Although I could see that Forrest liked me, he was always a perfect gentleman. I felt safe in his company being as tall as he was.
One day I was putting the abstract pattern bedspread on Forrest’s bed after changing sheets and opened the blue curtains in the windows to let the sunshine in. He’d be back from work soon.
We looked forward to our talks at the end of the day. The bulk of the daytime was kind of boring with him working and me doing housework and odds and ends online, although I was sure to take walks regularly to get fresh air and exercise. But because the days tended to pass by slowly, we looked forward to the evenings together.
I trudged into the living room and walked up to the bay window. Someone rode by on a bike down below and I wondered how I would stand to go out walking during the winter.
I gazed down at the cute fenced-in little green lawn below, speckled with a few colorful flowers that were now blooming. Tulips, daffodils and roses, mostly. I then pictured it full of nothing but snow and cringed. Just the thought sent shivers throughout me.
The slow and often boring weeks made the weekends even more fun and something to definitely look forward to. We usually went out together be it to someone Forrest knew, stores or just cruising around. We also hit the beaches and even went to the fair once or twice. Because I had come to the country with so little, Forrest helped me get some new things I wanted like warmer clothes and shoes and even some things I didn’t need like nail polish.
Little by little, we learned things about each other during their chats. Forrest’s parents split when he was young and he hadn’t seen his father since he was barely old enough to remember. I met his mother a few times and she seemed okay. No one that made a great impression on you but no one that made you uncomfortable either.
Forrest wouldn’t talk much about past relationships and I didn’t press him on the matter because whenever I did steer the conversation in that direction, he would deflect rather quickly so I assumed he had been unlucky in love.
As much as I liked Forrest and enjoyed hanging out with him, sometimes even lying next to him in his bed while we chatted, I wasn’t sure I could imagine us together. I had a feeling he would be up for it if I expressed a desire for a real relationship, but I wasn’t sure I ever would be. Was it him or was it just me? I wasn’t sure but I had a feeling it was likely me. I had had first best, so why replace it with second?
Sometimes, when I was alone during the daytime, I would find myself remembering and missing Greg to the point of tears.
What was important in present times was that Forrest and I got along well despite our differences. Maybe it was being so different that kept things as interesting as they were. He would have fun laughing when he would crank up those god-awful heavy metal and hard rock bands he loves so much, and I would run out of the room with my hands over my ears.
And then he would happily feign falling asleep when I would put on something more mellow.
With very few things in common, we got to learn about things we weren’t as familiar with. I even learned some things from Guinevere, the landlady, as well, that I visited a few times a week at her insistence. The thing that made me most curious was a reference to Forrest having a “dodgy record” as a youngster. I wondered about this but the aging yet seemingly fit woman wouldn’t elaborate and I didn’t want to push the matter. I also didn’t want to bring it up to Forrest because I didn’t want to come off as a gossiper. For all I knew, he wouldn’t like her mentioning things to me and the last thing I wanted to do was make waves between them.
For now, he treated me well, we got along, and I was content to leave it at that despite my curiosity. I had no immediate plans to venture out on my own, in or out of Norway, since we helped each other out both with finances and household chores on top of keeping each other company.
I heard him blast in on the motorcycle which I wouldn’t dare go on even though he made plenty of offers with a wide impish grin. Moving toward the stairwell, I looked down at the door waiting for his approach. I could see through the glass in the door easily because there was no curtain or blinds. There really wasn’t any need for privacy there because anyone looking through it would only see the wall at the top of the stairs. You couldn’t see into any of the rooms from down below. Even when the bay window was open at night, all anyone looking up would see was the living room’s ceiling.
Finally, the door flung open and he charged up the stairs two at a time, a grin on his face.
“Get packing,” he said happily. “We’re heading to Thailand first thing in the morning.”