For two glorious weeks, we were together out West.
We had picnics.
We rode horses into the back country.
We went to church.
We went honky-tonkin’. We danced with each other, danced with other girls, danced with boys, met some of her old friends.
We talked on a park bench. We talked on a picnic blanket. We talked on the tailgate of her pickup. We talked in the cab of her pickup. We talked while riding horses. We talked in bed.
The few nights we were apart, we talked on Skype.
We talked about what we wanted. From life. From each other. From ourselves with each other. About our pasts. About our futures. About our future, when she left for New York, 2000 miles away. About my future, perhaps in New York.
We went to a lodge in the mountains, a “luxury ranch”. We ate outstanding meals and drank excellent wine. We hiked, rode horses, fished, dusted clays, relaxed.
We shared a bed, each of us for the first time with a woman. We cuddled, each of us for the first time with a woman. We explored each other, each of us for the first time with a woman. We slept in each other’s arms, burrowed under the covers in the chilly mountain night.
We spent the last weekend together at her parents’ ranch.
Her parents invited her family for a cookout, to meet me. The loyalty, the love, in her family was extraordinary.
They absorbed me into their family.
Then she was gone, back to New York.