We walk side by side. We walk hand in hand. We walk without words between us.
The breeze blows through the blossoming Japanese sakuras, pink confetti released from their heavy boughs. Those petals that have tumbled to the ground lay in clusters on the grass and at the edges of the sidewalks, trampled a darker pink beneath booted feet.
We stop and turn to face each other, finding so much in each other’s eyes.
Why are you so perfect? I want to ask. Instead, I say, “Would you like to stop somewhere for lunch? I know a few places around here, and…”
My next words fall from my mouth unvoiced, my cell phone buzzing in my pocket, begging to be heard. Short short. Long. Short short.
I look from my pocket up to Lily. She smiles, and I know she doesn’t mind. The insistent phone is in my hand moments later, brought up to my ear.
“Declan, pardon my abruptness, but where the hell are you?”
“I… uhm,” I’m at a loss for words. Why does it matter where I am? I’m with Lily Christianson, and that’s all the matters. It’s not like there was somewhere I had to… oh.
“We were supposed to meet today, discuss how your book is coming along.”
Lily looks my way and my spirits are lifted. As I said before, I’m with Lily Christianson, and that’s all that matters.
“Well I’m a little busy right now, Midge. Can you pencil me in tomorrow?”
“Fine. I’ll give you a call later with a time,” she responds, somewhat annoyed.
I smile, but only Lily sees it. “Thank you, now can I—“
But Midge is curious by nature. “What exactly are you busy with? Please say the novel. And please say you have a title in mind.”
“Lily Christianson,” I laugh, happiness blooming in my thoughts at the mere enunciation of her name. “I’m with Lily.”
Midge sounds quite confused at the other end, and I can imagine her eyebrows arched and mouth askew.
“Lily,” I repeat. “She’s a girl I met to—“
“I know who Lily is, Declan,” Midge interrupts. “And about her, she’s much too perfect. She needs a flaw; it would make her more real.”
Again I’m at a loss for words.
“Women are gonna hate her, you know. And you can trust be on that, as your agent and as a woman,” Midge continues. “Besides, those perfect women are always so hollow. Fill her out a bit, okay?”
I try to interject a few phrases: “But I—, Wait, How do you—?”
“Anyways, I’ve got to go. Have another client who cares enough about his career to show up. I’ll see you tomorrow, Declan.”
I’m silent, so she hangs up.
I turn once more, eyes falling upon Lily. I ask her her name in a daze, and she laughs and she repeats my thoughts: Lily Christianson.
She smiles, and says she's ready for the lunch I’d offered before, and that she had thought of a place while I was on the phone. A bustling take-out place downtown, close to the inner harbour and promising hot food in both taste and temperature.
My own smile is offered, somewhat awkwardly, before her hand falls into mine. We walk, again. We walk hand in hand, again. We walk side by side, again.
I walk with the woman of my dreams, Lily Christianson.