Perfect Romance in Holding Pattern

It was the perfect setting for romance.  With the picturesque view of the Bay, the sound of the waves gently washing ashore, and the sun warming our skin, the stage was set. He kissed me and we held each other for a few moments.

“This is so romantic,” he whispered in my ear.

There was really no indication that this would be a rare moment.

We rode back to the airplane and after storing the bikes in the rear, we readied ourselves for the flight home. He liked to strap me in and fit the headphones on my head and, although I was perfectly capable, I liked him tending to me. Then I remembered the slingshot takeoff. I decided just to sit back and enjoy the ride, without questioning him.

After warming the engine we headed upwards to the top of the embankment and he turned the plane around facing the short runaway and the ocean beyond. He turned to me and grinned.

“You’ll like this!” his voice crackled in my ear.

I understood why they called it slingshot as we roared downhill hitting ruts and uneven ground and then…suddenly… we were above water and he turned the plane abruptly and the world turned sideways. It was a successful takeoff and it was the most exciting ride I’d ever experienced. I smiled all the way back to the mainland.

When we weren’t flying somewhere, I’d go to his acreage and roam his property with pails and fill them with apples, blueberries, blackberries and pears. The sound of planes soaring above pierced the silence of the vast farmland. The sun was always hot during that summer, perfect for the ripening of the fruit on the trees. Bees swarmed and I lost track of time enjoying my adventure in nature and all its abundance. Fly_boy, Michael, would be painting the outside of his home, or he’d be working on another project in a spacious aluminum building next to the main house. His newest hobby — fitting parts for a plane he was re-building.

He loved to cook and would make wonderful dinners. I’d bake blueberry pie for desert. We’d sit together outside on the patio and I’d listen to him talk about his favorite subject~ airplane mechanics. I didn’t mind. Not at first. As time went on, however, the cracks began to form. He never asked me about my past, or about my passions in life. He loved, however, to talk about psychology and would spend considerable time discussing matters of the mind. I longed to tell him about the workings of mine, but the time never seemed right for that. He didn’t seem too interested.

He never wanted to spend much time alone with me. He’d always call up friends, and it seemed like he was uncomfortable without their security. When we were alone, we’d watch movies and I would sit close to him; it was like sitting next to a cadaver. He’d keep his arms stiffly to his sides and I would turn and cuddle up to him regardless. We’d been seeing each other a couple months by then, and I was mystified by his inability to show me affection. The weeks ticked by and I tried not to take it personally.

“How’s the romance going, Adrienne?” my hairdresser, Seyora, asked as she foil wrapped my hair.

“Well, I like the guy. I love flying with him and spending time on his property being domestic, but he’s holding back,” I sipped my tea.

“In what way?”

“Well, it’s been close to five months and although it started off strong, now he seems kind of afraid to get close to me. I can’t figure it out.”

“Five months and … no between-the-sheets activity?”

“Oh, God, no. We’ve kissed and that’s it. And even then he’s pulling away first, so, hmmm, I’m thinking I should talk to him about this. Those files he sent me in the beginning — and still sends me — are all about communication with your partner. I am feeling a bit… undesirable.”

Now, maybe I should have called him, or talked in person about this, but being a writer, I communicate best with the written word. I wrote a cheery little email that evening and mentioned that I was wondering why he seemed a bit cool to me –was he not attracted to me? I received a reply two days later.

Dear Adrienne,

I had a serious relationship with a woman whom I met before you. We’d been seeing each other for about three months before we became intimate. As it turned out she was not at all the woman I thought she was. And I realized that once I have sex with a woman my sensibilities are turned off and I am not making rational decisions. That relationship really hurt me. I don’t want to make that mistake again.

I read the email a couple times and felt better about the situation. A few more months passed, flying to different islands for dinner, picking berries at his property, and watching movies in the evening as he sat with his stiff arms at his side. A peck on the lips at my car before I drove home was as close as he would come to being affectionate.

“So has Loverboy made any moves, Adrienne?” Sylvia, my esthetician asked as she painted a strip of hot wax on my legs.

“No, and it’s been six months now. I’m going to be patient, and to be honest with you, I think it’s downright refreshing for a guy to be the one to be holding back. He’s obviously not into this for the sex. He’s not a ‘wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am’ kind of guy,” I exclaimed as she pulled the strip off my skin. “Man, that hurts!”

“Mark my words, Adrienne, there’s something not right about this. A healthy male does not go six months without making a move of some kind. I don’t like this at all…” she predicted and ripped another strip off my tender skin.

“Ow!”

“Adrienne, for you dating is like waxing. You know it’s gonna  hurt, but you keep comin’ back for more.”

His birthday arrived and I enjoyed shopping in the men’s department for him. I bought him this chocolate brown cashmere sweater that I knew he’d love — it would look fabulous on him. He pulled it on immediately when he unwrapped his gift.

“Thanks, Adrienne. I love it.”

This man had so much to offer me in the way of financial security, excitement, a future where I would not have to work and could spend my time traveling and enjoying life. I tried not to be impatient with his inability to show affection. We met up with his ex-wife one afternoon and he embraced her, and kissed her fully on the lips, and spent half an hour in conversation with her while I stood feeling very uncomfortable. She appeared taken aback by his exuberance and, more than a few times, gave me sidelong glances of apology. His behavior mystified me, but I didn’t want to throw this all away.

There was obviously a piece of the puzzle missing and I soon found out what it was…

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3 Responses to “Perfect Romance in Holding Pattern”
  1. Dorothy Lang says:

    I love this story…Is there more of it? Can’t wait to find out what happened.

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