So today was the day I lost my mind. How else did I explain seeing my green eyed stranger, Tyler, everywhere? Yes, he was constantly in my thoughts, his unanswered email driving me to distraction. So maybe that was why the man sitting in the stands at my son’s soccer training looked like him.
It had to be that. I was not prepared for it to actually be him. I was less than stylish in my trainers, jeans, and heavy coat, I dressed for comfort not fashion. Not like some of the other mum’s in their boots and painted on jeans, perfect make-up and hair.
I took my usual seat a little away from the other parents and settled in to watch, determined not to take a second look at … him. I watched the boys on the field start to warm up as the coach started to shout orders. Then I heard a wave of giggles, actual tittering and a chorus of, “Hi Tyler.”
So not crazy after all.
Of course I knew he was standing there looking at me but it took me a moment to look up at him. Then I could only smile weakly, my heart was racing too fast for me to speak.
He dropped down on the bench beside me with an answering smile, said; “This is a surprise.”
He could say that again! “I’m here every week,” I said inanely and tore my eyes from his to look out at the field. “My son plays,” I added.
“My nephew does too,” he replied. “I usually only go to the games but my sister had an appointment so … here I am.”
“Here you are,” I agreed, still not looking at him.
“I’ve never seen you at a game,” he said as his hand brushed mine where it was braced beside me on the bench.
“No, their father does the games. It’s their guy time,” I provide the reason why I got to watch the training but never the games.
“Riiiight.” The disdain in Tyler’s voice had my head turning towards him with a glare. It was a shitty reason, I knew it, but I didn’t need anyone, especially him, pointing it out to me.
“I get a little me time,” I say with a careless shrug. “It’s a win-win.”
My god his eyes are so green, and those thick dark lashes. I could look at him for days. On the field the coach yells and I jerk my gaze away, my heart pounding again.
“So were you planning to answer my email?” His hand covers mine, his thumb presses over my wedding band.
“Yes,” I whisper. “I just didn’t know what to say.” I chance a look at him but his eyes are on the field. Behind him I notice some of the other parents looking our way. What am I doing?
“Can I ask you something?” He says without looking at me.
“I ahh. I guess but, people are looking at us,” I mumble, my eyes taking in the speculative looks.
Tyler turns his head so I guess he is looking at who is looking at us then he turns to me. “So?”
“So?” I repeat incredulously.
He shrugs, his shoulders lifting and falling under his leather jacket. “My question?”
I give a jerky nod, look back out at the kids doing drills now.
“In your email, you said your marriage is over. Was that true?”
“Yes.” My answer is immediate and firm. I’m counting the days until I can file for divorce.
“Good.” He sounds … relieved? “So it shouldn’t matter who looks at us then.”
“My kids don’t know,” I say softly, sadly. I know it will hurt them and that’s the last thing I want to do.
He doesn’t say anything, just sighs and I meet his eyes one more time. We stare at each other for years, stars collide, a universe is born. I see his desire and determination. I don’t know what he sees in me but he releases my hand, stands up.
“Email me Lily,” he orders. “Think about what you want and let me know. Maybe instead of me time, there can be some us time.”
I watch him walk away, pausing to talk to some other parents. He’s casual, relaxed, giving no indication he just dropped a grenade in my mind.