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“I believe it’s your turn grandson of mine.” My grandmother held her cards in one hand, and sipped at cup of water with the other.
Evening had fallen around us and shadows danced from a near by fire pit.
“Yeah Glenn, quit holding up the game.What’s so distracting.” Mische looked up from her cards, with a smile.
Blushing I looked away, placing a skip card onto the table.
“What?” Mische exclaimed,”I was going to finally win this round!”
Grandpa shook with silent laughter, his eyes disappearing in creases of mirth.
“Oh you’re terrible, give the girl a chance son!” Grandma waved her hand at me.
“Nah, just wait. She’ll get us on this next round.” I winked at Mische who just looked at her cards and shook her head.
We sat in my grandparent’s garden. The scent of more than a dozen flowers tossed themselves around our table with the wind. Half a tray of homemade blackberry crumble sat in a tray. The tart juice of the berries still lingered on my tongue.
This, this is what life is about.
“So my dear, what do you intend to do with your life?” Grandma looked at mische, a smile still on her face.
She approves of her. I thought, a satisfying sensation filling my body.
Mische switched a few cards in her hands and replied, “I’m going to be a math teacher.”
“Oh really? Very good!” Said Grandpa, his face shining in the firelight. “I have a lot of respect for educators. What made you choose that?”
“It was really interesting actually,” Mische chuckled, “I was planning on becoming an engineer.”
Both of my grandparents sat back in their seats, curiosity peaked.
“Yeah, I sat down with the adviser with the university and she asked me what wanted to do. And I opened my mouth to say engineer, and educator came out.”
Grandma gasped, “Well, could you believe that!”
I looked at Mische again, trying not to catch her eye. Her smile was perfection. I couldn’t look away from the curve of her lips, or the way her eyes crinkled at the sides when she did. The evening air shifted bringing to me a new smell, Mische’s smell. It was different, unlike any other woman, or flower I’d smelled before.
Glenn listen to yourself, you sound like a freak. Stop smelling the girl.
The conversation continued, and I watch all three of my companions interact over the tops of my cards. Something within my chest rose as Grandpa threw back his head with a laugh, hand on Mische’s shoulder.
Is this even real? Does this kind of thing actually happen outside of books and movies?
“Oh Glenn, you need to bring her around more often. She’s funny!” Grandma caught my eye again, and mouthed; She is a keeper, keep her!
Mische looked over at me, a thrill running down my spine as she did. She said, “Well your grandson isn’t half bad himself. Hopefully I don’t scare him away any time soon.”
Both of my grandparents looked at me, their arms folded.
“Oh she’s scary, but not scary enough to make me run away.” Mische hit my shoulder in mock outrage while the others chuckled.
“See what I have to put up with?” Mische said, looking back at my grandparents for support.
My hand closed around hers and I looked her in the eyes. “I’m kidding! Mische I couldn’t run away from you even if I tried.”
She was looking intently into my eyes, firelight reflecting like tiny stars in hers. The night grew around us, holding our table and chairs in comfortable darkness. The garden pressed in on us, green life beating to the drum of my heart, our hearts.
My finger pressed lightly on the inside of Mische’s wrist. I could feel her heart rate quicken.
“Well I’ll say you both are,” Grandma said,tapping her cards against the table, “what happened to our game? Mische weren’t you going to beat us all this round?”
“Oh that’s right, I was.” She smiled at me again, her eyes lingering on me as I hunkered back down behind my cards.
The game ended too soon, and Mische won. It was nearly midnight when we said our good byes. My Grandfather and Grandmother both giving Mische long hugs and asking us both to come back soon.
We walked back to my car hand in hand, disappearing into the night. All too soon I was pulling into the parking lot of Mische’s apartment. We walked slowly up the stairs to her front door, number 34.
Mische turned around, a smile touching her lips, “I had so much fun tonight Glenn, really. I’ve already adopted your grandparents, you do realize this?”
I laughed, ” Of course! Did you see how they couldn’t let go of you when we left?”
“They’re adorable. I love them.” Mische reached out and touched my arm. Electricity raced through my body. “Glenn I love going on these adventures with you. I love spending time with you, there’s no other place I’d rather be. There’s no other person I’d rather experience all of this with.”
I looked in her eyes, they spoke to me more than her words ever could. I felt myself reach out for her cheek, fingers cupping under her chin. Silence rang between our bodies, yet our minds were anything but silent.
We kissed, our bodies melting into each other. She fit so well within my arms, as if we had been to halves to one whole. I felt her heart beat as the world around us turn.
Glently we pulled apart, staring into one another’s eyes.
“Mische.” I said, heart pounding in my chest.
“Yes?” She said, blinking slowly.
“I love you.”
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