Episode 536: Where Are You Christmas?Lucy heard his voice first. That unmistakable low rumble. Sure enough, there he stood talking amiably with the librarian only a few short feet from Lucy’s table. Her eyes peered over her laptop, no more certain than the rest of her body, especially her heart, as to what she should feel or let herself feel when she looked at him.
She could at least admit he was handsome in the very all-American, collegiate way. His dark hair was cropped close to his head, his shoulders broad, and arms almost bursting through his argyle sweater. His lips were thick, capable of some of the more dazzling smiles you’d ever see, and his skin, the color of dark, silky caramel. Only a few shades deeper than their daughter’s skin. At least the shade her skin had been the last time Lucy had seen her.
It could have changed by now; she had to be changing every day. Lucy pushed that heaviness from her heart in time to see him start to turn her direction and she ducked her head, pretended to be hard at work, and hoped he wouldn’t even see her on his way out the door.
"Hey," he said, stopping right beside her.
Lucy felt the faintest thrill, though unsure what to do with it, she simply hey’d him back.
"So you’re back at school," he said.
Paul looked away, and looked back, opened his mouth several times before quietly blurting, "Do you ever see her?"
"No," she replied in almost a whisper. When that one little word hung in the air, echoing between them, burning ever so around her heart, Lucy forced herself to speak, eager for her train of thought to move forward. "I’m surprised you’re still here, it’s the holidays, doesn’t your family always go up to the beach house?"
"Uh, yeah. I needed to stick around school a little longer. I haven’t had the best semester." He frowned, naturally. The Paul that Lucy knew had excelled academically. "Anyways I’m headed up tonight. What about you? Some big family thing for Christmas?"
Lucy just shook her head, let him figure out why, and as he did this compassionate look came over his eyes and she thought he might ask her to join him. She began to panic, wondering how she should answer, but it turned out she needn’t have.