I remember it like it was yesterday. The first time we spent time together alone. You picked me up in your fancy car. And I made fun of the giant tablet you called your phone. Our first stop was the grocery store. You were going to cook me dinner at yours. Then we drove in to the countryside. That’s where you lived: away from all the noise and bustle of the city. We passed farms and empty land and saw the sky meet the horizon. And as we approached your house, I remember feeling shocked.
The sheer size of the place left me in awe. Then we went inside and the shock came again. As we entered the foyer, I saw the high, vaulted ceilings and the dark wood panelling. It was impossible to miss the carefully curated art as you walked me to the kitchen. There were doors with ceiling to floor glass that led to your patio. As I opened the door and stepped out, I yearned to dive into your perfect, shimmering pool. I sat for a moment on the patio furniture that looked like it had never been used. Soaked up the sun as you brought me a glass of water.
I joined you in the kitchen as you prepared our meal. Enjoyed the easy way you could make me laugh and the way the words rolled off your tongue. Noticed the gleam on all the marbled surfaces and the silver of the stainless steel. When we finished eating, I decided I wanted to continue exploring this place where you became the man you were.
I went up the spiral staircase to the bedrooms, opening each door, careful not to disturb what lay inside each room. As I entered yours, I noticed your bookshelves and took my time reading all the titles. Running my finger along their spines, I carefully chose one to take off the shelf. I sat myself on your bed and had already begun to read when you came into the room. You lay your head on my lap, asking me to read aloud.
As I began, you simply lay there. I remember being conscious of your head resting on my lap, of your ears listening to my voice, of the sound as I turned each page. But as I continued to read, comfort settled in.
I glanced down to see you with your eyes closed, half-smiling. You may have been listening or partially asleep but, I continued on. I don’t know how long we sat on your bed, me reading aloud and you laying on me. But finally, you opened your eyes and said it was probably time to take me home. And I remember feeling a pang of sadness.
All this was etched into my brain, hiding in a little corner, waiting to be remembered. And what a lovely day it was: to spend a day with you and to simply read out loud to another human being.