperate? No, but he desperately wanted her approval.
He reached her building, walked the bike inside and shook off the best he could, trying to get himself organized without a mirror. He gave up. He was so thoroughly soaked that there was not much point. He rang her flat. She buzzed him into the hallway and he went up a flight of stairs. Before he could knock she opened the door “Oh my! Look at you!”
He held out the loaf for her to take “well, I promised I’d bring it over”.
“You brought that for me in the pouring rain!” She threw her arms around him, clearly touched and planted a wet kiss on his cheek. “Now come on in, get dried off and lets try that bread.”
That was the first time she’d kissed him. Some romances have a cycle: the chase, ignition, the climb, the peak, the long slow descent;and then it’s over. This one never got to the peak; they just kept climbing for the rest of their lives. All because he made sure he brought her that loaf of bread…on his bike…in the pouring rain.
© Glenn R Keller 2021, All Rights Reserved
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