Jared couldn't believe he did it.
Yes, he'd noticed Monica too. He thought she could have been Mona Lisa. Except, she didn't smile much. Not that he was trying to make her smile, but maybe he could. He thought he did.
He sighed with relief as if this was going to be great. After all, they were going to be doing something he loved. Hiking.
Jared was a naturalist, at heart. He knew just about every weed out there, that one could survive on. Hell, he'd even made dandelion wine once. Kind of got sick on it. He really wasn't in to wine making, lately. Honestly, he was a loner of sorts. He liked the lake. He liked to smoke there. Alone. Of course. It was more therapeutic than, anything. Time to think. Not to be a bother, to anyone. Hoping his past never caught up with him.
Really, he was the quiet sort. He'd read Thoreau, like his guide book to life. The great outdoors was his world. And he'd finally invited someone to join him. But the further he walked away from Monica, he was beginning to think it was wrong. Just wrong. She'd hate it. He could tell. Already. Why would he think someone like her would want to do anything with him? She probably liked shopping jaunts to the mall. The theater. He rolled his eyes at that. What had he done?
"You're not like that guy from 127 Hours, are you?" She asked first thing when she met up with him at the lake. She hung on to her backpack straps as if she might parachute somewhere without him.
"No." Now that cracked him up. He tried not to look at her directly, but he couldn't help but want to stare. Savor as much as he could of her. It was still a shock that she'd came all this way. Now he didn't know what to say. He wasn't very good with people. There was a time he went with out talking for a while. It was a struggle to interact.
"And..and.." She stopped herself.
"And what?" He winced. Was she backing out, already?
"Nothing." She shook her head, looking away, then back at him.
"Well, lets go." He showed the way. His boots were dusty. She was in her sweet Converses.
"So how long have you been doing this?" Monica asked after three minutes up the dusty trail.
"I dunno. Like forever, I guess." He shrugged, looking back at her. He wore his favorite plaid flannel shirt over his favorite gray tank, along with his faded levis, his uniform for life.
"I see." She shrugged back, still holding on to the backpack straps as if something might come undone if she didn't.
They'd had a few phone calls since they'd met at the coffee shop. Even met up for breakfast at the University. They'd taken in a photo gallery and an art gallery the past week too. He didn't have to say much. She looked at art and he took in long gazes of her when she wasn't watching. They'd held hands. It felt nice. He liked the softness of her skin next to his. They'd almost had a goodbye kiss, but it ended in a hug, instead.
"You think this is too soon?" He couldn't help but wonder. He wasn't one to dress up and take a girl out. Never had.
"Whats to soon?" She looked at him as if she wasn't sure what game this was.
He noticed her hair blowing about in the wind. She hadn't even brought a hat. He found a clean bandanna in his pocket. He told her to turn around.
"Am I missing something?" She looked back at the lake. He took her back pack off. Just his luck, she'd brought her laptop, hoping she could blog about this. Jared proceeded to tie on the bandanna.
"Now you're a pirate." He smiled at her. She looked as if he was just being silly, but he grabbed her backpack and took it on down the trail.
"I bet you think, I'm going to walk for miles, don't you?" He went up the rocks. Monica gave him a slight scowl, but he helped her along the way. Finally, they were away from anyone else on the trail, since he'd actually made his own trail. He knew the perfect spot. It was his favorite place, where few ever went, and one could see how huge the lake expanded from the top of the cliff.