It Was Then That I Met You


Hayden Tobin

Photography by Hayden Tobin

Amanda Hart, Author

I throw myself to the
gentle skies of silk, landing on
cushioned clouds, pristine with white.
Otherwise known as a
bed. My bed.
I switch the blinding lights
to darkness; I feel my eyelids dragged closed
by a weight indescribable.
And oh, the sounds…
the ones that flood my ears:
The tapping of rain dances
along the rooftop, some quiet voices and
a car’s horn; the pitter-patter of such innocent
cat feet…
And with the distant sounds
of an airplane soaring,
high, I’m off—
off and riding a bike.
A peaceful, airy town blurs in
my peripheral sights, and
tussled hair in a free spring
And I,
Oh, I ever-so clumsy, nearly hit someone.
Bringing all my fingers
inverted; both
bike brakes kick in
suddenly. I go flying.
I’m gone, like a
frisbee thrown
down sharp.
I collide with the rocky concrete, arms
shielding my face.
With the pain
of freshly shredded skin,
the dramatic embarrassment kicks in.
A hand reaches out to me,
tan, worn, and experienced,
even a few ink stains.
I take it, looking
up with an apology on my tongue
that falls short, because
I look into my own eyes;
chocolate, honey tinted and eager,
I’ve seen a mirror
enough times to be sure.
But it’s not me,
this stranger…
He reminds me of a precise mechanism.
Each movement
has a purpose, nothing
would be irrational, or impulsive.
Whitening hair, from age
and stress,
and a small, familiar smile
reminiscent of family
that I’ve never met.
He speaks first,
not me.
“That was a nasty fall.
Are you alright?”
And I nod, flushed cherry red from
the sun’s rays.
“I’m so sorry, I didn’t see you sir!”
Standing upright,
I turn, grasping for
my jostled bike.
He grins as we lock eyes again.
I return his
expression. “Sorry again,
sir. I promise I’ll be careful.”
He nods, waving
gently as I go back
the way I came.
I didn’t hear him speak again,
but he does.

“Just like her mother.”