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In Which He Sees Her
The first time Edward saw her, he was instantly intrigued. They were both boarding a Red Eye from Chicago to Seattle. She was walking down the aisle to her seat, kitty-corner from where he sat. She was beautiful in the most natural way. Long wavy brown hair, dark chocolate eyes, and a presence about her that oozed strength, determination and...sadness. But the sadness could only be seen in her chocolate eyes. She was a rose. An empress of the garden, but she was wilting from the inside out. She slid into her seat, raised the window shade, and gazed onto the tarmac resting her head against the window. This was also the first time Edward wished he could read her mind. He wondered what she was seeing, for it was quite obvious that whatever it was could not be seen by the naked eye. She stayed this way for the duration of the flight, only looking away once to subtly shake her head when the flight attendant asked if she would like a blanket. When they reached Seattle she stood from her seat, gathered her small carry-on and floated off the plane before Edward had a chance to stand. As he exited the plane he looked for her but she had vanished; another faceless person scurrying through the airport at four o'clock in the morning.
The second time Edward saw her was on his return flight to Chicago. She was checking three large suit cases, more luggage than was required for her, he assumed, week long trip to the Pacific Northwest. What was most curious wasn't the luggage but the small child perched on her hip; a child that had not been on the Red Eye from Chicago. His curiosity was peaked and he had an inexplicable need to know. Who was she? Why was she in Seattle? Where had the child come from? And perhaps most importantly, what was the sadness that swam in her eyes? Edward did not consider himself to be a busy body in general but there was something about this woman that would not leave his mind.
The third time Edward saw her was the most shocking. It was three weeks after his return from Seattle. He had just spent a wonderful evening with his cousin and her husband in their home. He was walking to his car when he saw movement in a window of the brownstone next door. Edward looked, froze, then looked again. There she stood looking every bit an angel silhouetted against the soft lighting from the living room. She held a wine glass in one hand while the other was clasped across her stomach as though she were holding herself together. Her eyes were fixed on a point on the horizon above Edward's head; not seeing what lay in front of her but unseen images flashing behind her eyes. The sadness that she had tried to mask on the flights was unrestrained and poured forth from her very being. She was absolutely breathtaking and Edward knew in that moment he had to meet her. She was calling to him, a siren on a sandy beach, and he was powerless to stop it. To be honest, he wasn't sure he would even try.