Finding Each Other

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The maze had stopped being fun.  Not when we were still in sight of the entrance, when we could have beaten a hasty retreat.  Not when we could see blessed daylight heralding the end of the labyrinth.   It stopped being fun whilst we were in the centre, where finding our way back was no less mind-boggling than finding our way forward.  In fact, it was when the two were completely indistinguishable.

Surrounded by row upon row of 8 foot high green hedges, which had seemed perfectly lovely when we'd read the brochure in the hotel that morning.  Very olde worlde - a romantic tryst amidst the corridors of green, holding hands and stealing kisses unseen by nearby voices.   How deliciously adolescent.  Perfect for our long overdue ‘rediscover each other' weekend.

Of course, that was before nature's walls began to close in.  Blocking out the sky.   Their leaves sucking hungrily on our spent breath, feeding insatiably on our carbon dioxide but ceasing all production and release of life-giving oxygen. 

As Brian scanned my pale face and wild eyes for answers, his puzzled look faded, replaced for a split second by realisation and then by mild panic of his own.     The last time he'd seen this face was when we were antique shopping and a small spider on my shoulder had triggered a rather irrational arachnophobic reaction and turned $500 worth of last century crockery into mosaic pieces.  Followed by an upturned umbrella stand, one wooden giraffe and a thread-bare teddy flying through the air as I ran screaming from the spider's lair.

Now as I was trying to claw my way through the hedging, clutching handfuls of leaves and twigs, not screaming exactly but rather blubbering loudly - as those nearby voices became concerned faces and as small children startled by the hedge-eating monster began to cry - Brian did the only thing he could think of.   Seizing my shoulders, his hand was a wet fish across my face.  

I don't recall leaving the maze - I do recall those unseen voices saying "Is she alright?", "Should we call someone?" and Brian calling back "She just needs some fresh air, she'll be fine!"

The air in the gazebo is cool and plentiful.  The wet napkin on my forehead so, what's the right word, wet.   Brian was returning from the kiosk with another glass of water for me.   As the terror slowly left me, it held the door open for embarrassment to walk through and as Brian handed me the glass, I whispered "How long do you think before the hedge grows back?"   "A couple of months," came his monotone reply.

So much for our romantic tryst, I thought.  I looked at Brian apologetically "Not terribly romantic, was it?"   He just smiled that tender smile, "Are you kidding?  It was amazing."  

Such a smart arse.

Ruth Brown is a freelance Creative Writer & Voice Artist with 18 years industry experience.  Mouthin' Off Voices & Scripts works with business to ensure every piece of their client communication is not only relevant, but remarkable enough to be remembered.   Stop blending in.  Be Heard.

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