She imagines that it will go like this.

They will go for a walk in the freezing winter garden, trying to stay warm. His arm around her, more familiar now. She would will want to take his hand, as they have many times before, but she will be too nervous after the last separation. Not wanting to shatter the fragility of their happiness by moving too fast, although that makes no sense.

This time I have something for you, she will say.

Oh? He’ll raise his eyebrows in that most adorable way he does, the curve of them catching her heartstrings.

Yes! But you can only keep it until tomorrow.

A book.

Lighting up, he takes it from her. An airframe decorates the cover. How apt. He smiles at this symbol of their love, of their constant separations constantly rendered obsolete whenever they are near each other.

He leafs through it, brow now dropping, furrowing in concentration. Schematics and outlines and plans. Descriptions. A history of aeronautics in this place.

Thank you.

No, he will not just say thank you. He will sweep her into his arms, kiss her passionately, and then say thank you.

No, no. That’s all wrong. He’s more impish, more surprising. He will kiss her, not say thank you out loud, but make some sort of sweet yet unusual gesture.

Yes, he’ll have a notebook with him. It will be filled with that near-translucent tracing paper, the kind nearly everyone carries because so many are engineers or architects or people who for one reason or another draft technical drawings. He will take his soft pencil and make a rubbing of the indented drawing of the airship on the book’s cover. Then he’ll sign it with a flourish. No, no. She shakes her head. He will sign it with his initials only. She will take it and attempt to fold it up. He will stop her hands as she begins the first crease and instead take out his sketchbook, place the sheet of now-free paper back carefully among its captive pages, tie it closed, and hand it to her wordlessly. After she accepts it and places it into her bag, he will then sweep her into his arms.

Yes. That is exactly how it will be.

She reads him like a book.


Story © 2015 Clio Em.

Read all the other Airships stories here:

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