Feb 11, 2014
On any other Monday morning the frantic beeping of my digital alarm would have elicited major groans and few expletives that I would never dream of repeating in front of my nieces and nephews. The gauntlet would be dropped and the game would begin with me slapping the snooze alarm, triumphing with 5 more minutes of sleep with my pillow helmeted over my head, and the process would continue until ultimately the alarm won and I dragged my sorry carcass out of bed, blurry eyed and I imagine looking a bit like a Neanderthal, as I staggered to the bathroom, to hit the shower.
Today though it was like I was raring to go, I was pretty certain the incentive of seeing Lorelei had everything to do with this transformation in me. It was mind altering the effect she had on me. I went through my usual morning routine with a certain spring in my step, all the while thinking about the moment I’d lay eyes on her once again. I found her to be the most beautiful creature in the universe as far as I was concerned and she was in love with me. I was still trying to grasp the concept that she was as crazy about me as I was about her, things like this just didn’t happen to me. Life is good I thought. Freshly showered, shaved and dressed I ambled into the kitchen and took a quick peek into the fridge. It was pretty barren, save for a couple take out containers, some condiments and something suspicious looking that definitely needed to go in the composter when I got home tonight. I made a mental note to pick up some groceries, and shut the door. No biggie, I’d just learn to live on love and coffee in the meantime. I grinned at that thought as I knew I could learn to live on the love part especially when it was with the woman of my dreams.
After grabbing a quick coffee, without my usual dash of milk in it since I’d polished that off the night before, I brushed my teeth. I wanted to have minty fresh breathe for that all important date I had this morning. One last glance in the mirror to check my hair, and it suddenly struck me that I somehow looked different today. I couldn’t put my finger on what the difference was but I knew it was a good look for me and I wanted to keep it. I grabbed my keys and my backpack and headed off to the bus stop I couldn’t wait to get to the St. Clair bus stop this morning. Once I’d locked the door and shouldered my backpack I leapt off the front steps and landed with the agility of a jungle cat. I started off down the sidewalk to the street and found my speed increasing with each step I took. I waved to my neighbour Mrs. Gruber who was out watering her rose bushes, and soon found myself sprinting towards the bus stop. I couldn’t help but keep glancing down the street as I eagerly anticipated the arrival of my Lorelei. It gave me such a warm feeling inside that just kept growing as I thought about seeing the soft smile on her lips that would be there waiting just for me, when I finally saw her again.
I woke up to Barclay nuzzling my cheek and purring like a motor boat. I instinctively reached out my hand and scratched his head. I felt a small pang of lonesomeness as I realized that Liam was not nestled beside me as I awoke.
My temperament quickly changed though to one of absolute glee as I realized I’d be seeing him very soon. I scooped Barclay up and gave him a hug, which was a bit over zealous and he rowwwwwwwwwed out a protest at me, as if to say, “I know you love me but kindly get a grip on yourself woman, or you’ll squeeze the stuffing out of me.” I gave him a kiss on the top of his head “Sorry buddy, but guess I’m a little excited about seeing Liam.” His response was to look at me with distain over his shoulder before he began to pad down towards the kitchen and the prospect of his breakfast. My being in love didn’t matter a one little iota to him, provided the natural balance of things remained in his world, and that meant a bowl of moist food and fresh water. I found myself singing merrily as I went about my morning routine, feeding Barclay, getting showered, dressed, making the bed etc. This morning though was special as I lovingly put together the luncheon I’d made for Liam, and happily envisioned him tucking into and enjoying it. I packed it all in tightly sealed containers, and placed it all into an insulated bag to keep it cool and fresh for him. It was then that it struck me I didn’t have a clue as to what his chosen profession was, oh well I’d know soon enough, as long as he wasn’t a mafia hit man or anything like that I figured I’d be cool with it.
I ran into Mrs. Silverton on my way out, as she was coming in from the garden with a bunch of various fragrant blooms in her arms, which I knew would soon be gracing various places around the house. I buried my nose in the blossoms and inhaled deeply. “Lovely” I mumbled. “You seem to be in fine spirits today my dear” she observed. “Indeed I am” I responded. “I hope you don’t mind me saying this dear, as I don’t want you to think of me as being a nosy rosy but he’s a nice young man and he’ll be good for you. I hope you two will be very happy together.” I began to flush, was it so bloody evident to everyone how I feel about Liam I began to ponder. “Don’t be embarrassed my dear, love is a wonderful and precious thing to have in your life. Embrace it and welcome it.” She patted me on the cheek and wished me a pleasant day. “Thank you” I answered still feeling the heat in my cheeks. I was a pretty open and straightforward person about a great many things, but this being in love was a whole new realm for me, and it freaked me out at times how quickly people seemed to be noticing the changes in me. I got out my i pod, inserted my ear buds and began to walk which soon morphed into a spirited dance of joy on the way to the bus stop.
When it arrived I boarded as usual and found a seat only this time, it was going to be a seat for two. The usual crew was on the bus, and for them I’m sure it was just another ordinary day but for me it was an extraordinary day. It was a spend time with Liam day. I had to chuckle at myself as I found myself somehow trying to mentally urge the bus to go faster, so that I’d see him all that much sooner. After what seemed like an eternity the driver called out St. Clair and I could see him standing there seeming to paw at the ground impatiently with his feet, as though he were a wild stallion as he waited to board the bus. I loved that he was as eager to see me as I was to see him, it made me feel like someone special knowing that. Finally he was on the bus and striding purposely down the aisle towards me, he slipped in beside me, deftly wrapped his arm around my shoulder, drew me close and kissed me so sweetly and tenderly. “Morning gorgeous” he grinned. “Good morning, yourself handsome.” I responded. What was an innocent tender moment between the two of us was also as we were too soon to discover a source of entertainment and scandal amongst the other bus passengers.
Negative Nelly clucked her tongue loudly “Simply shameless the way people conduct themselves these days” she hissed through her teeth. The Mouse however surprised me “I think it’s rather sweet myself they look happy together.” The resulting stunned look on Negative Nelly’s face at her revelation was priceless and Liam and I both choked back grins of amusement. “Leave aaa them alone. They just doing what a comes naturally to young people in love. They a no a hurting anyaa body.” The Mario brothers heavily accented Italian voices rang out, directing it at Negative Nelly who by now was looking rather stunned and cowed herself. Guess I wasn’t the only one that thought she was a judgemental old crank. The Librarian lady actually dropped the book she’d been reading and glanced at us with curiosity etched on her face. Liam scooped it up easily from where he was sitting using his long arms, flipped it title side up and handed back to her. It was a copy of Lady Chatterly’s Lover. “The grounds keeper did it you know.” And he winked at her. She turned bright red and smiled sheepishly at the two of us. “That was rather cheeky of you!” I gasped shaking in silent laughter at him. “Naughty, naughty!!” I tried to chastise him and was failing miserably at it as I found the humour in it as much as he did, and he knew it!
Einstein woke with a start at the amount of chatter going on this morning and looked rather puzzled. “Did we hit a pothole or something?” He asked to no one in particular. “No dear, it’s just life going on. A new romance is budding so it would seem.” Answered the Madonna as she cradled her baby closely to her breast and patted Einstein on the arm, “Go back to sleep.”
The Breakfast Club had obviously caught this new manner of greeting that Liam and I had as well. “OMG, is that ever romantic!” “She’s so lucky!!” “He’s pretty hot, bet he’s a good kisser.” “He’s dreamy!!” “I wish Jimmy would kiss me like that when he said good morning.” And a slew of other comments were heard from the Breakfast Club. I could feel the heat rising in my cheeks with all this unwanted attention we were receiving this morning. Liam drew me closer to him in a protective manner, “It’s okay Lor” he whispered in my ear “Let them talk. We didn’t do anything wrong it isn’t like we were pawing at each other making it look like we should go get a room or anything like that. It was a simple kiss between two people that love and care about each other, and as reserved as I am about my personal affairs, for once in my life I don’t care, I love you and want the world to know it. Okay?” He massaged my shoulder comfortingly with his large firm hand as he delivered his words. I nodded mutely at him. “So now let’s move on to bigger and better things. So tell me what’s in the bag you’ve been clutching in your delicate little hands?”
I’d almost forgotten about that, and looked down to find I did indeed have a death grip on it and my knuckles were turning white. I laughed, and felt more like myself especially after Liam’s heartfelt words in my ear. “It’s a surprise for you. I did it last night. I needed to keep busy, while I waited for you to call me.” I flushed. I must have sounded so desperate and needy to him, God he’s going to think I’m totally pathetic having to calm myself down waiting for a mere phone call.
Liam was amazing to me, he always seemed to know what was on my mind and knew how to but me at ease. “If it makes you feel any better, I was pretty much on pins and needles myself about calling you too soon and seeming like I was desperate or a total geek.” I smiled at him order restored in my world once more. “So may I open it now?” he asked eagerly. His unbridled enthusiasm reminded me of a small boy on Christmas morning caught up in the excitement of unwrapping longed for gifts. I nodded affirmatively. He opened the bag and peered in. “You are a life saver, a total angel. I was just going to grab something for lunch at work today, and I missed breakfast and true to form I’m starving. So what’s on the menu?” he inquired as he started to open containers, “Sandwich, pasta salad, bottle of water, and what’s this last one?” he pondered as he opened the final container. A wide grin spread over his face “Brownies my fave.” And he eagerly plucked one out and tossed it into his mouth and began to chew happily on it. “Liam, that’s not a proper breakfast.” I teased him.
His response was a palms up “Who knew” sort of a gesture and he promptly got another brownie and took a bite. I just shook my head and rolled my eyes at him as he looked back innocently at me. A small bit of chocolate buttercream was on the corner of his mouth. I took my index finger and gently swiped it away. He unhesitatingly caught my finger between his lips and gently licked it off. “Those are totally dynamite brownies and I love the nuts in them. I could easily eat a whole pan of those. Mind you I’d probably gain a ton if I did that on a regular basis. Guess that means we’d just have to find some very intense ways to work off the extra calories.” This last statement was accompanied by a look that clearly illustrated the way he planned on working out with me and I knew it wasn’t in a spectator sport sort of a way. He leaned in and tucked a wisp of wayward hair behind my ear once more and whispered in a warm sexy tone “I love catching you off guard and getting you just a wee bit flustered like this.” The warmth of his breath against my ear sent shivers of delight throughout my entire body. He had achieved his desired effect and I marvelled at the way my body responded to even the timber of his voice. Then he quickly switched gears, which to me was maddening because I was rather looking forward to hearing his thoughts on that workout.
“So if I come and pick you up at work after school today can we go back to your place for more brownies and milk?” He gave me a beseeching look. “Pick me up after school?” I must have seemed a bit puzzled. “Yes” “Oh you’ve gone back to university to get or finish another degree have you?” I asked. “No. Not unless I go back for my doctorate I’m not. I teach for a living Lor and right now I’m teaching summer school. Otherwise I teach full time at Sir John A. Macdonald Academy, grades 7 through 12. I teach English Literature as well as Creative Writing.
“Well at least you aren’t a mafia hit man, that’ll make my parents happy.” “I beg your pardon?” he asked looking genuinely perplexed by my statement. “One of my silly jokes is all. I’d just realized while I was packing your lunch that I didn’t have a clue what it was you did for a living.” He cut me off “So that was the first thing that came to your mind? I’m rather hurt by that, couldn’t you have guessed I was a lion tamer or a superhero or some other really cool profession?” He teased playfully. “Well you do seem to be able to tame the savage beast known as Barclay and you are my hero cape or no cape.” And we both burst into giggles. “So my question still stands, shall I pick you up when you’re done work and we can hang out, share some brownies?” he asked as he picked up my hand and held it looking deeply into my eyes. “You may have all the brownies your heart desires Liam. “Yes that would be great if you’d come round and pick me up at work, I usually finish about 5 unless it’s been a totally insane sort of a day is that okay?” I asked him.
“That would be perfect. I have classes until noon today and then I can take this lovely lunch you made me to the park and enjoy it in the great outdoors. Then I can do some errands and then run down here and do some shopping in Kensington Market. I need groceries desperately. I’m pretty sure you’d be appalled to take a look in my fridge and cupboards. So I’ll do my errands pick you up here and then we can swing by my place drop it off and head over to yours for a snack. Or you could stay at mine and I’ll make dinner and then drop you off at your place later. It’s totally up to you.” He added. “It would be great to see your place, I’d love that, but I’ll take a rain check on dinner this time you know make sure that Barclay is taken care off, I always feel like a bad kitty parent when I don’t leave him extra kibble when I plan on going out after work. How about for tonight I make you dinner or we make it together at my place? I asked him. “Works for me, and for the record I can cook you know Lor. I just tend to get take out on the way home from school or, go mooch a meal off my sister or whoever. Not much fun eating by yourself though, as you probably are all too well aware of.” I nodded affirmatively at him.
“Oh I totally get it. Which is why it was so much fun making your lunch for you. I really do hope you like it.” “I’m sure I will and if you ever do make something I’m not keen on I’ll tell you right up front. Oh and the brownie thing, two thumbs on that you can make me those any time you take a notion to.” As he flashed me to two thumbs up and grinned. The bus pulled into the subway station and we gathered up our belongings and disembarked amidst the chattering thong of fellow passengers. As we bustled down to the subway together amongst the Monday morning crowds, Liam had his free arm wrapped around my shoulders keeping me close, and I had my free arm wrapped around his waist. It was always a great feeling to have him close by my side.
Now it was time to part company yet again, and it made me feel a tad disheartened, but knowing I’d soon be with him again was the saving grace of this situation. We shared a final heartfelt kiss that lingered on not only on our lips but also on our minds. The look that passed between us before either of us spoke was its own affirmation of our affections for one another. “I’ll be looking forward to picking you up later. It’s what’s going to keep me going today.” He said as he gently stroked my cheek with his finger tip. “I’ll be looking forward to it as well. Make it a great day, stay safe Liam.” “You can count on it. I’ve got you to come home to now.” And with a final smile at each other, off we went to get on with our days.
Amazingly I must have used my homing pigeon instincts to arrive at the work, as my mind was lost in the realm I had created with Lorelei at the centre of it. I popped in to the office to clock in and pick up my attendance sheets and what not for the days class. Followed by a quick pit stop in the teachers’ lounge to place the precious cargo of the homemade lunch my girlfriend had made me in the staff fridge. It was a comforting feeling knowing that she thought of me even when I wasn’t with her and she took the time and effort to do things like that for me. Truthfully the whole, me having a girlfriend thing was pretty magnificent to me as well. A voice behind me caught me off guard. “Good morning Liam. This is a new venture for you. You actually brought your lunch today?” I recognized the inquisitive voice at once as belonging to my colleague Gail Bennett. “Oh, hi Gail.” I responded as I turned around and closed the fridge door. “Hate to burst your bubble but I haven’t changed my ways, it’s actually a gift from my girlfriend.” I added casually as I gathered the rest of my things and prepared to head off to my classroom.
“That’s sweet of her.” Was her automatic response as she continued on, “Only another week left in the summer session then a couple weeks break before the fall semester begins again. So do you have any plans to get away for a holi……..wait a minute your girlfriend????? Since when do you have a girlfriend? All the years we’ve taught together and you’ve never once mentioned a girlfriend. Come on tell Gail all about her. She must be pretty amazing for you to give her a moniker like that. So what’s her name, what’s she like, how long have you been dating? Come on out with it I want details!” she prodded me.” “She’s an amazing woman Gail, and her name’s Lorelei, she’s a pastry chef and we’ve been dating a very short time, but I know she’s a keeper.” I told her as we walked down the hall towards our classrooms. “You sound like you’re really in a good place Liam, I’m so happy for you. Be great to meet her sometime.” Gail said. “Yes I am in a really good place, and thanks Gail.” I carried on in a confidential tone “It’s like everything that’s been eluding me in my life is now complete, everything is just naturally falling into place, and the craziest part is when I think things are perfect and we couldn’t be any happier or more in sync, then we just manage to effortlessly hit an even higher plateau together.”
“Wow, sounds pretty intense to me, but you are definitely happy, and somehow you even look different somehow.” She stroked her chin with her fingertip as she thought “Tranquil” she pronounced and thus summed up her thought. The five minute warning buzzer sounded and, we exchanged a couple hurried good byes and rushed off towards our respective class rooms. The morning seemed to fly by for me, as my class arrived and we began the class in earnest. Discussions on what made for truly inspired writing, successfully proven writing techniques, handing back assignments and following up with each student on an individual basis. It all passed in a blink of the eye to me, and soon enough I was dismissing my class for the day and bidding them farewell. I loved working with my students, it was a real rush to inspire them to open up their minds, reach into their souls, express their creative sides, and have them push themselves to articulate those innermost feelings of theirs.
It struck me that creative writing could be likened to being in love. You dug deep and exposed yourself, which then left you open and vulnerable to rejection the ultimate criticism. Yet if you had true passion and commitment for it then you could bring it to fruition.I tidied up my desk and packed up the papers I needed to go over later for tomorrows’ class. Now I was going to go pick up that fantastic looking lunch I had waiting for me and go find some nice little spot to savour it and be alone with my thoughts of the woman that had made me such. I found a nice little parkette not far from the school and staked out the perfect spot under a shady maple tree. I rested my back against the trunk and made myself comfortable. I unpacked my lunch, and as tempted as the kid in me was to start with the brownies which had proven to be delectable little morsels earlier in the day, I opted to do the adult thing and eat the rest of it first. She’d thought of everything, even packing a fork for me to eat the salad with and a napkin to wipe my fingers on. I took a bite of the sandwich, I moaned in pleasure. The chicken was moist, tender and seasoned to perfection. The crisp lettuce, tomato and thin slices of red onion, and the fresh roll it was on, just made it the best sandwich I’d had in my life.
I opened the pasta salad container and was again impressed with the melange of flavours that my palette experienced. I alternated between the sandwich, salad and sips of bottled water and found that in no time flat I had managed to wolf down my lunch as though I’d never eaten before. Best of all I still had those last two brownies to enjoy. I savoured them and found myself even poking my finger into the container they’d been packed in just to ensure I didn’t miss one single crumb of them. I sighed with contentment. That was one excellent lunch. I gathered up the empty dishes and placed them back in the insulated bag and tucked that into the recesses of my back pack. Now it was time to get moving and get that list of errands I had taken care of before I picked up my special lady. I ran over my to do list in my mind and mentally mapped out my best strategy for accomplishing them. I have to admit I’m really not all that much for shopping but in this case I was finding it quite the pleasurable experience, knowing I was doing things that would hopefully make Lorelei realize I was serious about seeing how far we could take this relationship we had only recently embarked upon. I wanted her to feel like what was formerly my space would now be our space to share as she chose, with no pressure and no strings attached.
I found myself starting at the pet store, picking out a litter box, clumping litter, a bag of kitty kibble, tins of wet food, water bowls etc. I knew that Barclay was near and dear to her heart and I wasn’t going to ever ask her to abandon him or choose between the two of us, as there was room for both of us in her life. So I was going to ensure Barclay would be comfortable when we spent time at the house together. It turned out to be a rather cumbersome lot to carry so I made arrangements for them to deliver it later that day after the two of us got home. I burst into a spontaneous grin at the thought of it being “our” home. It was pretty amazing how making things ours was so much better than it being mine. I carried on with my various tasks and soon I found myself in Kensington Market preparing to stock up my larder at home. I picked up an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables, various meats, cheeses, nuts, coffee beans, and the list went on as I poked about the various shops finding various treasures. I couldn’t help but thinking of making meals for my lady or the two of preparing a meal together, engaged in pleasant banter and perhaps sharing a glass of wine as we did.
My last stop would be Morelli’s bakery where I would find the ultimate item on my list my Lorelei. I arrived about quarter to five and was pleasantly surprised to see her working in the front of the shop. I caught her eye as the bell on the door jingled as I entered. The smile that had been on her face widened into a broad grin when she saw me and to me it was like having the sun shining at its most radiant and the beams warming the cockles of my heart. There were several people in the shop at the currently either being waited on or patiently waiting to have their orders filled, so I grabbed a seat at one of little wrought iron tables for two and piled my shopping bags on the other seat and table top. I settled in to wait for her to finish up. Despite the hectic pace in the shop, Lorelei seemed to take it all into stride. Smiling warmly and making small chat with those she served, being sure to acknowledge new arrivals with a genuine “Someone will be with you to serve you shortly, thank you for your patience.” It was like watching a dancer, as she seemed to effortlessly glide between various display cases artfully filling boxes with decadent delights.
Her movements were fluid and full of grace, it was a pleasure to watch her. The lilt in her voice was music to my ears. The way she produced a cookie wrapped in a napkin and presented it to a shy toddler, who was clinging to his father’s thigh. His little face lightening up with the gift of this unexpected present and an uttered. “Oh thank you so much. Look what the lady gave me Daddy.” In a gleeful voice high pitched childish voice. To see her able to illicit a smile and small chuckle from even the most curmudgeonly , harried looking people in the queue made me realize how special she was. She was able to charm anyone in her wake from the shy wee ones to harried mothers, brusque business types, and the elderly who she patiently dealt with taking great pains to treat them all as if they were the most important client of her day. People were naturally captivated by her and I have to say that I counted myself amongst those that found her a delight and were charmed by her.
Soon the line was gone and she gave me a little finger wave, and walked over to where I was seated. I stood to greet her, and I have to admit I yearned to take her into my arms and hold her close, inhale all those scents that even now I automatically associated as belonging solely to her. I wanted to bend down and tenderly take her face in my hands and kiss those lips that always yielded and gave so freely to me when I pressed mine against hers. Oh how I loved her and I could see in her shining eyes that she mirrored my thoughts and feelings. “Hello there.” My voice crooned at her. “Hi.” She seemed to sing in greeting as she clasped my hand and gave me an affectionate squeeze. “Just give me a couple minutes to change and punch out and I’ll be with you in a jiff.” She then executed a seemingly perfect pirouette and disappeared through the swinging doors at the back of the shop.
Mrs. Morelli soon appeared in her place, smoothing down her apron with plump capable hands as she approached me. She was a warm motherly sort and if I thought I towered over Lorelei then I completely over shadowed this woman like a mighty oak tree. “How do you do Mrs. Morelli, it’s a pleasure to finally meet you. I’m ….” “I know who you are young man.” She stated in a matter of fact manner which took me back just a little. “You’re Liam the man our little Bella is so smitten with. I want you to know she’s like another daughter to me and she’s a good girl, with a heart of gold. You be sure you treat her with respect.” “Yes Ma’am” I answered respectfully and felt myself straightening my spine and rising to my full height as though I were at some sort of military inspection. “Good boy, I see we understand each other.” And she reached up and patted my cheek. I had a feeling she’d be keeping an eye on me and I’d better fly straight, or I might end up at the bottom of Lake Ontario with a pair of cement sneakers on and sleeping with the fishes.
“Hi Mrs. Morelli I see you’ve met Liam.” Lorelei`s voice sang out as she arrived and came up behind us. She had changed and was clearly ready for us to be on our way. “Oh yes dear we were just having a nice little getting acquainted chat.” Mrs. Morelli said as she beamed at Lorelei. “Yes Ma’am we were. Seems were both members of your fan club Bella.” I responded to her and then focused my gaze on Mrs. Morelli looking her straight in the eye as I did so. I saw a faint glimmer of a new found respect in the older woman’s eyes for me. She seemed to pick up on the fact that my intentions were completely honourable where Lorelei was concerned her face softened and she gave an almost imperceptive nod of her head to me. I had a feeling a great many people shared my belief that this woman was special and thus she was protected and revered by them just a priceless work of art would be. This was all fine and dandy with me as even though I knew she could hold her own, it was comforting to me to know other people cared for her and kept a vigilant eye out for her as well, but I was the one that hoped to be her ultimate protector and knight in shining armour.
“Good grief what are you a shopaholic Liam? I thought we ladies were supposed to be the ones that loved to shop!” she teased me as she helped me gather up my bags and parcels. I laughed right along with her at her little joke. “Nope, I’ve been merely stocking up on groceries, and other little things for the house, mind you the rest of its being delivered later.” She gave me a slightly puzzled what have you been up to sort of a look, but didn’t push me with any further questions. I guess the element of surprise appealed to her.I just couldn’t resist any longer and I leaned down and gave her a perfectly polite and proper little buss on her cheek. She smiled engagingly at me, and even Mrs. Morelli seemed to approve of my little display of affection. We bid Mrs. Morelli a pleasant evening and were soon out the door and on our way back to the house.
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