Kisses and Trust
Looking across the café table, Dave responds to Breen’s question about his decision to leave the bar he had worked at part-time when they first met.
“At the bar I was attracted to Jackie, who was different from the rest of the cast of characters. Well everyone was different in their own way…but Jackie was more mature; she was seeking a career in public relations, not simply an existence. She had an intelligent approach to how she viewed the bar. I really don’t remember why she finally went out with me; don’t even remember where we went.”
Dave pauses, thoughts, “I’m not even sure if it was a real date, but it was important to me. Jackie had been hired for the job, it would put her firmly on the road to adultness; career, responsibility, meaningfulness. Me, I did not have the self-confidence, the belief in myself that I was mature enough for a woman like Jackie…more importantly, for a woman like you.” Breen listens quietly.
“At some point earlier to our date Jackie had given me some sound advice; she said that the bar was not me. I had to put the place behind me and move on. She knew about you, knew I was searching to be the man I wanted to be for you; Jackie saw something in me that said I was different from the rest of the cast…I…I would never fit in. When we arrived back at her apartment, we did the ‘Thank you for going with me, I had a good time’ routine. Then Jackie leans over…here comes the perfunctory kiss on the cheek lean over…but it was a real kiss, a long kiss…and when she moved away she asked ‘was the kiss worth the wait?’ I told her it was definitely worth the wait.”
“But I knew it was not a ‘first kiss,’ but the only kiss. Then she said goodbye. As the door to the El Camino closed, I told myself that Jackie had just told me her boat was sailing into the sunset, and I better wise up if I wanted to sail with mine. The next day I decided to take her advice. That evening was my last at the bar, and soon I moved away from the old neighborhood, and even away from the people you had met.”
“Have you ever seen Jackie again?” the question was for his feelings, not to test his devotion.
“No, from time to time I would check articles to see if her name was mentioned; but, no. Maybe she married and uses her husband’s name.”
“Do you think she…do you think she remembers you.”
Dave is not sure if that was a question, even a rhetorical one; Breen phrased it in such a way he had to give pause, but making sure he kept eye contact to reassure her he was not avoiding the answer. “No, I doubt she remembers me. Oh, if we were to bump into each other there’s a possibility she would look at my face and try to picture where she knew me from, why I looked somewhat familiar.”
“But she obviously cared for you, or why would she…Dave, I’m not trying to put you on the spot here, just trying to understand something…you remember her, obviously vivid memories, granted to some point, about when and how she had an effect on your life. But what about Jackie, was it a momentary passing of goodness? I’m not trying to sound stupid…just, I don’t know.”
“Breen, my philosophy is that we all affect the lives of others. Some people have professions or interests that by nature are influential; a teacher, a priest. But for the average person like me, and the zillion others out there, we never realize how we have touched the lives of others that we meet in passing. Sure she may remember me, but it was a fleeting moment in her life. And if by some chance we would meet and I told her what I just told you, she would scratch her head and wonder how in the world…I mean, she would think how impossible the event was in the context as I just related it to you.”
“To Jackie I was just someone she knew, someone who she talked to at the bar and went out with that one time and, as I said, she probably did not even consider it a date. And there was nothing special about the date, just an ‘I feel sorry for you kiss;’ probably a long forgotten kiss.”
“Do you think we forget kisses?” almost an accusation against all men, but by the tone of her voice Dave knew she was referring to the man who stole her youth by promising the stars and when she committed her life to him, he only gave her rain.
“No, I think the giver and the receiver can have vividly different memories of the same kiss.”
“Do you remember kissing me?”
“Yes…but we never ‘lip-locked’. We shared kisses. Breen, this is part of what I hated myself for…I remember intimate details of the first time I touched you…but we never really ever kissed. It took a long time for me to realize that you and I viewed our time together so differently. The time we spent together held far more relationship importance for me; my quest for your love was not a discussion point in that relationship. I asked you to marry me out of love, even if that love was only mine.”
“Dave, we never ‘lip-locked’ for an extended period, not even for a short period. But we did have a relationship, regardless of how it seemed at the time, or how it played out.” Breen lowers her voice, leans forward, and warmly says, “When two people sleep together it’s a relationship, at least it’s considered a relationship in the three or four countries where we progressed beyond mere kissing.”
They left it at that for the moment, Breen patted Dave’s hand and said the conversation was too much for the café; they ate their ice cream, stealing glances and passing smiles.
“When I was a young girl we went to Nice. It was the first vacation I really remember. I was standing on the beach deciding if I wanted to go in the water. I wanted to, but nonetheless, I just stood there. My father asked me what the problem was. I wanted to go in the water, but I did not want to get wet!”
Dave understood, and Breen trusted her heart to him.
Close your eyes and trust me
let my hands guide you through
Please, ask of me
I shall provide
Lay your head upon my chest
sleep with soft gentle dreams
And when you awake,
kiss not just my lips
but your lips as well
(Kisses and Trust, a work of fiction adapted from Through A Stranger’s Eyes, and the poem Trust are Copyrighted by Steven S. Walsky, 2005, all rights reserved.)