She stood in the doorway, beautiful there, that led to the small asphalt courtyard from the musty bar. She waited as I tipped the bartender. We never liked to be out of sight. I brought the drinks and we sat at the metal grated cafe chairs. The kind that waffle at your thighs. The music loomed outside with us. Blues. The haze of the evening was setting in as the city sunlight crayoned a soft September dusk onto the brick and slab of the buildings that hung over us. A teenage romance that strained to arch into adulthood. It was either to continue here or to halt and drop our hearts where we sat. A turning point.
"It's me or it's not. Now or never", I stated flatly trying both to be brave and tough. I was a sapling though.
She pointed her eyes down. Took a drink. Smiled.
"There's a lot to think about..."
"There's not," I demanded.
A drunk girl, twenty some-odd-not old enough to drink, strolled by gasping, "You guys are soooooo cute together!"
We laughed as the girl passed. I remarked about how even the drunk girl knew about us. She tilted her head back up and set her brown eyes upon mine. The flicker of a candle sparkled inside of them. I held my breath and sharply swilled at the beer.
"I just needed some time. I may need more but I understand if you can't give that to me."
"I can't," I answered, "it's too much already. If you go, I won't be here when you turn back."
Hardball. A gamble. I risked everything. At that moment she might have gotten up. I might have paid the tab and walked out of that bar with nothing but a cheap buzz as I stared blankly while she walked down the tiled subway platform. She didn't though. She sat. She smiled. I took her hand.
"Are you sure about us?" She paused. "Are you sure?", she asked.
I turned her soft hand up into mine and interlocked our fingers. I pulled her in, across the small table. We kissed.
"Let's go," I said. "I've always been sure. Always."
We stood up. She was radiant. The point had turned and she was mine.
(I know. It's not about fishing. But winter is officially over and opening day is at hand. Another turning point. One that we can all celebrate. Good luck out there. Tight lines. Back to our regularly scheduled program. -- Mike)