“Book of Discovery”
She knelt at the window, watching them load the rental truck. It seemed like yesterday she watched him move in. She never met him. Now, it was too late.
She had looked through her apartment peephole, just to get a glimpse of him walking up to his apartment.
At night, she timed everything with his movements. They showered and even brushed their teeth together. She would wait until she heard the thump of him climbing into bed before she did. From that point on he was with her, talking to her, asking how her day went, laughing with her, and rubbing her tired back, sore from waiting on tables all day. His touch made her body jump. Night after night her touch was his touch.
If only he knew how she felt. She wiped the moisture on her cheeks.
Why didn’t he introduce himself?
She remembered occasions he could have said something, instead of smiling and passing at the entrance. His bright blue eyes froze her in place. She remembered his wonderful scent lingering.
She thought she was attractive. She knew male students, and even older men; stared at her while she waited on tables. Her long blonde hair, long legs and skimpy shorts were hard to miss. So, how could he have resisted striking up a conversation?
She studied him and his friend loading the truck. They were both shirtless. Their torsos glistened from the sweltering July humidity. Oh shit…maybe he’s gay? He was handsome enough to attract either gender.
Right now, she hated herself. All these months she tried in vain to get up the courage to meet him, and despite all her plans—nothing!
There was one time she left her apartment door slightly ajar, so he could see what nobody had seen. She thought he paused on the landing, but then continued up to his apartment. Did he see her? Did he fantasize like she had that night? She felt embarrassed.
She looked down and saw them loading canvass after canvass. He’s a painter.
They were almost done, with just a few boxes stacked on the steps. He came over and lifted two top boxes, looking up at her window. She ducked quickly, hoping he didn’t see her.
Many thoughts raced through her mind as she crouched against the wall. She heard the sound of the truck and peeked out the window.
It was not just a truck driving away.
She resolved never to ever let this happen again. Her life could have changed. Wait…there’s a box on the top step. He forgot a box!
She jumped up and rushed out and down the stairs. She looked to see if the truck was returning, but it wasn’t. The box was filled with papers and a small notebook on top. Should she bring it inside or wait for him to come back?
She sat down on the steps and reached for the notebook, thinking it might give a clue to his move.
It was a daily journal.
January 3rd –
‘I moved into my third floor apartment today.
There is an angel living on the second floor.
I hope we meet soon.’
She quickly scanned the other pages. Every page had a reference to her. What a fool she had been.
On one of the subsequent pages she saw his sketch of her when she left the door ajar. He had indeed captured what nobody else had seen.
She read his hand written note –
‘I had to capture the image of her beautiful body. It will help me to remember what I am missing in my life.’
She quickly jumped to the last page –
‘I truly wish I had met the angel downstairs. She filled my thoughts, but most of all, she filled my heart. I’m moving away tomorrow, and all I have left is the painting she will never see.’
She never heard the truck stop, or him climb the steps.
“I think that is mine.”
She looked up and his blue eyes locked on hers. She wanted to say so much, but knew the words wouldn’t come. She just smiled.
He looked down to the open page. “The painting is beautiful, but to be honest, as hard as I tried, I couldn’t capture your beauty.”
She closed her eyes briefly, took a deep breath and then said what she hoped would change their lives. “Oh, but you have! I’m Gwen. Is there any chance I can see the painting?”