I see him walking toward me.
A tall man in a smart navy suit, blue shirt, brown shoes.
Tie loosened on the neck, as if it had a rough day and needed to relax. He keeps on walking, head down, looking at his brown shoes.
One step. Two steps. Playing with the autumn yellow leaves. And the leaves playing back.
One step, two steps. One brown shoe under the yellow leaves. One brown shoe under the red leaves. The leaves rustling and clearing the way for him, as if the autumn leaves are sensing the urgency of his walk.
They rustle and scatter. Yellow leaves. Orange Leaves. Red leaves. Brown shoes.
He’s still walking. Alone but the whole world is with him.
Birds are singing. Cars are honking. Kids are running. And me…
I stand there hanging between the blue skies and the firmness of the black gravel. I stare at him.
He keeps on walking. I hear him whistling, still looking at his shoes, playing with the rusty colored leaves.
One step, two steps, still alone in his thoughts.
He gets closer, as if sensing me, he lifts his head, he sees me. His black eyes softly hug me.
The corner of his sweet lips crinkle. His face lights up in the autumn sun. He smiles at me.
I smile back. I don’t move. I stand there, waiting for his playful brown shoes to get closer and closer.
Brown shoes. Yellow leaves. Red leaves. Orange leaves. Brown shoes.
I hear his breathing. I see his breathing. Lifting his blue shirt softly, up and down, in and out.
He stares at me—his gentle eyes caressing me. His warm voice says, “That’s a beautiful red dress.” His fingers caress my shoulder and his strong arms wrap around me like a warm blanket.
He leans in to kiss me gently.
He whispers softly, “Hi, honey. I’ve missed you.”
I snuggle to him, to his broad shoulders. His blue shirt smells of fresh laundry. I lift my hand and touch his grayish hair, touch his dimples, and plant a soft kiss on his sweet lips. He smells of dark strong coffee.
I smile more. I close my eyes and breathe him in. Our rocky past, peaceful present, and unknown future. Our memories of laughter and tears. Of glasses filled with red wine and music. Of burnt candles and honey whispers. Of children laughing. Of books and chapters opened to pages of love and closed to pages of sorrow. Of funerals and birthdays. Of teenagers slamming doors and yelling attitudes. Of our first grandchild, our chubby rosy cheeked brown-eyed angel, of his giggles and mess with loads of books, cars, dirty diapers, and Lego. Of the joy he brought us, and his joy that brought us closer.
He looks into my brown eyes. He caresses my long wavy hair.
He hears my memories, our memories, in my silence, he nods his head, he knew what I’m thinking of—I shiver.
Without asking, he wraps my shoulders in his suit jacket and brings me closer to his beating heart. He leans in and whispers, “Are you hungry?”
I giggle and say, “Yes.”
He holds my hand.
We start walking toward our favorite restaurant, a tall handsome man with the softest black eyes and a curvy brown-eyed woman, hand in hand, brown shoes, red shoes, rustling leaves, yellow leaves, orange leaves, red leaves…