I had already pealed the skin off the peaches. “Hey, do you want to switch,” I asked Lenka who was just finishing cutting the peaches into halves. Lenka and I switched places on the kitchen counter, traded knives, and I started carving my peach. We needed fourteen peaches pealed, cut, unseeded, and halved. Lenka had her hair tied back in a bun, several strands passing in front of her face. We, along with one of her friends, went peach picking today. Then strawberry picking. Then bought sushi and beef teriyaki to eat at the tea house which was on the same street as the Japanese restaurant. Then we came home and after I took a nap, we all sat together in the living room eating gargantuan Indian wraps, a very large Indian style burrito wrapped in naan.
I pulled the peach halves from the seed and placed it in the metallic bowl in front of me. “Do you ever notice that I met you one day and now we’re here making peach pie?” I asked her.
Lenka smiled and looked at me. “I know,” she said, “fate just works that way sometimes,” she continued then kissed me, our hands wrapped in peach juice.
I met Lenka in front of a library about three months ago. Earlier at the tea house her friend, Miley, asked us about our relationship, and several questions about men flirting with women. As it turns out I was finding out a lot of things about my new girlfriend. Things like how she thought it was weird that I touched her hand in a very inappropriate way; her hand. How when I first met her she was absolutely belligerent and surprised; not everyday does a random guy come up to you and tell you how beautiful you are. How we pieced the pieces together until we would be standing in her kitchen making peach pie after several days of meeting together and several weeks of waiting in between.
Lenka was a total stranger to me. I’ve never seen her face before that day in front of the library. I didn’t ask my friends what she’s into. I never got the chance to preemptively ask anything about her. Actually I’ve never done that ever. Unlike many people I know, I’ve always preferred to meet the woman I want on my own and not through friends. I looked down on the guy who was dating one of their friend’s ex’s. Catching whoever they can in a small sexually discomforting and sexually suffocating community.
When meeting your current girlfriend through friends, you don’t get all the magic, you get a lot of science. You get geography, proximity, statistical values, the large likelihood that she likes you just because you were there, easily accessible, and available for time, six degrees of seperation. And let’s face it, it’s not easy falling in love with a stranger. It’s not easy finding the time to meet a stranger when nothing is happening, or not doing something so that you can meet up together. I’m not saying love doesn’t happen within friends. I’m not saying people grow old finding ways to appreciate each other instead of fairytale love, because of their dependance of association and lack of “zing!” I’m saying it’s well worth it to have a girl that could leave you at any moment, but doesn’t.
Lenka could leave me today and I’d be left with nothing but memories of her. No seeing each other over friendly activities, most likely never having to deal with one of my friends trying to date her. Not having to see her on the arm of some other guy. Not having to see her, period. Just gone. She has the right to not call me ever again. She could delete me off facebook. Never return my emails. She could just say that she never wants to see me anymore and that’d be it. She doesn’t need a reason. She could just disappear.
But she hasn’t.
. . . . . and I haven’t either.
Last night, Saturday, we had a bonfire. I was very on edge whether or not I’d be going. The beach closed at 11pm and the fastest I’d make it there was 10pm. I couldn’t find a ride because my car’s broken. I couldn’t take the bus home because by the time we’d finish the buses would stop working. And more randomly, I just got back home from Lenka’s house. It literally was just 26 hours of not seeing each other, and it wasn’t easy passing through 4 cities for an hour and fifteen minute commute by train, bus, and walking. Despite all of this, I really looked forward to a bonfire with her and all her friends, it sounded like fun. I told Lenka I wasn’t going to meet up with her and her friends, it just logistically was not easy. I heard the slight hum of sadness in her voice. She finally said okay and let me off. Immediately after she hung up my friend called me.
“Hey, so do you still need a ride?” he said.
When I got to the bonfire Lenka had bought me a forty of Blue Moon, my favorite beer. We huddled together in front of our fire, and then moved on to another bonfire where we met more interesting people. Being that I brought my guitar, I played a set of mainstream songs on the acoustic: “Closing time” by Semisonic, “The man who can’t be moved,” by The Script, and several others. When we finally came home that night, she baked potato baloni, my favorite, and honey chicken with sage, my new favorite, as I played more guitar while she cooked.
The next morning, Lenka woke up in my arms. The heat between our bodies warm under the blankets. We talked for hours in bed like we’ve done several times before on the days she didn’t have to work. She told me that she bought the beer for me, and the baloni for me, and really wished that I could make it to the bonfire because she really wanted me to be there, hoping that somehow I could make it just for a few minutes before the beach closed.
She smiled at me, her eyes slightly awakened from sleep.
“I figured if I did enough things the universe would know that I want you here.”
. . . It was the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me.