"So what were you thinking, when you decided to send that picture to me?" I ask.
We've been on the phone for an hour, before I finally ask this question. But it's a question that's been on my mind since she sent it.
It was for my birthday, part of a package she'd sent that arrived right on the day. When I opened it, and saw the 3x5 silver and black frame, holding the photo of her I'd first seen on the dating site, the one I'd raved (in my quiet way) about, I was deeply touched.
She's quiet for a moment or two, and then she says, carefully, "Well, I knew you liked books. Actual books. I knew that you appreciated tangible things. Things you can see, and hold, and have before you. And I knew you liked that photo, so I thought if I gave you something tangible, you would appreciate that. I just thought that was something you would appreciate."
This is a thoughtful woman, this woman who hears what I say, who pays close attention to who and what I am, to the things that make me, me. She pays closer attention to these things than anyone I have known, closer attention than I (sometimes) think I do myself. And that's saying something.
That framed photo sits on my desk now, just to my right, at the base of my lamp. I couldn't tell you how many times through the course of a day I look at it. How, when I do look at it, I am reminded of how fortunate I am, to have stumbled upon someone who not only has my best interests at heart, but who has me, just me, at heart.
It's a new thing, a novel thing. Which sounds almost sad.
But isn't sad at all.