Confessions of a drinker student abroad

Monday, November 15, 2010

Patterns and The River Bank

Sorry I haven't written in a long time, but nothing of import has really happened. Classes and social life has fallen into a pattern, I mean, I vary what sandwich I get on friday when I got to the deli with the Irish guys, but this past week has been frightfully quiet, except for one occurrence that doesn't need to be detailed.

Granted there was the social, during which I may have dented a wall with my skull, and the Defensive Backs may have had chugging contests with Cosmopolitan's, and during a game of Never Have I when the question was have you ever made out with a cheerleader one of the cheerleaders raised her hand. We might have done blocking drills in the street, tackling drills on the sidewalk, and who knows, maybe someone slid down a railing that ran for four flights of stairs after drinking a fair bit (that was totally me) but you know, just a nice quiet night. We trained, it was brutal, people got hit, generic football story. I'm probably going to stop telling those unless I pull a 60 yard reception, in which case be prepared to read about it in great and gory detail.

The food here is blah, the weather is rubbish, but when push comes to shove there's still people that care about you...maybe it's cause you're the prop of the O-line, or maybe you're just a third string tight end, but no fraternity has ever had a stronger bond. Now it's time for one of those stories. The ones with a kernel at the center that may or may not be true, and most of the rest is of of questionable veracity.

The River Bank

It was around half four when Adam tapped on the window of house 3. He glanced at the shade inside the glass pane, wondered what was behind it, what it hid that he had never seen, and never would. The navy curtain trembled and a fingertip appeared, followed by a dark braid, finally a shining green eye edged around and winked at him. With a flutter the curtain was released and left to sway in the chilling Welsh wind.

Moments later the door to the house opened and a short bundled figure came tentatively out. A lock of black hair blew across her eyes, leaving only a small patch of her ivory forehead peeking out. Adam sucked in a breath as the wind hit him, jarring a memory of the ruby lips that were hidden by that scarf, the delicate cheek that ran from the lips to the eyes and was always warm to the touch, no matter how the weather turned. The wind abated, and as the black velvet fell from her face, first one, then the other emerald eye shone out at him with a blur of emotion. She stepped to him and slipped an arm through his as they turned towards the river. Adam could feel her huddled against his leeward side, trying to hide from the wind, and perhaps something more.

As they strolled underneath the shedding elms the leaves crunched under their feet. No word was spoken, none needed to be. The shared memory of the previous night was playing in both minds simultaneously. A whispered sentiment was snatched by the swirling breeze and thrown forward along with a pile of leaves. Adam's head inclined slightly and he glanced down at her. Her eyes were shining up at him, her scarf had slipped slightly in front and he could see her parted lips trembling. A tremor ran through his arms as instinct called for him to take her in his arms and make everything better, but his mind sent an aftershock of reality that kept his hands firmly planted in his pockets. This time the murmured apology struck softly upon his ears. His mouth twisted at one side as he searched for a response. Instead her finger alighted across his mouth, silencing him. "Adam, it was my fault. You were just doing the right thing and giving me someone to talk to when I needed it most. It was wrong of me to kiss you."

He tried to speak but she continued, "I know about how you feel. You didn't do anything wrong. I kissed you, and you left in order to protect both of us. I just hope you don't hate me."

Adam gazed into her eyes, he could see that she was desperately hoping that he would say something to fulfill the dream, to turn disaster into victory. He briefly considered it, but then his resolve was steeled by another burst of Welsh fury, "Rowan, I know nothing happened, but I feel as though I wronged you, first by giving you the impression something could be there, and then by leaving you so abruptly. The truth is I simply cannot be what you need, there's someone waiting for me."

There was a pause as his words sank in, then her eyes dropped to his chest and her head nodded slightly. "I know."

The sun was setting early this time of year, the fading rays glinted off of the river and up to light the two under the trees. Adam drew her in and they embraced, then began the long walk back up to the houses, both knew that neither was what the other truly wanted. They assumed that they weren't what they needed either, but the winter was to prove them false. There were many more walks along the river, never hand in hand, and only close when the Welsh winds blew cold. When the springtime flowers bloomed they looked for the pair to come strolling along the Taff. They often saw Rowan, and sometimes she was alone, sometimes she was with a different man, but Adam never came back to the trail after that winter. Sometimes the sun caught Rowan gazing towards it as it sank, wondering where he had gone, and wishing she could have met the girl that had so captivated him.

No comments:

Post a Comment