She did know that her life would forever be changed
There were flecks of distrust, uncertainty in those eyes the color of ice. He had loved too hard with that big heart of his, she suspected. Gotten left or trampled in the process. Still he showed up, open, trying.
“Are you here on vacation?” he asked.
“Yeah. I love the mountains.” She realized she had been quietly staring.
“Me, too. You picked a great spot, we have a lake out back, it’s perfect for swimming, boating and fishing. Plenty of hiking trails around and we have 250 waterfalls.”
“More waterfalls here than any other county in the country. I’d be happy to show you around.”
She nodded before she knew she was even answering.
“Excellent. Do you hike?”
“Yeah, I do.” She couldn’t remember the last time she had taken a hike, but suddenly she was ready to reclaim that interest.
“I could show you a few of the trails and introduce you to the area, if you like?”
“I'd like that," she said, following his lead, trying to show up as well.
“Or maybe a swim if you’re tired from traveling.”
She shrugged, feeling a smile tug at the corners of her mouth. "Either one.”
“Perfect. How about I come back around four?”
She glanced at her wrist and realized she wasn't wearing her watch. “That’d be great.”
He nodded and put his hat on. His smile was so wide and gracious it made her grin in return. “It’s a date, then.”
A surprising kick of adrenaline spread through her stomach. “It’s a date,” she finally said.
She watched after him until he disappeared into the woods. The effect of him lingered, like a scent. Maybe it was because she had left the last of her grief on the dirt path that led her to this place. Or maybe it was something unique about him. She couldn’t explain why. But she did know that her life would forever be changed for having met him.