Claude rang the buzzer many flights down in our apartment building with no lift. He’s fit but it still took him a while to get up all of the stairs. He looked exactly as I expected. Yes, twenty years older, but the man I remembered. We greeted with kisses on each cheek and a lingering hug.
He said hello to Liam, who was distracted with his iPad. Claude and I went upstairs: he’d brought snacks and drinks. He was a good caregiver the few days and evenings we spent together. As independent as I am, I like a man who has the right balance of respecting me as an equal and knowing when I need water or proactively ordering me a glass of cava.
We shared a drink and snacks on the lower terrace. I don’t remember what we spoke about, but I remember how nice it felt to be in his presence. I felt no awkwardness whatsoever. There were no gaps in conversation; no uncomfortable pauses.
Before we arrived in Spain, he’d told me about a woman he was dating. I asked if they were exclusive: if they were, I would set my expectations nothing physical would happen. While I wasn’t assuming either way what I would want but wanted to know if it was off the table.
It was getting late for dinner and I knew we had to collect Liam and get going. But I wanted to kiss him. He stood up to go and I closed the short distance between us.
If I was writing a romance novel instead of my own life story, I would say our kiss transported me twenty years prior. But it would be a lie. It transported me, no question, but I stayed very much in the present. The kiss itself was great, made even better by standing on a terrace in Barcelona, with the warm summer night breezes ruffling my dress. Magic.
We murmured mutual admiration for the kiss, then kissed some more. He pulled me tight into him, his hands firmly on my waist, back, and my neck. When he cupped my face in both hands, I melted. And wanted more.
But it wasn’t time for more. It was time to go into the night and explore Barcelona. But we had a few more chances to explore each other before we said goodbye.