I remember very clearly the first time I saw those eyes. It was the Saturday before Mother’s Day so the shops were more crowded than usual. Dad’s with kids, all looking uncomfortable and unsure. Us? We were doing the usual weekly shopping. We didn’t buy into these ‘days’ after all. They were just an excuse to sell stuff, guilt people into buying gifts.
Because of the crowds, the shopping had taken a little longer than usual, the children were bored, their father annoyed. Waiting at the register, the conveyor belt loaded while the customer before us finished their purchase, I pointed to a bench, sent the children to sit and wait. Of course they couldn’t just do that, they had to push and shove. I walked over and spoke to them, reminded them of the treat they would get at home.
I turned back towards the register and that was when I noticed him. He was the customer before us, blue jeans, black tshirt, black boots. He was buying flowers and an energy drink I noticed as I walked back to my spot behind the father of my children. My husband. The word I couldn’t associate with him any more though I knew he didn’t believe our marriage was over.
I couldn’t seem to control myself as I drew closer, my eyes took in every inch of him. The way his biceps stretched the snug sleeves of his tshirt, the way the tshirt hugged his chest before it was tucked into his jeans, jeans that moulded to massively strong looking thighs. Then there was his face, square jaw with a shadow of stubble, dark slashing brows, intense green eyes. My heart was pounding as I passed him, I dropped my eyes from his, only then really aware that we had been staring at each other.
“The kids okay?” He asked as I stopped behind him, ready to push the trolley forward.
“Fine,” I replied and he turned back to wait impatiently. I looked past him at the shoulders and back of the green eyed stranger. He wasn’t as tall as the man I had married but he was broader, stronger. I heard the low rumble of his voice as he interacted with the cashier then he was walking away. I watched him go, watched as he reached a junction in the mall and as he turned the corner, looked back over his shoulder.
I put him out of my mind as we finished up with the groceries then herded the children after their father towards the exit. A brief stop at a gaming store drew frowns so I rushed them along, looking up to make sure we weren’t lagging too far behind and that’s when I saw him again. He was standing near the exit, head tilted back as he drank. I was mesmerised watching his throat work for a moment then he finished the drink and I found myself staring into his eyes again.
It could have only lasted a few seconds but it felt like forever. My heart raced, my body … my body reacted in ways it hadn’t for years. Then I was walking through the exit and he was beyond my sight. I wondered if I’d ever see him again. I wondered what I would do if I did.