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CHRISTMAS LINDA PART 1 - BRIEF ENCOUNTER
by Paul Curtis
10/29/07
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Snow spattered, unseen, against the steamy glass
As the train rattled out of the station
It was a fairly crowded train, but not full
With weary shoppers, shopping bags bursting
And commuting workers the weeks work done
Journeying homeward at the dark days end
A cheerful crowd though
Pleased with themselves bright faced and hearty
Full of seasonal cheer anticipating the holiday
Seemingly oblivious to the drafty carriage
I sat alone and felt lifted by the quiet jolliness
Contemplating the collective countenance
Of the self satisfied passengers
Then she appeared and I was lifted higher
There she was larger than life vivacious and self assured
Covered with snowflakes and laughing to herself
My snow angel, with snow covering her like sugar on a doughnut
Wrapped up against the cold in a woolen hat and coat
And a long knitted scarf draped about her neck
She shook her head and her light brown hair danced about her shoulders
And the snowflakes melted away from her soft curls
There was a rosy redness on her cheeks
Almost matching the hue of her coat
Either from the cold winter evening or a liberal taste of Christmas spirit
A little of both probably
She made her way down the train between the seats
Leaving wet snowflakes in her wake
Full length coat swishing side to side
She moved almost gracelessly, which suited her well
As she tottered a little in her high boots
Perhaps due to the lurching motion of the train
Or the Christmas punch and eggnog
She was still laughing softly to herself which also suited so well
And then she saw me, and her eyes lit up like beacons
Those wonderful sparking laughing eyes
She stopped and stood momentarily open mouthed
Then her smile illuminated the carriage
My heart soared at the sight of her
I returned her smile and she flushed a little deeper red
It had been almost a year since I last saw her
My lovely lost love, Linda
I had locked all my feelings away but now they were back
Like a door had opened in my heart and they all rushed out
And I missed her so much I didn’t know just how much till that moment
We were never lovers, only ever friends
But very special friends very close friends though no more
We laughed a lot together, shared confidences
Best friends but no more than that,
Though I wanted more, so much more
But I didn’t want to lose what we had so I said nothing
I loved her so much, but she was not free for me to love
And Linda was not free to love me even if she wanted
So I contented myself with our special friendship
My unrequited love remained so
If that was all then better that than nothing
I was happy to love her unconditionally
Then circumstances changed, my father died
I had to move away and I didn’t see her again, until now
Now she was in front of me, my angel, larger than life
Smiling, blushing, laughing and so lovely
I stood up and smiled at her again
She threw herself at me and she hugged me so tight
I smelled her hair as I held her and was intoxicated by her scent
All the old feelings flooded back over whelming me
I had often dreamt of being reunited with her
But never in my wildest dreams had I expect such a reaction
Could it be my love was not unrequited?
We sat down on the lumpy seats in the rattling carriage
And were completely alone
We sat looking at each other not wanting to lose sight of one another
In case the spell were broken
She removed a glove and put her hand on mine
As if testing it was not a dream then she slipped her hand into mine
Her delicate fingers so small in my grasp
For the remainder of the journey we reveled in each other’s company
We caught up with the lost months filling in the gaps
Still oblivious to our companions
It was as if we had never been apart
Then the train shook to a halt as all too soon we had arrived
Our fellow travelers rushed off to their Christmases
Reluctantly we left our seats and disembarked arm in arm
Then hand in hand we walked slowly along the platform
Still talking and laughing and then out onto the street
Where the shops were now closing and the town was relatively quiet
From one pub Noddy Holder screamed “it’s Christmas” to the world
Only the pubs and restaurants seemed to hold any attraction to most
But we joined a small group gathered round the Salvation Army band
And joined in with the carol singing in the town square
Before strolling towards the taxi stand
As the snow again fell onto Linda’s soft curls
We took our place in the queue of travelers eager to be home
I was eager to be nowhere else but with her
I shuffled along for the last few steps like a sulky schoolboy
Smiling, Linda turned to face me and kissed me gently on the lips
Such a warm sensitive and tender kiss
When our lips parted she smiled at me coyly
And flushed a deep shade of pink
Then I kissed a snowflake off her nose
Cupping her flushed cheek in my palm I slid my fingers beneath her hair
Caressing the soft downy hair on her nape
And pulled her sweet lips to mine and returned her kiss
Her arms enveloped me holding me so close, so tightly
Not wanting to let go, not wanting to lose what we had found
Not wanting to lose me again
We stood locked in our embrace as the snow fell softly on the scene
She pulled away for a moment then buried her face in my neck
And spoke “I’ve missed you so much, I’ve missed your love for me”
I had waited so long for this moment waited so long to here those words
To hear my love returned and then we kissed again
Cabs arrived and departed through the slush
The queue around us just kept moving as if unaware of our love
After a while we moved from the queue sat on a bench and talked
My love was not unrequited after all she felt the same for me
She had always done so yet still she was not free
She was torn between the two of us
Torn between the comfortable familiarity for a good man
A loyal and dependable man, safety
And the passion she felt for a soul mate
It wasn’t fair on him he hadn’t done anything wrong
I had been on the receiving end of that kind of pain
And I found myself unable to inflict it onto another
So our love had to be a forbidden one
Best friends no more, I wanted more, so much more
And could not content myself with a special friendship
Now I knew my love was not unrequited
There was no going back, now Pandora’s Box had been opened
But at least now I knew she loved me
With the same depth as I loved her
We walked back to the taxi rank and kissed again in the snow
All too soon she got into a taxi
And through the winter wonderland departed taking my love with her
With her palm pressed against the glass she craned her neck to keep sight of me
Through the snow spattered window until the very last moment
Till the cab had gone out of sight
She was gone from my arms, gone from my view, gone from my life
But a Christmas happening had changed my life forever
A brief encounter, fleeting, here and then gone
Her scent still in my nostrils, the taste of joy on my lips
My soul mate gone forever, yet forever in my memory, forever in my heart
I would never see her again and moved away in the New Year
Making a life elsewhere but I never forgot her
And when on a winter’s night I hear the “Sally army” play
Or when the snow falls during Christmas time
Or I feel a snowflake on my skin
I feel her small hand in mine and then she is once again in my arms
And I smell her soft brown hair and the taste of her is on my lips
I hear her say “I love you” and she is mine forever


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