Thursday, December 20, 2012
Gardens of Stone- Part 9
Jack had sent the first email the night he got home. It was like a warm fire on a cold night. Marie hadn't wanted it to end and so kept re reading it before she answered.
As the plane took off I couldn't help but feel as if I had left something important behind. Something I had never needed before but now seems fundamental to my survival. I have always been clear headed when it came to relationships but being with you is completely different in every way. I know you asked me to take time to get to know you and see if there is something worth pursuing. Please know that for me, whatever this is between us, it is absolutely worth pursuing. Even my house feels somehow different as I sit here writing to you so far away. I am somehow changed from our short time together.
I want you to feel as though you really know me. I cannot imagine what the Colonel has told you over the years about me but I guess I will just tell you everything and please let me know if I am boring you.
I was born in Virgina, I have three siblings, two brothers and one sister. We all seemed to scatter after college. I, to the Marines, my brothers Jake and Jeremiah, went away to college and never moved home, an my sister Janelle went to New York to work on Wall Street. We are all close and we all try to come home for Thanksgiving or Christmas every year. Thanksgiving is just 8 weeks from now but I feel as though I may have to come home before then...I wonder why. :) After we all left my parents sold the house we all grew up in and bought a condo on Chesapeake Bay. They said that it was because the up keep on the house just got to be too much for them but I think that they wanted to have a doorman and concierge.
I am 35 years old. I have never been married and have no children. I am not currently involved with any one but you and I am hoping you will reply that the same is true for you. Not the 35 thing I already know that you are 29. :)
I sit here wondering if you would like my place if you were to visit. What is your favorite color? Food? Movie? There is so much I do not know about you. What I do know is that I have never felt like this before and it is more than a little disconcerting.
I don't want to be a pest so I will close.
Please dream of me...
Marie tried to imagine what kind of place Jack would live. Was he living in the BOQ on base? In an apartment? A House? She settled in to write him back.
Where to start? I was born in Idaho. My father was studying for his PHd in Anthropology and my mom was watching the kids of the other students while they attended classes. I spent every summer with the Colonel and my Grandma. My parents would go to dig sites all over the world and I would stay where ever they were stationed. The Colonel had just retired the year before my parents died. It was the summer I was 12. They were flying home from Utah and their little plane crashed. I just stayed with my grandparents. I can't imagine what else I could have or would have done.
I went to California for college but when Gran died I just felt like the Colonel and I needed to be together. I have been here ever since.
Marie knew she was avoiding the question of whether or not she was seeing anyone. She wasn't but she wasn't ready to tell Jack that yet. She didn't want to feel like she was committing to anything just yet. Jack seemed to be storming her defenses as if she were a hill he had to conquer. She wasn't ready to examine how she felt about that so she just closed the email and pushed send. Then she turned off the computer and went to bed.
The next morning as she was getting ready for work her phone pinged signaling a text message. She checked the message and smiled. It was from Jack.
"Good Morning Beautiful." was all it said. Jack knew instinctively not to press her. To give her space to get comfortable with him. She sent back a text of a smiley face and finished getting ready. Jack was there in the back of her mind working on her defenses already. Making her wonder what he would do next. If he wanted her to think of him all day he succeeded. She found herself checking her email every few minutes and finding nothing from Jack feeling disappointed.
By 3:00 she was starting to feel foolish for checking yet again but there it was...an email from Jack.
I tried to wait until tonight to email you but I just couldn't. In fact all I could do today was wonder when I was going to see you again. So I booked a flight for two weeks from now. I will fly in Friday Morning the 6th of October and be there until Sunday night. I am telling you this so you know that I am asking you out to dinner 2 weeks in advance. Please say you are free and will join me for a romantic dinner on the water. I want to surprise you so I will only tell you that you should dress up not where we are going.
I will catch a taxi at the airport and I will pick you up at 7:00 pm if this is all okay with you.
Please say yes.
Marie emailed him back one word YES.
She didn't want to think about what it meant that she had not even thought to say no. Nor did she really want to analyze the shivers she felt just thinking of Jack being back in town.
Jack's response to her email was there waiting for her the next time she checked it.
Thank you Beautiful! Now everyone is here is wondering why I am grinning like the Cheshire Cat.
I'll never tell.
Marie read the email and smiled to herself. If she kept this up everyone here was going to start asking even more questions. Janine had already cornered her and begged for the 411 on her handsome visitor from last week. Several other co workers had asked about her "mystery man" as well. "Let them keep guessing" Marie told herself..Truth was she was still guessing too. At least she wanted to believe that she was. But deep down she knew the truth. She knew in her heart of hearts that from the moment Jack said that he wanted her to fall in love with him she had wanted that too. She was afraid that it was just a line. That he wasn't serious and therefore she found every excuse to put the brakes on.
She had had her share of heart breaks. There was one guy in particular whom she was sure she would never recover from losing. But she had. And she hadn't. After that she had always held a little piece of her self and her heart back. For fear of feeling devastated again. Without really knowing why she just felt that Jack was not going to accept half measure of anything. If he really wanted her to fall in love with him he wanted her whole heart. No compromise. That is what made Marie hesitate. Made her want to go slowly, take her time, check the water so to speak. She knew once she was in, she was going to be in all the way.
She had two weeks to figure it out. She just hoped that would be enough.
Over the next two weeks Jack was relentless. he was clearly on a mission and his mission was Marie. He would text her every morning. Same thing every day. As if he had just rolled over in bed and seen her there staring at him.
Every afternoon the emails would start. Asking about her day, telling her how much he wanted to see her again, hold her in his arms, kiss her. He told her about his life, his bothers and sisters lives. He entranced her with his story telling and his pursuit of her. She was not fooled, he was clearly in pursuit and she was clearly being pursued. She continued to waver for the first week but as week two started of his campaign she relented. She told him she was not seeing anyone else. That she was interested in only him. She wasn't ready to promise to love him forever but she was ready to promise him that she felt for him in a way she had never felt before. She just couldn't bring herself to call it love after only knowing him for 3 weeks. She was pretty sure it was just a strong case of lust, but she wasn't going to tell him that either.
The Morning of the 6th Marie felt butterflies in her stomach and was so nervous that she was not sure she could make it through the whole day until she would see Jack. Fortunately Jack felt the same. He appeared at her desk with Janine promptly at 11:30. It took her a few seconds for her brain to process that she was, in fact, really seeing Jack standing there looking so handsome it was a sin. Once she did she was n her feet and in his arms. So much for being discrete at the office.