He gave me more hope than most. He just smiled so easily, talked so animatedly. I thought for sure this one

One day, when I was working at the old place, he was working too. I was training someone new, and I remember being quite excited about that. As I showed her how to clean the belts and waited for her to try it, I leaned back and started singing.

La Vie en Rose. One of my favorites.

I was barely paying attention, my eyes sweeping over the store casually… and then I saw him.

Hold me close and hold me fast

Just standing across the way. His comfortably lean body slouched along the door frame, right next to the umbrella stand.He was smiling at me. Oh, how he can smile.

He was watching me sing… This magic spell you cast

A great blush spread across my features, I could feel it. “What?” I laughed, a little embarrassed. He just spread his hands and I no longer saw.

I imagined him walking across the room to me and saying, “You’re just so beautiful. You make me smile like the sun.”

This is La Vie en Rose

But that didn’t happen. Nothing happened.

Much later…

I was quitting the old place. It was my last day but I was working in the back. No chance of seeing him at all but briefly on break for 15 minutes.

Near the end of our time, I heard him coming up behind me. He was sweeping the store, checking for spills and misplaced items.

I smiled at him and we got to talking. We talked about anything and everything, like always.

And when you speak angels sing from above

Halfway through I realized we were standing in the same position. Arms crossed and leaning on one leg. We both laughed at that and I wondered if I was copying him or if he was copying me. 20 minutes we stood there. Teasing and joking. Didn’t even realize.

Everyday words seem to turn into love songs

It finally struck him how long he had been neglecting his work, and me too I suppose. With a shrug and a laugh he walked away.

“Wait!” I called after him. I wasn’t sure what I was going to say.

“Make sure you come say goodbye before I leave. It’s my last day, you know.”

Give your heart and soul to me

He nodded and smiled. Shit.

Then I went back to work. As they were dismissing me for the last time, he walked up to fulfill his promise. The many kind goodbyes I got that night blur together but his sticks out in my memory.

He said, “One last hug from me…”

And life will always be

Before that I had never thought about how intimate a hug could be. I almost collapsed in his arms. He was just so strong and solid. I bet I couldn’t knock him over if I tried.

Sometimes, when the anxiety has taken me, I envision those arms. Enfolding me and keeping me upright. I wish I had held on longer, and remembered better.

But of course I didn’t do any of the sort. I just forgot. And left it alone.

And when I see him sometimes, passing quietly in the hallway…

All I do is smile.

La Vie en Rose


Hear me sing:

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