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And after all the season was over, the vacations were over, the summer was over, it was all over and he had to go back. She would still keep going, she was still travelling, she actually had more to come back to than he did, but she didn’t care about letting it rest, letting it all wait.

In the distance, his bus appeared out of a turn in the road.

She asked “Are we still gonna see each other?”

“I don’t know. I suppose so. I’ll come back down in two years, to ski again. Maybe you’ll still be around. I could visit you back in the north someday maybe. We’ll see.”

Her awkward silence made it clear that this was not the answer she wanted.

He smiled and said “Come on, our month together was great, but me and you, we both knew it was not to last.”

“It will last forever in my memories.”

“Gee, girl, didn’t know you were a poet. But, please, really, really, do know that i will never forget it either. We had a very short time together, but it was very beautiful.”

They embraced, his experienced arms holding her in just the right way, like he knew exactly the shape of her body and the pains in her back and the places to caress her. They kissed. She could feel his breath and it was very sweet.

The bus arrived. They split their embrace, he started loading his bags in the trunk. The driver wrote in his list and went doing something in the back of the vehicle.

He turned to her, as if to say done, and she looked back, like she had something more to say, a last secret she couldn’t really put in words.

He kissed her lips gently.

She said “I’m not as hardcore as you think.”

“I know, not think.”

“Really, am not.”

His smile felt like love pouring out of his eyes. He shook his head.

“I know you are not some kind of heroine, that you don’t catch bullets with your teeth, that you don’t know the answers to all problems. I know that. It’s just… I feel you face life without fear. I feel that if deep shit came your way, that you might be afraid, but you’d not give in to fear. Facing life with open eyes, that is as badass as it comes. And you have this already.”

She didn’t really know what to say to that. Maybe her lips moved in a thanks but certainly no sound came out of them. She just kept looking in his eyes.

“I will start to cry if you keep looking me like this, those beautiful eyes of yours, you know? Just give me a long last kiss and we’ll see each other next year, right?”

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