It was a narrow but long alley separating two winding rows of stables and ranches and estates. Some with tall break walls, some with wooden fences, wall flowers hanging from atop. There was a narrow brook running on one side, shrubs and wildflowers competing for the banks. The morning rain had washed all the shrubs alongside of the alley. The guarding walls were still wet. It was a cloudy afternoon.
It was set from weeks ago that they were going to meet there. He was gone for a month now and just before he left they had made a pledge to meet in that alley, in the afternoon of his return, rain or shine.
She never counted the days all that month, wanted to live each day by itself; it was a month of her life after all. She underwent the first three weeks hiding her heart behind four text books she had to study; Finished three and dragged on with the last one, no desire to finish this last one, no strength to endure the last week without a mind occupying hardship to keep her sanity.
It was the Sunday of his return, finally. She found herself in the alley before time. Puddles of rain water stained the path. She started walking along the flooding brook. She didn't wear her watch, intentionally. It was maddening having a counter beckoning the moments of her life flying away, bringing her closer to the end of her time, and her insane heart wanting that! The struggle between her logic and heart. Maddening. No watch to be worn in the alley on that afternoon.
That last week appeared to be harder than expected. It was the week during which she felt her heart wrenched more frequently, aching so hard she could wish she had no heart not to ache. But she did never wish so. Instead, she calmed her wrenching heart, or at least tried so. She closed her eyes every time inhaling deeply trying to remember the scent of his skin. The memory of that scent was disappearing though.
She inhaled deeply to feel the mixed fragrances of grass and wild flowers and rain drops.
The alley wound a few bends. She preferred that. The bends made the distances shorter; there always was a possibility of his appearance from a road blinded by a bend rather than a straight road stretched to the infinity void from any sign of his.
She had imagined their encounter a million times with a million different scenarios: As she saw him she would run to him, him standing in the distant; he would run to her, her frozen by his sight; she wouldn't see him until they literally bumped into each other... then she would hug him softly; she would jump on his chest grab his neck curl her knees around his back inhale his forgotten scent; she would just shake hand with him; she would shake hand and kiss his cheeks; ... then she would ask how his trip back was; she would say she was miserable without him; she would ask when he would be off on his next flight out; she would tell him how much her heart had missed him; ... then she would tell him she had to go back home soon being there too long; she would tell him she had all the evening to spend together; she would recommend having an ice cream in the newly remodeled parlor in downtown so they were in public;... her mind and heart in a constant battle of propriety and lust... but she knew she particularly wanted to inhale his manly scent again, kiss the side of his forehead to carry some of his scent forever with her.
On a very wide bend she saw him running toward her. She smiled. He started slowing down, panting, walking. She continued walking, said hi casually from distance. They stood a foot away from each other, greeting from afar. She stretched the bar of chocolate she had saved to share with him, he scratched his head forgetting to bring the running wrist watch she had asked him to. They walked back together, reviewing the to do list for the week. She was nodding her head smiling in her heart remembering all the long lost romantic memories of that alley.