The Ceders of Lebanon
by Taran Geary
It was a lovely day. The kind of day that reminded of my childhood playing on my own in the garden. On my own, those were the words that summed up my life.
The sun was bright and warm, there was a breeze blowing, blowing strongly enough to move my hair and to feel fresh as I drew it in through my nostrils. An old prop aeroplane drifted overhead and I closed my eyes and recalled the childhood days of sheets flapping on the line and the warmth and the sound.
I didn’t need to work, an inheritance gave me a basic lifestyle but I did odd jobs for beer money; and on that day, that beautiful day I was sitting in the park on a bench watching people walk past and enjoying the sunshine and the breeze.
The ‘plane passed and I opened my eyes; most of the people walking by never even noticed me and I suppose that is how I like it
Then I saw HIM. I don’t know what it was about him, but I was transfixed and he smiled at me. I looked away when I looked back he had slowed his pace and was still smiling at me. I dared to smile back.
He carried on walking…slowly.
He walked on to the next bench and sat down; I started to sweat and I felt my body tremble. Could this be true? This handsome young man waiting for me? No surely not! I looked again he was still sitting on the next bench and still looking at me.
My mouth was dry as I slowly stood up and slowly strolled down to the next bench. His eyes were on me continually. I sat down on the opposite end of the bench to him.
We sat in silence for what seemed hours until I finally felt able to croak “Nice Day”.
I was answered with a nervous, nasal giggle.
“The park looks nice today,” I continued. “Do you come this way often?”
“It’s on my home; I come this way most days.” His voice had an unexpected Lancashire twang which made it sound musical to my ears
“I’ll perhaps see you again then, if you don’t mind.”
The giggle again; “That would be nice, but I’ve got a day off tomorrow.”
“So have I, would you like to meet up?”
“Yeh, why not; but not here, too many people.”
“Ok, where?” I couldn’t believe my confidence; normally I would clam up and run away long before the conversation had got this far.
“You know the other side of the park? That great big tree that stands on its own?”
“Yeh,” I gushed. “That’s my favourite tree in the park, probably the whole world. I’d love to meet you under it. It’s over 150 years old you know”
He looked at me strangely and I thought I’d blown it letting my love of arboriculture interfere with this conversation. “I’m sorry, I said trees are a passion of mine.” He giggled again; I told him my name. He told me his and we shook hands as we arranged a time and he departed home for his tea.
I sat there for a while longer and I realised I could see the top of the big tree in the distance and I was filled with excitement and trepidation as looked forward to meeting him under my Cedar of Lebanon.
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