Ours was a love for the ages . . . at least in my mind.
I'd spent the last few wintry-cold months thinking about my ex-boyfriend—and how he probably wanted to date me again. Then during a cross-country road trip, from New Jersey back to my home in California, I had the opportunity to see him in Chicago—where we'd both grown up—as I passed through. (Yes, I admit it. I probably would have concocted the trip out of thin air, but I actually needed my car in California. So the whole casual stop-in was actually legit.)
Scott's folks were kind enough to offer me their spare room for a night and even the gift of using their laundry facilities. So after tossing in a stinky load, Scott and I went out to share a romantic Italian dinner.
While he didn't come right out and say—with words—that I was the love of his life, I think it was obvious to anyone at Luigi's that night that we were made for each other as we ate and drank, laughed over old memories and shared new stories. After a magical evening, we reluctantly headed back to his parents' home where he was also visiting.
Lying wide awake in bed, the distant whir of the dryer spinning my clothes toasty warm, I was thinking of Scott, and I was certain that Scott was also thinking of me. He was probably beating himself up for not being more forthright with his affections. And one day we'd laugh together, possibly with our grandchildren, about that.
The next morning, I was sure my suspicion of his affection would be confirmed. Carefully creeping across an icy driveway, the sun barely risen, I dropped my overflowing laundry basket in the passenger seat of my car, fell in beside it, and cranked up the engine to warm up the car.
Though it was early and I'd thoughtfully said my goodbyes at midnight, I was delighted to see a sleepy Scott, with mussed bed head, who'd risen to catch a final glimpse of his beloved through the kitchen window.
Like the wakening gaze of Snow White or Sleeping Beauty, suddenly face-to-face with the one in whom their lives would be found, our eyes met.
Sweetly pointing to himself, then to me, he mouthed the words, "I love you."
My face flushed red.
Margot Starbuck is a TCW regular contributor. Follow her on Twitter @MargotStarbuck.