glass pen

A few weeks after I met her, before we started dating, my girlfriend went to Italy. It was just before my birthday and I told her she had to get me something--jokingly, but when she came back, we went out to dinner with a group of friends. When the others had dispersed I offered to drive her home, since it was on the way. When we were alone she gave me a beautiful blown glass pen, a leather-bound notebook, and an inkwell filled with red ink. My first attempts at using it were sloppy, but I really, truly loved her gift.

We both ended up moving to Seattle, separately. I had little actual use for a novelty pen, so I kept it in a box above my computer--a constant reminder, if I ever remembered it was there. She never asked about it, of course. It's possible she forgot, too. It might have been nothing. We met for coffee and dinner countless times since then. Most of the conversations have since faded into the simple memory that I enjoyed every minute with her. Sometimes I'd come home and admire the pen, occasionally write a little in the notebook she'd given me--then keep them safe for the time when I might need it.

I didn't plan out my move across the country. I bought her a leather-bound notebook, which she tells me she wrote a lot in and left at a rest area somewhere between Seattle and Moses Lake, made up a weak excuse and promised we'd keep in touch--we didn't really. Somewhere between packing up to leave and moving, I must have left the pen in storage, or lost it somewhere--when I arrived it was nowhere to be found, but I didn't realize it until my return visit, when we promised to keep in touch and actually, really did.

Then came this weekend, when I'd fallen ill with the flu just as she arrived with the excuse of visiting colleges, and we spent the days before she left just talking like we used to, and I told her I'd lost her pen, and she laughed and stopped just shy of kissing me--and she told me we could find other treasures.

Her flight left in the morning despite the snow.

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