Monday, July 15, 2013
I first met Louis about fifteen years ago on a train station platform in Westerland, Sylt. (for those who don't know, that's an island in the very north of Germany) I worked there at that time, and on that rainy August evening I was about to begin one of my rare long weekends that was actually worth it to make the thirteen-hour trip home. As usual, I'd packed far too many things, and as usual, I wore the wrong shoes since I'd come to the station right from work. Anyway, there I was, teetering on too high heels on the steps (it was an old-fashioned train, and the steps were grilles) and stuck in the train entrance with my two bags, and all around me people were grumbling since I of course blocked the entrance. Embarrassing.
However, suddenly a hand reached out for one of my bag's handles and pulled, giving me the one little smidgen of momentum I'd needed, and I almost fell ino the train. Of course I protested in alarm, but my unknown helper grinned at me so cheerfully that I immediately forgave him for the intrusion, realizing he'd really only meant to be helpful. Moreover, he didn't look threatening at all. He was small--shorter than me by at least a head, and I'm a bit of a runt myself-- and well, he had the bluest eyes I'd ever seen. He immediately let go of my stuff and said, "Sorry, but I'm in a hurry", and brushed past me, throwing me a parting smile over his shoulder as he squeezed out of the train and jumped on the platform.
I gazed after him as I stood there, pressed against the back wall to keep out of people's way, a bit dumbstruck both by what had happened and by that smile, but I immediately lost sight of him. Only when the train started to move a few moments later, I found him again on the now almost empty platform. He was hugging another guy, and the sight went straight to me heart and almost had me in tears on the spot.
For, you see, my boyfriend was 800 km away from me at that time, I hadn't seen him in over a month, and I longed for him so much it hurt. Those two guys hugging made me realize I'd hold my own guy in my arms tomorrow morning, cause they couldn't be anything but reunited lovers the way they clung to each other, or so it seemed to me. Mind, I got but a glimpse at them, but in that moment, I felt a bout of sympathy with them and with all separated couples anywhere. (What? I'm sappy? Why do you think I write romance?)
Well. I had thirteen hours to kill on that trip, I was overtired and hyper with anticipation at once, and I couldn't get that smile out of my mind. And I had a pad and pen.
Over time, the whys and hows of Louis's reunion with his lover changed, of course.
But Louis became my muse, and his blue eyes haven't let go of me since.
He's still nagging at me to write down his story.