The way she was remembering it, it started out with a long conversation with his brother. It was an easy exchange, he seemed open and relaxed. There was only one thing that, both now and even then at the time, seemed strange. There was never any mention of "T". I mean he knew they were friends, she had known his brother "T" for years. Actually he did say one thing, he said "T mentioned you were very good." She looked at him and smiled. Whatever that meant and whatever "T" meant by saying it was something she felt was better not discussed. "T" always had a way of saying things that, if you tried to figure out what was meant, you would wind up getting yourself into trouble. She had learned some of this the hard way, and still there were times when she would forget...but this time she remembered and just smiled.
His brother's manner was friendly and they moved easily from one subject to another as the evening wore on, it grew late and they lost track of time. She assumed "T" was in the other room, asleep. He apparently was not interested in this kind of idle conversation, as he would have called it.
Later, exactly when, she could not remember...it may have been late that night or sometime the next day, time is never precise in these situations, "T" came into the room. Was it the bedroom, or the kitchen?...for some reason she couldn't tell and as it turned out it didn't matter.
She had not actually ever seen him before, but there he was standing in the doorway. He just looked at her, half staring, half in a way that seemed to be studying. His face showed no emotion, he wasn't happy to see her, and not unhappy...he just seemed...well, anyway, she was not surprised at his non-reaction to their meeting.
His hair was dark and his face more thin than round. What caught her attention was the overcoat he was wearing, it seemed to say everything about him. It was dark, not black, but a dark kind of waxy brown, and it was long, falling almost to his ankles. It looked like one of those "outback" foul weather coats, the kind that is built to fit over a saddle and keep the riders legs dry in heavy weather. The collar was about half way turned up, hiding his face just slightly.
There was a familiar darkness about his image. Dark, not in a foreboding way but, in the unsharp, smooth, familiar way of soft worn edges. Dark in the sense of depth, without reflection.
Neither of them said anything, which even though it sounds so, was not strange, but actually the way she expected it to be. She waited for the nod and with it perhaps a sort of half smile, but instead he took a step towards her, and her impulse was to extend her hand to him...was that going to be the greeting? Would they smile at each other and shake hands? As she stood, waiting, she realized that he was extending both of his arms to her.
She remembers the embrace, but the only sensation was that of her cheek against his...it was as if that was the only contact between them. Then, she thought, with more careful recall, that there was one other sensation, the feeling of her own breath as it glanced off his cheek and was reflected back to her by the stiff collar.
So, although there was a sense of that not being all there was, it was all there was for just then, all that her mind would produce for her...this vignette, this glimpse...that's how it often happens with these stories of the night, these never-real, made-up tales that the mind tells itself...these dreams.