When she stood up, grass clung to her backside. He gently wiped it away in his mind, but in the world, he stood silent. They walked together, cover of shade trees keeping them from cooking in the summer sun. He imagined the smell of her sweat, the feel of her sticky skin. It made him uncomfortable and embarrassed. He shouldn’t think this way, not about her, not about someone who was always and ever with someone else.
She had time for him, always. A walk in the woods or riding through back roads on a Saturday afternoon. She even (always) had a hug for him on greeting, and on leaving, where he would linger as long as she allowed.
“I love how the sun shines through these trees. Like walking in a fantasy novel.” Which was funny, because she never read any of the books he suggested, especially fantasy. She would grin and say, “thanks, but I am reading” blah blah, and he would put the novel back in his pack. “I feel like we’re on an adventure, one that will end in a hero’s welcome for you, perhaps a knighthood. For me, a marriage with the man I have traveled far and wide to be with.” And of course, that man was not the one she had slain dragons with, fought through forests of demon spawn or battled against men who wanted to take her honor, her flesh, her soul.
It was nothing like a Fantasy novel. It was everything like every other day, when they wandered the world together, made plans, ate bagels and drank coffee. In an hour she would need to be taken home. He would oblige, purposefully forgetting to tell her about the dirt stain he now noticed just beside the grass still clinging fortunate on her bottom.