January 9th, 1989

January 9th, 1989
Orlando, Florida
Miriam & Hank’s condo

Must stop eating chocolate chip cookies! I usually cycle down to see my pal Winn Dixie, but today I didn’t even get that slight bit of exercise, because I arrived for my cookie fix, by car.

When Gabriel was bringing me back to Miriam’s this afternoon, we stopped at the pharmacy first so I could collect the pictures I just had developed. Most of them came out pretty good, which is surprising, because I usually only get a few good ones from a twenty-four exposure.

We walked (that’s exercise) from the pharmacy to Winnie’s (not really that much exercise, considering the shops were right next door to each other.) Gabriel asked what I needed “in the grocery store,” and laughed when I said, “just follow me.”

Much to my delight, Gabriel didn’t shy away from the scrumptious, giant chocolate chip cookies, and we bought half a dozen of them (slightly excessive.)

In the car, while Gabriel was driving us to Miriam’s, I fed him ample sized pieces, and in between mouthfuls, he agreed that they are, by far, the best chocolate chip cookies he’s ever had. I knew it wasn’t just me. I warned Gabriel that we’d have to keep our stash hidden from Carol, as she has to stay on track with her diet.

Miriam made us tea, and asked Gabriel a bunch of questions about his college courses, and about the place where he lives in California. Miriam has known Gabriel since he was a little boy, and it was obvious that she’s very fond of him.

Gabriel and I went for a walk around the condo complex, then we sat by the pool for a little while, but the clock was ticking, and I knew it was almost time to say goodbye. As we were walking back to Miriam’s, Gabriel asked, “are you sure you don’t wanna come to my parents’ for dinner?”
“It’s your last night here. I think you should spend it with your family.”
“I guess you’re right.”
“How long is your flight tomorrow?”
“I don’t know, I have a connection in Cincinatti.”
I laughed. “Where on earth is that?”
“Ohio.”
“I wonder if BA fly there,” I wondered, out loud.

For the next few minutes, we didn’t speak, but when we reached Miriam’s driveway, Gabriel said, “well, I guess this is it.”
“I hope you have a nice flight, I mean, flights, home tomorrow.”
“I hate flying,” he said.
“You do?”
“Yeah, it sucks. I hate being confined like that.”
“I obviously don’t feel the same.”
He laughed. That lovely smile again.
“Gimme a hug,” he said, opening his arms to me. I put my arms around him, and returned his squeeze.
“I don’t wanna get mushy, but I’ve had an awesome time with you.”
“And I’ve had a fantastic time with you,” I said, into his chest. “Thanks for taking me all over the place.” I felt the lump forming in my throat, and had to choke it back.
“Goodbye’s suck,” he said.
“Then let’s say see you later.”
“Not yet,” he said, smiling. “I gotta kiss you.”
“We’re in public,” I stated, looking around, seeing no one.
“Yeah, and the club where we kissed on New Year’s Eve was empty.”
Before I could say another word, he kissed me. And I kissed him right back.

As Gabriel was getting into the car, he said, “good luck with your new job, you’ll be awesome. And good luck with Ben. I hope that guy gets a clue.”
I laughed at the way he said it.
“Good luck with Maria,” I said, closing his door. I wanted to say something about picking up earplugs on his way home, but I refrained.

Gabriel rolled the window down, and I leaned in, and gave him one last kiss.
“Peace,” he said.
“Peace.”
He smiled, and made the peace sign with his fingers. I did the same, and held the gesture while he drove away. At the end of the street, Gabriel’s peace sign disappeared, and I heard the horn beep.

I’m dying for some chocolate. I asked Donna if she could bring some home after her night out with Double R, but she’s still not back, and I’m fading fast.

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