His voice sounded a little different from what she had heard over the phone and he was taller than she had thought. He did have that receding hairline he so often joked about and big, soft palms. Big, soft palms she was longing to hold. But the dimple was still elusive; he hadn't smiled yet. This was the first time she was seeing him. "First time we meet, you sit on my lap, ok?"
He was done talking and it seemed as though he was expecting her to say something. He waited patiently as she wrestled with her muddled thoughts. But then, there was nothing she could possibly say to make this better, or even bearable. "...I decided that I want the first proper gift that I give you to be in person.". She finally stood up and asked hesitantly "Can I hug you once?". He smiled a little...she couldn't tell if it was sad. "Of course you can." he said in his inimitable style and got up. She moved in close and wrapped her arms around him. It felt the way she had always imagined it would - warm, snug and peaceful...like she was home. He held her in a loose embrace though, his arms feeling a little awkward. "Just remember...you're mine.". Tears welled up in her eyes and she could feel a lump forming in her throat. Step back. Let go.
They walked out of the coffee shop where they had been sitting for over an hour. It had just stopped raining and a pleasant breeze greeted them. She reached out her hand and regretted it almost immediately. A look of pain crossed his face, but he shook it nevertheless. Big, soft palms she was longing to hold...big, soft palms she would never hold. He glanced at her and murmured "You'll be alright...", more to himself than to her. Great, he must have noticed the tears, she thought. She bent her head and shifted her feet uneasily. He peered closely at her face now and added softly "...right?". "Bye, love.". She looked up and forced a smile. "Of course.".