Last night, dinner with…

Last night, dinner with my cousins, and one, seventeen, said how cool, that we were going to take the train. He is a championship athlete, has flown to a hundred cities, but has never taken a train. The steady rhythm, the freedom to get up, walk up and down, the perfect pace of it. The romance. You could fall in love on a train all over again.

The best part is the train. Riding from Connecticut to New York, sitting across from each other in the dining car. Kev has his coffee and I have my tea; we're talking over house details again, making sure he knows what I care most about, in case he needs to move quickly on a house while I'm out of the country. After all the chaos of hunting, it's a relief to find I trust his judgement. New England sliding past the windows of the rocking train, grey and desolate, but still beautiful, green underneath, with a lushness that Utah, even California, never had. It tugs at my heart, the wet marshness, the half-hidden brooks and sudden small lakes, and I wonder how I ever left.

I'm still nervous bringing him home; we are not used to this yet, but with practice, it gets better. My mother is learning that Kev likes beets in coconut milk, though she still cannot quite believe that he can does not like any kind of fish. She also apologizes for making the food spicy; no matter how often we tell her that he eats spicier food than I do, she refuses to believe it. We sleep in the bedroom I had as a child; the furniture and carpets have changed, my old space posters are gone, but the same tree grows outside the window, the same windowsill where I used to sit, dangling my legs dangerously over the side and dreaming. When we leave my parents' house, my mother says to him, thank you for making her happy. A romantic might say that that was why I left New England -- to find him, or find the chance of him. The possibility.

Afterwards, back at our seats, leaning into Kev's warm shoulder, grateful beyond words that we somehow made it through some very hard times to this joy. Talking again, quietly, about the future and its possibilities. Knowing that I will have to leave him in New York, that I will see all too little of him in the next month, and I am not happy about that, but there are good reasons for it, places to go, people and sights to see. At the end, I'll come home again to him, wherever home is then.

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