The evening was brisk but her company and the conversation kept things warm.
There were too many beer bottles lying around to count. How many had we drank and how long had we been out here? I noticed the flame from the chimenea reflected off the bottles on the ground as well as her eyes.
She looked off into the distance and I startled her with my question.
”Where do you think love begins?” I asked.
“I think it begins with good company and a bottle of Jack,” she said in a teasing manner.
“I’m being serious,” I replied. “Does it begin with a kiss?”
“Oh come on, you know that’s how babies are made,“ she said mockingly.
”If that is the case, you must have a lot of children, because you sure have kissed a lot of toads,” I said, taking a gentle shot.
I knew she was quick on her feet and would come back with something of her own. She is very witty and I’ve always liked that about her.
”Hmm,” she said, taking a hit off her longneck. “Well I don’t have any children – at least that I know about.”
The comment made me laugh heartily – not only the comment itself but the fact that she remembered the Carol Leifer bit where it came from. My laugh made her break into a smile knowing she had gotten to me.
”Good to know!” I managed as a meek comeback in between laughs.
“Have you been in love before?” she asked with a serious tone in her voice.
I pondered the question a minute.
”I think that I thought I was in love, but perhaps was not actually in love,” I said. “I think I was maybe in love with the idea of being in love – or at least with the idea of what I wanted love to be.”
She sat silent and took another hit off the longneck but remained silent.
”Have you been in love before?” I asked.
”No,” she said flatly.
“No?” I asked somewhat surprised by her answer. I knew she had dated around a little and a few of the relationships were serious.
”No, I have never been in love,” she clarified sarcastically. “Did you expect a different answer?”
”I guess I did but I didn’t know why,” I noted.
”Hmm,” she pondered.
She turned and smiled at me and put her hand over mine. Her touch was cool from the night air but warmed up quickly on top of mine.
”What are you thinking about?” I asked her.
I could tell her mind was working cause she batted her eyes at me then looked back at the flame.
”I suppose neither of us are qualified to answer the question of “where love begins” then,” she said calmly.
With that, she wrapped her fingers between mine as we toasted her words with a “clang” of the longnecks and took a sip in unison.