He pulls at his collar nervously, checking around the restaurant again and wondering if the outfit had been too much. He loosens his overall straps, fidgets with them, and tightens them again. Dress to impress, he reminds himself. It’s a big day.
She says hello as she sits down, but her eyes don’t meet his; they are busy checking out the paint on his face. He waves to her. She smiles.
“So, how are you?” She asks after a long pause. Thinking hard, he puts one hand out as if against an invisible wall in front of him, then to the side, then to the other side. “Trapped, huh? Nervous about something?”
He nods slowly, and all at once he knows he has to tell her right there. Taking her hand in one of his, he moves to gesture in the air — but then he pauses, realizing that with all his preparation, he doesn’t know how to pantomime this all important phrase.
Eyes on hers, he realizes that he doesn’t need to; she understands. Her hands slip into her bag, quickly pumping up a red balloon and twisting it into a heart. Handing it to him shyly, she says, “I love you too.”
*This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead,
or actual events is purely coincidental.