When Tomorrow Comes
I stood beneath the trees for a moment. It was still dark. Last night was truly an eventful night. I basked in the cold for this moment, as my memories washed over me…
She sat across the table from me, her hands held out to me onto the soft linen. I reached across to touch her, and found my hands shaking in nervousness. For half a second, just half a second, I thought she would tell me my worst fear, that she would just absolutely break and shatter everything in my world. My heart leapt across that table, onto the floor, and rolled right out that door in this half second, begging to be run over by a random stranger rather than be broken by this beautiful lady across the table from me. I closed my eyes. I took a deep breath. I may have even shuddered. I could feel her begin to open her mouth to speak to me, her velvety voice ready to orbit me.
Instead of my fears coming true, she admitted, "I'm in love with you."
Oh, I could hear the angels singing to me! How I had wished for those words to reach to me from her. I sat there, my arms stretched out across the table, hand in hand with her. If tomorrow were to never show up, I would be the happiest person living in today. "I'm in love with you, too," I finally said after what seemed like forever.
We finished our wine with smiles, stepped out of the restaurant together, arm in arm. She looked lovely in her new scarf I had bought for her. It was lavender, the color of her eyes. She wore it proud around her neck, shielding the cold. Holding my arm out for a cab, I gave her a quick peck on the cheek. Her skin was so lovely and soft. I could barely contain myself; I knew I wanted to touch and kiss every inch of her.
A cab stopped for us and we crawled in together. I gave the driver the address and we began our journey. It was dark outside and I noticed her looking out up at the sky. "What do you see?"
"I don't see any stars. I want to see a star."
I could have said a cheesy line right there, such as "Oh, but, see they took the stars out of the sky and put them into your eyes…" But I didn't. I may be a romantic, but I'm certainly not cheesy. Instead, I said, "Well, let's go find a star. I think I know where to find one." I gave the driver a new address. I had an idea, and I realized how excited I was to share it with her. We rode on for the next few minutes in silence. She laid her head on my shoulder, and I could smell her shampoo. My hand stroked her hair from her face and onto my chest. I watched it rise and fall with each breath I took.
After those few minutes, she asked me, "Why now?"
I repeated her question. "Why now? What do you mean Why now?"
"All this time, I mean, we've been friends for years. I've known you since college and I never felt these feelings before with you. It just dawned on me a week ago. We have been spending a lot of time together, and there was that…" I held my breath. She didn't speak for a minute. I could feel what she was about to say. "…that kiss we shared. It was glorious. It was momentous. It was…"
"Everything." I finished for her.
"Everything. That's the answer. You are my everything. Our kiss was my everything. Us being together is my everything." I paused. "Tonight is everything."
She sat up off my shoulder, looked me square in the eye and kissed me hard. "Are you sure you want to go find that star?"
"Yes. I want to get that star for you."
She kissed me again, this time softer and gentler. We finally arrived. I reached over and paid the driver and we got out. Stepping onto the walk together we found ourselves at the place where we had first met, a simple coffee shop. It was nothing fancy, but it had this huge wondrous blue star on the wall. It was the very star that started our very first conversation; the very star that I had to retrieve for her. The bell jingled as we opened the door and saw that blue star above a comfortable lounge chair. A cashier came in from the back and encouraged us, "I have a nice Chai Tea that I just brewed. Hot and ready for a cold day."
"No thank you. Instead, I would like to buy that blue star on your wall."
"Oh, but I'm sorry. It's not for sale," the cashier replied.
I looked over at her with a quizzical look. I know what I was thinking. Was she thinking what I was thinking? It could go one of two ways. I could grab the star off the wall and we could run for it, hoping we wouldn't get arrested. Or…
"Give me your phone."
"Just, give me your phone."
She smiled. She realized what I wanted to do. I opened her phone, pointed it to the blue star and clicked the bottom button to seize the picture. Handing her back the phone, I whispered into her ear, "Now you have your star." She held out her hand for me to take and outside into the cold we went again. She nuzzled against my neck and gave it a small kiss. We hailed a cab and I gave the driver the address.
It has been a long evening. We have dined, we have laughed, and we have loved. We were ready to touch and kiss and hold. The ride was quiet. I closed my eyes and savored it. Again, I thought to myself If tomorrow were to never show up, I would be the happiest person living in today.
When I opened my eyes, I felt a horrible jolt. She slid out from my arms and away from me. I was stunned away from our beautiful moment. I looked around for her. She was hunched over on the other side of the cab. I looked at the door, only to find it caved in and the window shattered. Glass bits were in her hair. I tried to reach over to her, but my neck and shoulders were in pain. After a few seconds, I blacked out.
When I came to, I was laying on the ground, next to a crunched up cab and a banged up pick-up truck. An EMT was pointing a light into my eyes. I blinked away the brightness and sting from the light. I sat up slowly and asked, "Is she okay? Please tell me she's okay."
The EMT finished checking me out, top to bottom. Nothing was broken, damaged, or anything. A couple of bruises that would clear up in a week, that's all. I walked the last two blocks alone. The EMT wouldn't know of the bruise that would last me the rest of my life.
I stood beneath the trees for a moment. It was still dark, but I could faintly see the sun trying to rise up, forcing tomorrow upon me. The sun rose slowly, fading the dark sky into a hue of oranges, pinks and lilacs. Tomorrow is here.