Part II: Reconnection
Despite being in contact with his friends and family for all the time he was gone, the three years’ worth of emotions overwhelmed Gale.
So much that, as soon as he had caught sight of her, he had wanted to throw his arms around Annalise’s slender, delicate body, to tell her how much he had missed having her around him and listening to that sweet, lilting sound of her voice…
But, like the gentleman that he was, he could not dishonour her that way. He would have to begin at the beginning.
He would have to court her first.
Gale had no qualms doing that. It would actually be rather easy for him, since he knew her quite well – even better than herself. He knew what she liked and what she did not.
However, the task of finding out her feelings would be rather difficult. There was no doubt she would respond to his woos in her own jovial manner, but she may not take it purely as an act of love. She was way too innocent for that.
Therefore, he would have to tread carefully.
Annalise had always been a sensitive little creature and easily frightened. He had always felt protective about her – perhaps rather overmuch – but she seemed happy enough. She always seemed grateful for everything he did and never failed to thank him every time. This had, at first, been a little embarrassing for Gale, but he had soon got over it.
And now, when he saw her again at the airport as he had exited the terminal, she had grown into a lovely young lady, although still appearing to be hiding in her shell like she did three years ago.
But at the time, she had been jollier than she seemed now…
At present, he was at home, locked up in his room after Supper, his family downstairs watching a crime show on the television. They had arrived back in town much ahead of the planned time and had thus taken him out for Lunch and a fun evening. He no doubt had a grand time, but he did have a feeling of something missing…something he was sure he was forgetting…
Just then, a little blond face with ocean-blue eyes appeared in front of him. He knew then what he had been craving for the three of the longest years of his life…
’Annalise,’ he thought as he lay on his bed now, ’how have you really been, sweetheart? Did it pain you that I was gone all this time or… Or did you find somebody to hang out with?’
A part of him guessed that she had been lonely and upset the past three years – that much her eyes had conveyed to him, the first time he had caught sight of them at the airport. And although he had been smiling and happy outside, inside his heart was tearing upon seeing the unshed tears in her eyes.
’What’s the matter, my sweet girl? Did somebody hurt you?’
Then, another thought crept into his mind and he abruptly sat up on his bed.
’Did she meet somebody else and does not want me anymore??!!’
He instantly shook such thoughts out of his mind. ’Focus, Gale,’ he chided himself. ’Never think like that! I’m sure that look meant so much more than mere rejection! There has to be something more, for sure!’
He sighed, as he realised that this was a possibility that he could venture into.
But now, he had to get some sleep, for the burden of the journey coupled with the day out had deflated him completely.
He twisted around in his position and reached above his bedside table to switch off the light overhead. In the darkness, he covered himself with his blanket and lay down, soon to fall into an exhausted sleep.