Love impassioned is a delight and wonder. That this can hold the heart and soul in its essence of not knowing, yet knowing, all there is to know. Thus, begins a story of once upon a time…
She strolled through the airport, baggage in tow. Most of the seats were taken except one, it was at the end of the row of the connected seats. Making it convenient for the luggage to be next to her. Of course asking for it was a particularly nice validation of manifesting her intent.
With a big sigh and smile to the person seated next to her, she settled in. She pulled out a book to read, but knew immediately it was not going to be a comfort. There was too much simulation as well as distractions. The area was a buzz of activity and she was more interested in observing the people. Children ran around, while their parents tried to remain calm. Babies cried as others were being changed. Grandparents chuckled at the bustle of the parents’ anxiety. Young lovers excited for their exotic honeymoon and business men readying for their next meeting on laptop computers.
As she glanced the expansive waiting-gate area, her eyes rested upon a mysterious stranger seated in a corner. Sunglasses cloaked him which peeked her interest. He was next to a window, she figured he was staring at the airplanes maneuver and the bustle of personnel down below. What she did not know was he had been waiting for her.
HL Mann did consider himself intriguing. But really this was because he was so intrigued by life. He understood that life was magic, that he had control over his destiny. Not by force, but by the acceptance of it all. Things flowed, as water down a stream. Synchronicities led him after he allowed his intent to be known. As such, he imagined this woman for quite some time. He didn’t know what she would look like, but he knew he would know her when she appeared. His concern was, would she know?
Mann continued to what appeared to stare out the window, actually he was watching her through the reflection. She was incredible, her stature that expressed an essence of refinement. Her beauty was not of a beautiful model-type but of joy; lovely to look at and very pleasing to the eye.
He often wondered how he knew when he knew. These manifestations were so common now. Yet when it came to his most desired quest, he still could be happily astounded. And today was the biggest. HL Mann had finally come in contact with his true love. Now, what was he going to do about it?
Emma tried not to stare at him. Her eyes continued to circulate around the room, but the more she tried not to look at him of course she did. Soon this became more difficult, so she decided to get up, took her purse and rolled her bag to the restroom. Stepping just inside, she stood at a wall and wondered why she was so agitated. Women began streaming in, she needed privacy so she went into a stall. She stood still and reminded herself to breathe.
Calmed and feeling a bit more assured, she walked to the sink and put a cold towel to her face. She looked in the mirror and when she saw her reflection, she knew. He was here. That man is him. Emma smiled with a content confidence. She walked out to meet her match. This was what she was waiting for, for such a very long time. Now, how would it all unfold?
He watched her leave and tried not to intensify his emotions. He shifted in his seat and decided to pull out the newspaper, which allowed him the privacy to think from turning eyes. He was always aware he was being watched. His career had forever been in front of a camera and the public. People recognized him everywhere he went. It was difficult to blend in. But it didn’t matter because he was distracted for his attention kept waiting for her return, which seemed an eternity.
In a moment, he had a plan. He got up and strolled over to the ticket booth. He made some inquiries and then went back to his seat to gather his belongings. As he made his way toward the gate, he went out of his way to make sure he walked past her as she had just come back to her seat. He acknowledged her with a tilt of his head and a slight smile. He was quite pleased with himself when he saw her chagrin in his leaving. Calls were being made and wheels were moving. Mann strode to the airplane with a deliverance of satisfaction.
The airline attendant showed him to his first class seat. He stowed his bag and sat in the isle seat. Passengers began to file in, when suddenly there she was. He stood up to greet her, he took off his sunglasses and put out his hand for hers.
“How do you do? My name is HL Mann. Will you join me?”
Emma was caught off guard and didn’t have a third hand to shake his. Instead he took her bag and put it in the overhead compartment. She tried to protest, but a bully of a man began to push her from behind and grumbled about her getting to her seat. Emma turned on him and asked him for a moment. He laughed in her face with a growl of alcohol-breath and spittle, then literally placed her in the isle seat.
Meanwhile, Mann had stood behind the seat as the fellow stumbled his way down the aisle. And people filled the area for a few more moments. Soon there was a break in the procession, Emma stood up to get her bag. Mann met her hand at the luggage and she instantly pulled away.
“I don’t bite, please sit with me.” He smiled, trying to lighten her perturbation.
“Look.” She pointedly said, “I don’t know what you are trying to do, but this is not my seat and I so do not wish to be bullied again.”
“I am sorry for that man’s behavior. He was obviously drunk…what? You don’t think I had anything to do with that, do you?”
“This whole incident appears quite staged.” She accused and started for her bag once more.
He again met her hand at the bag and asked in a quiet tone. “Please stay, I’d like to speak with you.” Her expression did not change so he added, “at least until the people stop coming in?”
They were lined up behind them. She nodded and he ushered her to the window seat. Emma sat in silence, composing herself. She was still reeling by all of what just happened.
“My name is HL Mann. I’ve looked forward to meeting you!” He announced in his most charming way.
“Excuse me? Why would you say that?” She contested.
“Look, I would like to explain. I’m afraid I have not made my intent clear or…”
Emma didn’t give him a chance to finish his plea. Her hand came up to interrupt him. By now her expression had turned to amazement, exasperation and then, gall.
These sudden actions had him taken aback. And then it happened, Mann had seen in her eyes what he always felt he would when he’d look into the eyes of the woman of his dreams. And that’s exactly what made him confused. He had been looking for her and for such a long time. He wondered if it would really happen. He tried to be patient with the timing of it all. Miracles happen, he would say. This was his attempt to convince himself to believe and curb the anxiety of waiting for her. But with her here with him, now what?
He had made such a fine life for himself. But nothing prepared him for this. Asking for what you truly desire and then to be facing her. He was so taken that he was flustered and could hardly speak. Him, Hugh Lindy Mann, the star and popular ball player, winning coach, turned dynamic speaker, never at a loss of words. Whether diplomatic and calm or defiant and loud, whatever the situation demanded, he was able and ready to manage. Until this moment, as he stared in the golden pools of light dancing in her eyes. He was absolutely stunned.
A flight attendant came over the loud speaker, she was beginning her demonstration and readying the passengers for take-off. This provided a reprieve for them both. Until, Emma realized she wasn’t in her correct seat. She began to get up, when he put his hand lightly on her arm.
He whispered. “Please don’t go.”
“I need to get to my seat.” She commanded, still shaken and stood up.
Just then another attendant came over and asked her to sit down.
“This is not my seat. We are getting ready for take-off and I must get back to my assigned seat.” Raising her voice.
“This is your new assigned seat. We upgraded your ticket due to the fact this flight is overbooked. Please relax and I will bring you refreshments as soon as we’re in the air. If you will give me your ticket, I will be sure to change the airline manifest.” With this, the tall uniformed gentleman graciously awaited for the paperwork and was off.
She had to sit down to retrieve her ticket to give to him. Then settled in the seat with an exaggerated sigh and began to buckle her seat belt. Mann did not say a word but looked down at his hands. He was happy that circumstance kept her there, but he was conflicted with his own emotions. Let alone he set up the whole scenario. The two were quiet while the attendant continued her flight precautions. Soon the plane was in the air.
Emma tried not to look at Hugh, but her curiosity got the best of her. She noticed his inner turmoil and couldn’t help smile. He smiled back at her and immediately felt at ease again.
Stuart, their flight attendant, brought back her airline ticket and asked. “What may I offer you two in the way of refreshments?” Looking at both of them then settling on Emma for her response first.
“The same. Thank you.” Hugh replied.
Hugh turned to Emma and asked her name.
She laughed at the irony of it all.
“What’s so funny?” He queried and chuckled, catching the contagiousness of her laugh.
“I think it’s funny that after all that’s happened, you do not know my name! I am Emma Hennessy.” She put her hand out for him to shake.
Mann took her hand, clasped on lightly enough to not hurt her, yet firm enough to make it a good hand-shake. “How do you do, Emma Hennessy? I am very pleased to meet you.” Under his breath he whispered not wishing to make her uncomfortable, more than you know. He found it odd he was being so careful with what he said to her.
“What did you say?” She asked with an impish grin.
“I am pleased to meet you.” He repeated.
“No, under your breath?” She quizzed him.
“Uh, well…I,” he stuttered. “It’s just that I don’t want to make you uncomfortable again. I seem to say things that affect you with displeasure. And I certainly do not want you to run away.” Trying to save himself from the apparent ill timing of himself with her.
“First off Mr. Mann, I am strapped in this seat. Eagerly looking forward to my champagne. Second, I take it you are considered a smooth talker?” Now she was challenging him. She knew she was moving into dangerous territory. But this is what she had been waiting for. The déjà vu of this whole incident. Emma was questioning herself. How could she be so threatened by this man and then able to turn the table on him? Her emotions bounced from one extreme to another. She breathed and reminded herself that this is the present moment and its just part of the total experience. And that she did ask for the meeting of her higher love man, so she decided to take the responsibility of the situation.
Champagne was delivered with a handsome fruit and cheese display. Emma was finally feeling at ease and playful. Remember this is a game…take it one step at a time…let each moment be…see what happens…breathe and relax. She continued repeating the mantras in her head.
He tried to be witty but found he was unable to respond. So he placed his best sheepish grin.
Emma held up her glass for a toast and declared. “Here’s to being diagonally parked in a parallel universe!” With that she smiled brightly and took a sip of her sparkly. She never let his eyes go.
Hugh realized then why he had these erratic emotions; he had met his match. He sipped from his glass, returned a slight smile, yet he was still speechless.
She giggled at his expression and explained. “I read that quote somewhere. It occurred to me that it is perfect for this moment. This is all rather funny don’t you think? The return of it all.” With that she was quiet and quite pleased with herself.
But for him, the word “return” hovered in the air. He watched her carving the cheese and pop a grape in her mouth. Then she held up a strawberry, inspected it thoroughly before dropping it in her champagne glass.
He smiled at this simple gesture. Indeed he was returning to a pure time when his mother would do that same thing out on the lawn. She too would inspect the berry in such a way that made it honored to be chosen for her sparkling. Because ultimately it would be cherished within her, she would say. She taught him long ago, that all was a cherished moment. And now this woman that made such a gesture, reminded him of all that he had almost forgotten.
All the fame, money and public appearances do not fulfill the simple joy of endeared moments such as these. Emma offered him a cracker, after she delicately placed a piece of cheese upon it. He accepted with a nod of gratitude. She watched him as she took another sip of her drink. He looked up, met her eyes and glass. They toasted in silence for a truce. And love.