I never rethought my decision to move half-way across the country to be with the most amazing woman I ever met. It was true love.
She and I went through a lot together. We juggled a house, two businesses, three kids. Sitting down for a quick lunch at the Food Court to reminisce brings up all sorts of memories from the past two decades. Then we turn our thoughts to the future.
Note: This short story was originally published in the charity collection, Love Is Proud.
“Why do we always buy Chinese here?” I asked as I put the last of the broccoli into my mouth. “There are other types of food in the food court.”
“True. But, do you really want greasy hamburgers or a hot dog made from who-knows-what? Even the chicken isn’t cooked that well and the pizza is never thick enough. We make all those foods so much better at home.”
“You make Chinese better than this, too.”
She sighed. “Then maybe we should never eat out.”
“Except for the steaks at Trail Run.”
No one anywhere made better steaks than that restaurant. Trail Run’s beef and other meats were always the very top quality, and when they were delivered to your table, the waiter asked you to cut into it to make sure it was cooked to your specifications. If it was too well-done or too rare for your taste, it was rushed back into the kitchen and corrected immediately.
Trail Run was a very popular restaurant. On weekends, it was sometimes impossible to get a table there although they occasionally stayed open for an hour or so after their posted times so late customers wouldn’t be turned away. Yes, their food was worth losing sleep over.
I glanced up as she ate the last of her pork. It amazed me that our relationship had lasted this long and had grown so strong. It had started rather slow. We’d met at a national lesbian art conference. When I saw her that first afternoon, I was highly impressed. Her display table was right behind mine. She had almond-colored hair and hazel eyes. Her stance was tall and had a thinly disguised tinge of command to it. I immediately wanted to get to know her. I’d introduced myself and complimented her work. We sat together that evening at dinner and I spent the remainder of that evening talking to her at her exhibit, only turning away when someone came up to examine my work. The rest of the weekend, we’d flirted and had all our meals together and we’d spent the one night we had together talking, sipping drinks, and laughing. Nothing sexual happened. That would come later. I did kiss her good-bye when she got ready to board the plane that next afternoon.
And that one kiss? She stared into my eyes with a warm, surprised smile, then turned and walked away. It was a good thing I hadn’t kissed her on the first day, because neither of us would have gotten to see any of the exhibits, nor been able to display our own art and stand behind the bench to hawk it to everyone who had come to our tables.