What was the Woodsman doing, thinking, feeling while I met the Enigma? He shared this with me and has graciously allowed me to share it with you.
“When do you figure you’ll be back?” I asked.
She paused before opening the door, “Around 9:30 if it’s only comfortable enough to get through dinner. If it’s better than that, maybe we’ll have a drink or two and talk for an hour or so.”
“Ok, have fun and relax. I’m happy you’re finally getting a chance to meet him. I’ll see you later. I love you,” I said to the closing door.
I meant it. All of it.
Strange city, strange lights, the same food as back home.
My footsteps echoed from the sidewalk as I walked alone in the chilly night. Marking time.
I stripped and crawled into bed, alone in the room with only the city noise to keep me company.
Dimming the lights and turning on quiet background music, my thoughts drifted to her. Of course. It was 9:40.
Was she on her way back? It was easily apparent inside me that I hoped she was. But… it was balanced. I knew this meeting was important to her. It was something she had wanted for so long, I knew this. I fought that internal battle of self where the selfish desire to have all of our limited time together be… together. But that is frailty; more important is living the happiness of another.
I struggled with that as I drifted off to sleep.
I woke; I had to go to the bathroom. Still tired, I glanced at the clock on the way back to bed. 11:16 p.m.
It wasn’t just dinner, and it wasn’t just drinks after. But I knew that before she left.
Would she really tell me? I could see how easy it would be for her to just say that they’d lost track of time. That evasive truth that would protect her… and me. That was her nature. But would it be her nature? Would that be her choice, knowing I see past it.
I wondered how close she was before I drifted back to sleep.
Just a few more minutes.
My eyes fluttered open and I turned to the clock at the side of the bed. 12:21 a.m.
It wasn’t a couple of hours. I was… alone.
Dinner, drinks, and more…
Was she coming back?
For a full second, I doubted.
In that pure moment, I had a Choice and that choice had to be made before she came back. It had to be.
I had to choose whether to doubt or whether to believe fully, everything of me, in her. If I chose doubt, where I didn’t believe that she would come back…
Could I be myself, to open that wide, to trust that someone could accept that I can be that accepting? Without her succumbing to that human instinct to mistrust simple words that contradict intuition? Intuition. That was the key. Would her intuition see me as I am, how I feel for her? Could I be enough for her?
I couldn’t—wouldn’t—give her part of my faith; no fucking conditionals or situational shit. Either decide I had been lying to myself with my belief, faith, and trust in her, or decide that it was real inside me.
I believed she would come back.
That didn’t make it fact, and it didn’t do anything to the question of that second. But in the seconds and minutes following, it made the question cease to exist.
The soft haze of sleep almost reclaimed me until I recognized the new sound.
The door lock was buzzing open.