She met him on a wet, breezy fall day. The sky was filled with clouds the color of grey, with no light penetrating them. Rain was coming down like it had not rained in months, when it had just rained yesterday. She should have thought to bring an umbrella, but the weatherman had said it would not rain. That was the last time she listened to them.
She was still sheltered under the awning of her favorite coffee shop, well the only one she had found yet. She had just moved to the area for school. She breathed in the scent of fresh coffee mixed with rain and gas. The sounds of pounding rain on the awning and cars zipping by filled her ears. She shivered as a gust of chilled air sprayed her with water. She looked down at her half wet tan trench coat. At least she had been smart enough to wear a coat long enough to prevent her new dress from getting wet.
“Weren’t expecting the rain were you miss?”
She looked to her right and left a few times for the owner of the voice, but could not find the source.
A light snicker filled her ears as the same voice said, “Down to your left,”
Following the voices directions she looked, she found the owner of the voice. It belonged to a young man, not younger than her though. He stood around a foot and half shorter than her, but it would have probably been less if not for her heels. He had dark brown hair that was slicked neatly and quite handsomely away from his face. He had bright, warm blues that smiled at her like his gapped teeth. She liked the gap between his front teeth, it was cute. He was dressed in a sharp suit that was tailored perfectly for his slender frame.
“I am sorry sir I didn’t….I,” She trailed off. She was not certain of what else to say.
“It’s alright, I am use to it. And besides you are quite a tall woman, so it make sense,” He said as he eyed her up and down. His gaze was friendly; still it made her a little excited. She was aware that her hair was tousled which she liked, she was glad now that she had not eaten another scone, so she was still slender and was pleased that she had reapplied her lipstick. Standing taller, she knew she looked good.
“It’s the heels,” She said as she directed her eyes down to her left foot which she stuck out slightly so he could focus on the black, shiny shoe better.
“I would not say entirely, I bet you are still tall without them,” He said with a small smile.
She was 5”9” so it was true. “Yes I am,” She said with a smile back.
“I have a big umbrella. I could share it with you if you like?” He offered as he held out the grey umbrella. It looked like it was close to the same size as him, which she could not deny that she found amusing.
“Thank you! That is very kind of you!” She said as she beamed at him.
He handed her the umbrella as he said, “I think its best that you hold the umbrella,”
“Yes, of course,” She said as she took it from him. Holding it in front of her, she popped it open and stepped out into the rain. She held it out so that there was room for him as well. He stepped under next to her and they started to make their way down the street.
“Where are you heading to?” He asked as he glanced up at her.
“Hockton Apartments,” She answered while meeting his gaze.
He laughed as he said, “I live there myself! By the way I am Emmett Hickery”
She made the first move on a Saturday evening. It had been six weeks after they had met and they were hanging out like they did every Saturday evening. In her apartment, her drinking soda and him water. He did not have a taste for anything aside from water she had learned after offering him everything she could think milk, smoothies, juice, etc. Well he actually liked orange juice, but that was it. They usually played video games, watched movies, and compared musical tastes.
Tonight was a little different though she had wanted to impress him. She had cooked dinner and now they sat in her living room eating. Her living room was crammed with a leather couch a matching recliner, an oak table, a TV mounted on the wall, and three tall lamps. The walls were an ugly mustard yellow and the carpet was a worn pale white. It was an awful combination. She had talked to the land lord about painting it, but he refused,
Fortunately the room still smelled of the roast and potatoes she had made instead of its usually burnt smell that crept in from the vents. Emmett sat on the left end of the couch with his back resting against the smooth arm rest. He wore dark wash jeans and a green button down shirt that was tucked it.
She herself sat on the floor close to him wearing an old pair of yoga pants and a fitted black tee shirt. She liked that her outfit hugged the few curves she had on her slender frame.
The TV was on, but it was muted. They were immersed in a conversation about his classes. “So your professor plays music in class to enhance the lecture and you do not like it?” She questioned as she pushed around her potatoes.
Swallowing his food and taking a drink, he then answered, “Yes. Music is something that should be enjoyed outside of class. In class it is just distracting,”
“I think it would be a nice change. I get tired of monotone lectures. I cannot stand three and half more years, yet alone the thought of grad school and you are just starting it. Why?” She asked as she gave his foot a playful shove.
“If I want to be a counselor it is important that I get my masters,” He said as he put his last bite of roast in his mouth.
“Whatever,” She said as placed her plate on the table. She leaned back against the couch so her head rested on the middle cushion. She grinned at him as he set his plate on the table.
“You are a lot different than my first impression of you on that rainy day” He said as he raised an eyebrow at her.
“Well you were dressed nicely and seemed a little shyer and reserved,”
He was right about that. When she did not know people she tended to be that way. “Well I had a job interview that day, so that was why I was dressed up. I was a bit more conscious around you that day because I did not know you, but now I do. I am comfortable around you now and can be more open,” She said. As she finished she let out a loud burp and broke out into laughter.
“Too comfortable and too open,” He said. She grinned at him as she watched him. He frowned at her as she shook his head.
“And you are too serious,” She said as she climbed onto the couch and kneeled in front of him on the middle cushion. His eyes were searching hers trying to read her. She just smiled at him and stared at his lips. She had wanted to kiss them for a long time. They looked so plumb and soft and were the color of a pale pink.
“Why are you staring at me like that?” He asked as his lips pressed together tighter as his brow furrowed. He narrowed his eyes at her and did not blink.
“Like what?” She asked as she crept closer. She rested both her hands on opposite sides of him, her knees still resting on the middle cushion, so she was closer to him, but hovered over him, not touching him.
“I don’t know. All I know is you seem to be staring at my lips, like you want to kiss them,”
“Maybe I do,” She said as she closed the gap. She pressed her full lips to his luscious ones. She leaned in closer so their chests lighted touched together. His hands came up to hold the sides of her face and he gently pushed her face away.
Locking their eyes, he asked “Gemma, would you be my girlfriend?”
“Yes!” She said as she crushed her lips onto his.
She liked to tease him a lot, but her favorite time to do it was when they were cuddling. It would be dark, all the lights off in her apartment. The glow of the TV provided the only light and the only sound. They laid on her couch. Emmett had himself propped up against the armrest with Gemma on his right. She lay on her side, which was pressed against the smooth leather with her head rested on his chest. One of his hands lazily stroked her hair as he held the other one in her own.
Sitting up a little, she looked into his bright blues with her honey browns and grinned at him. She kissed him on his forehead, then each cheek. She continued to plant kisses on his face, except his lips. He freed his hands from her hair and hand and gently held her face. He stroked her jaw with his thumbs as he said, “If you are going to kiss me, kiss my lips”
Her grin grew as her eyes smiled into his serious ones. She kissed his nose and the whole area around his mouth. Their lips never meet until he forcibly seized her lips with his. He let his hands get tangled in her hair as he kissed her passionately.
She did not want to go home for a month at the end of her freshmen year. She had not seen her family since Christmas, but she did not want to leave Emmett. They stood side by side in the airport, holding hands. The voices of people mixed together to make inaudible noise as various people of ages and appearances meshed together into a mob of color. It smelled of bleach and she crinkled her nose at the smell.
“I don’t want you to leave either,” He said as he looked up at her with sad blues. He guided her over to an open seat and gestured for her to set down. She placed her luggage to her sides as she sat down. He took both of her hands in his and squeezed them as they both looked at their hands as he stood in front of her.
“You could come with me,” She said with a small smile as she looked at his face.
“I would, but I still have classes, remember?” He said as he looked into her eyes with a slight frown.
“I know, but I can still imagine you were coming with me,” She said with a grin as her eyes brightened.
“Yes you can Gemma,” He said with a soft smile. “Don’t worry though it is just for a month though,”
“It will be a long month though,”
“Just remember I love you when you miss me and before you know it we will be back together in the fabulous Hockton Apartments,”
She giggled at the thought of their own awful apartments. “I love you too Emmett,” she said as she leaned in close and then kissed him.
She played a number of tricks on him over the course of the two years they had been together thus far. This day she had planned another trick. It was a hot day, so they had decided to go down to a local lake. They lay on a soft pink blanket atop one of the sturdy docks that was around the lake. The sky was clear, the sun beating down on them making their skin sticky with sweat. The lake was a little murky, but calm. They heard the gentle chirps of some grasshoppers and they breathed in the fresh flowers that boarder the lake.
They both were on their stomachs, facing each other with a glass in one hand. “Cheers,” she smiled as she clinked her glass against his. She took a small drink of the orange liquid in her glass as she watched Emmett take a big gulp from his.
He froze his face contorting as he frowned with eyes wide. He scurried over to the end of the dock and spit the liquid into the water. He emptied his glass off the dock while coughing. Sitting up into a kneeling position, he glared at her with a tight jaw.
She placed her glass down in time as she rolled across the dock laughing. He walked over her to her when she had stopped with her back now against the dock. He cocked an eyebrow at her as he crossed his arms over his chest. She calmed down, as a smile played at her lips when she looked up at him. It was one of the few times where she looked up at him.
“You put alcohol in my drink didn’t you Gemma?” He asked.
She rolled herself back to the blanket with him walking after her with a stern look still on his face. “Well, I suppose I did,” She said as she smiled at him while batting her eyelashes. His frown lessened as he sat down. “I thought you might like vodka,” She said as she reached over and squeezed his knee.
“Nope,” He said as he reached into their picnic basket and pulled out a red box and handed it to her.
She let out a little squeal as she tore into the box. He had gotten her chocolate! Popping it into her mouth, she chewed quickly. She chewed the second one slowly noticing it was crunchy, but she couldn’t quite place why. It didn’t taste like pretzel or nuts. “What’s inside these? They are crunchy,” She said while chewing.
“Crickets,” He said as he smirked at her. She stopped chewing and stared at him just blinking. She grabbed a chocolate and broke it open. Once she noticed the tiny legs inside she threw the chocolates aside and spit repeatedly into a napkin. His laughter filled her ears as he said, “I told you I would get even,”
She loved the moments when it was just the two of them away from the world. They laid side by side on their backs in a bed of tall, prickly grass. The sky was clear and was lit up by a multitude of stars. Their gently breathes were the only sounds for miles as they took in the smell of the grass. Her right hand was resting atop his chest in both his hands as he stroked it.
“The stars are so beautiful. I wish we could have one,” She said as she turned her face towards him and smiled. His blue eyes shined with moonlight as a soft smile rested on his lips.
“Well, I already have one,” He said as he glanced back up at the sky and back at her.
“Really?” She asked as she scooted closer and stared at him with big eyes.
“Yes, you and I have a star for you,” He said as he sat up in a kneeling position. He still held her left hand as he dug in the pocket of his dark jeans and pulled out a little velvet box. “Gemma Waltz would you marry me?” He asked as he opened the box and presented her with her star, a gleaming circular diamond.
She started to cry as he slipped the ring on her left ring finger. She moved closer to him and switched from lying on her back to her side. While facing him, she cupped his face in her hands as she whispered, “Emmett Hickery nothing would make me happier than to be your wife!”
She loved waking up on Monday mornings. Walking into her spacious kitchen, she let her eyes trail around the room. The kitchen had white oak cabinets, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances. The floor was white tile and the walls a light lavender. The kitchen was neat just as it had been the night before. She followed the fresh smell of bacon and coffee as she heard the bark of the neighbor’s dog.
A small spread across her face as she found what she looked for every Monday morning. On the brown mahogany table was a plate of bacon, over easy eggs, toast with grape jam, and a sliced pear. In front of the plate was a note with her name written across the top of the folded piece of paper.
Unfolding the note, she read it aloud to herself, “Gemma, each day I love you more as I learn more about the beautiful woman you are. Yours always Emmett,”
She wiped at the tears in the corner of her eyes as she made her way over to a draw. Kissing the note she placed it in the draw where she kept all the notes he had given her every Monday over the past three years they had been married.
He had left her quickly on a Friday late in June. She knelled in front of a tombstone. Running her hands along the cold, smooth sides of it, tears slipped from her eyes. She looked around the deserted cemetery. It was a slightly cloudy day, but the sun’s warmth could still be felt. The grass was still fairly green and dotted with tombstones as far as the eye could see. She heard several chirps from a bird and breathed in the smell of fresh cut grass.
Looking back at the tombstone she read it. It bore her husband’s name. She pressed her head to the stone as she wrapped her arms around her and cried. He had had an unexpected heart attack, which had happened so fast there had been no chance to save him.
Sitting back up, she weakly wiped at the tears streaming down her cheeks. She had only had him for eleven years, but she had been blessed to have had him at all. And she would always have a part of him she thought as she placed her hand on her swelling stomach.