Two Hours Later

How quickly moods can change. I’m hiding in the garden on a bench under a tree. This is the stuff of romantic comedies. How many times have I lied in wait for something that never happened?

I wandered the woods for hours, prayed at the base of a waterfall, photographed the flora. No tree master prince appeared. With The Black Keys’ Too Afraid To Love You on repeat in my head I left, back to my car in the lower lot, trying to be content with the beautiful experience, but also with an aching heart, upset with myself for letting fear hold me back from finding him.

Glances have been caught, conversations have flowed too easily, smiles have been exchanged. And there was that moment when we bumped into each other playing volleyball on the beach. Much as I want to believe in the latter, I honestly can’t tell the difference between friendship and romantic bliss right now.

Sitting in my car stuffing my face with lunch, I saw him drive by in his pick-up headed to the arboretum. I hemmed. I hawed. I got out of the car and walked back up the steep and twisting road. Memories of chasing a certain crush down the street in Portland with a broken back and terrible limp flashed across my temporal lobes. Life is a learning experience. This time I’d play it cool.

Not wanting to run into him at the front entrance, I quietly crept through a garden path out into the open field to this bench. I suppose now I’m attempting to look unassuming. Just a girl on vacation, innocently penning a journal entry about her day amongst the trees.

And, oh, I am such a girl. My journal is filled, as always, with temptation and hope of love and happily ever after. This morning I checked my Facebook page and found a friend request from my first love. In truth I was checking my friend’s page to see if a certain tree man had a profile – a simple, casual way to reconnect with him after I leave tomorrow. As I was scrolling through the friends options I saw the request.

Now you know me and signs from the universe. I relish in them and find them everywhere. Sometimes it feels like I’m looking for them. But I wasn’t looking for this. How could I be? The moment I look up this man who has stopped me dead in my tracks I come across a message from my first boyfriend? He was the ultimate love of my young life, the man I judge all other men against consciously or not. I have forever been searching for someone who will treat me like he did.

For a minute, when I saw his request, I relaxed. I had the aha! moment of even my relationships and loneliness will be OK. In essence: everything will be OK. But my meditative state didn’t last very long. Soon into my sit still-fest in the grass I grew antsy. I had unknowingly come here with high expectations of love. At the waterfall I prayed for it, around every corner I hoped to bump into it, at my new favorite spot I sat patiently and waited for it.

But it didn’t come.

Now I’m under this tree, three journal pages in, wondering if I’m supposed to seek it out or just sit tight. If my life was the romantic comedy I’ve always hoped it would be, Sandra Bullock would get up off this bench and seek him out. But I think Reese Witherspoon would sit tight and wait.

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