I never found out where he was going to take me. Just as he was about to step off the trail into the woods the rowdy missing members of our group ambled around the bend at the foot of the hill. Hearing their approach I struggled against Clay, not wanting them to catch me being carried off into the forest. When he refused to set me down I whispered sternly, “We can do this later.”
I regretted my tone when I saw how hurt he was, but why did this have to be have to turn into a battle?
As I kissed him on the cheek I let my breath softly tickle his ear. “We will have time alone soon,” I promised before turning to wave at my wayward friends.
Apparently they had spotted several deer a while back, a mom with two young fawns. They had called to us but we’d been too far ahead to hear. Excitedly they told us what had happened and showed us pictures. I was disappointed to have missed it, and resolved to pay more attention to what was going on around me.
As we resumed our trek toward the waterfall, I grabbed Clay’s hand and held him back so that we were no longer in the lead. I didn’t want to risk getting ahead of them again. Used to being a leader, he continued to work his way to the front as I simultaneously fought to draw us back. It was difficult for me to convey without words, how important it was for me to stay with them, and a silent war seemed imminent.
This wasn’t how I wanted the day to go. I needed to do something but I didn’t want to embarrass him in front of my friends. Making a decision I stood in front of Clay, stopping him short, and told everyone we would catch up.
I wasn’t sure how to handle this, but once we were alone I began, “I really like you and I have fun spending time with you, but I want stay with everyone else today.” I added, “Is that okay?” hoping to moderate my request.
Time ticked by as I waited for his response. I hoped he would understand and not take offense, but as the silence surrounded us like a fog I became certain he was mad. The quiet sounds of nature were ineffective at calming my nerves. Worry filled me and I began to wonder if my priorities were wrong. I had only had a few boyfriends over the years and none of them had been particularly interested in spending time with me. Now that I finally found someone who actually wanted to be with me I felt like I was making a blundering mess of it.
I reached for his hand and when he let me hold it in mine I felt relieved. I stepped close to him, wrapped my arms around his waist and rested my head against his chest.
“Please, just for today,” I said to his shirt.
When he returned my hug and kissed the top of my head I took that as a yes, and relaxed against him now that the tension had passed.
This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Amble and is part of something longer I am working on.
This post is a part of the story about the ex and comes after Why Were We Suddenly Alone in the Woods?.