Day 12

"I guess we'll see each other in a few weeks," you smile, sitting down next to her on the bench for the last time. She leaves for home in a few hours, and Honor actually booked a flight yesterday and will get here tomorrow.

You do wonder, though, what Rory will think about the non-geeky, playboy Logan who acts like a typical college coed. Not that she had met a fake version of you; it was just she's only met one side of you - the side that loves the written word and ignores all the burdens that come with that love. And while she knows about your no-relationship policy in theory, it's not like she's ever seen you attached to another girl, though the idea of being with another girl while Rory's around has no appeal for you. You have a feeling things are going to get dicey when you get back to school, trying to see if you can live your life like you're used to and still be friends with her. Because no matter what she makes you feel, you're not ready to change. Not yet. Not even for Rory Gilmore.

"I guess we will," she smiles back. "I never expected in my Daisy Miller moment to meet a fellow literature loving Yalie this summer."

"Well, I never thought the best part of the summer would end up being me twiddling my thumbs and sitting on my ass waiting for Honor to finally show up," you laugh, reaching out to grasp her hand, pulling her towards you so you can kiss her cheek. The corners of your mouths just touch and you feel a spark where your lips intersect. You'd like to do more, to move your lips more firmly onto hers - it wouldn't take much, and normally you would, but you can't. Muddying the waters even more than they already are is too much danger, the kind you don't get a thrill out of. And though it has begun to lift, and you like to think you've had something to do with it, the sadness is still there in her eyes. You know there are things she needs to work through back home, and kissing her like you want to would just confuse and complicate things. For her - as well as for you. Better to be a friend, not have recriminations, and leave the doors open for the future. After all, school starts in five weeks, when you'll have all the time in the world.

"These are for you, but promise you won't open the parcel till I'm gone," you say, setting a small package wrapped in brown paper and tied with twine down on the bench between you, not giving away how difficult a decision it was for you to decide to actually give this to her. "Preferably after you're on the plane."

---

I didn't know what to think at first. We hadn't ever discussed Thoreau or James, but he gave me first editions of Walden and Portrait of a Lady as going away gifts, if you can call them that. It took me a while, but somewhere over the Atlantic I realized what it meant, and I have to write it down.

It wasn't happenstance, though in a way it was, but somehow he saw me several days before we actually met. He sought me out. He sought me out and I never would have known, but he wanted me to. Wanted to know if I would put together what he meant by the books he gave me.

Which offers an intriguing question or opportunity, a conundrum. I screwed up. I know I screwed up, Mom was right. But maybe now I'm getting a second chance, a bit of a do over, an opportunity to rectify things. Life gives you gifts, doors; sometimes it's up to you to walk through them. Maybe he's not ready for everything, not yet. But then neither am I. Not right away. No matter how perfect things felt between us sometimes this past week. Last year I went backward, this year, well, fall semester can't get here quickly enough. I plan on going forward.

FIN

Story prompt: (from the movie Notting Hill; referring to Marc Chagall's painting 'La Mariee'):

Will: You like Chagall?
Anna: I do. It feels like how being in love should be. Floating through a dark blue sky.
Will: With a goat playing the violin.
Anna: Yes-happiness isn't happiness without a violin-playing goat.
One thing you would like to see in the story: a private garden square in Notting Hill, London
One thing you don't want to see in the story: Rory in tears or crying