New York had a wonderful feel to it during the fall. The leaves became amazing colors, the air was chill but very pleasant. There was also a sense of serenity among all of the hustle and bustle.
So, walking through the park only made this feeling more real and yet surreal. A great place to walk your dog and have a peace a mind.
Or so, you’d think.
Sam walked her dog along the regular trail with one arm across her stomach, holding her side. Her dog Scooter, a golden retriever sniffed the ground as he walked. Wagging his tail, looking up now and then at a passing stroller. He loved kids. Sam was smiling a bit. For what she didn’t know. She only knew that the day was perfect in her mind. Quiet. Dressed in her best overcoat and hat, she felt cozy. She watched as she saw old couples walk through the park holding hands, other playing chess. Kids playing in the leaves and throwing them n the air, laughing. She could smell hot-dogs somewhere. Hear the sound of horse hooves from the carriage rides and a few people talking about Thanksgiving already. Off in the distance, more dogs. She had always let Scooter stop and socialize with other dogs while she read a book or from time to time, chatted with a local. She was taken aback when her dog stopped. His body was still as he looked intently in the direction of the other dogs. An odd thing for him to do.
“What is it boy? Bad smell?”
Scooter barked a small bark. He moved forward just a bit and barked again. In the distance another dog, seeming to be lost barked back.
“That dog over there? Well lets go see.” before she could give him the clue to proceed, Sam was yanked with all of Scooters might. Bolting forward.
“Scooter!!” She tried to stop the dog but he seemed to not care. They weaved in and out of the people ahead, “Sorry! Scooter! Sit! Stop!” She hollered. The next thing she knew she was on the ground, heaving her chest and catching her breath. Her grip was lost on the leash. Scooter could be heard in the distance with the other dog.
“Freak in’ dog. Oooow.” It was hard to move with her muscled tired from the sudden chase. She closed her eyes and laid for a moment. She heard foot steps come up to her. She looked up. There stood a man in what looked like to be slightly greased covered shirt and jeans. Construction worker maybe?
“You okay, Miss? Sorry my dog ran off on me and seems to have found your dog in the process.” he lent out his hand to help her up. Sam took it.
“Yeah. I guess. Scooters never acted that way before. He is always calm and cautious. Friendly at the most.” She stretched her back, “Thank you . . .”
“Trevor. Trevor Donnelly. Nice to meet you. Sorry again.” They shook hands.
“It’s okay, I guess. Accidents happen. I’m just glad he didn’t run after a cat. He’d be gone if that happened. He chases my cat at home all the time.” Trevor laughed.
“Could I repay you over a cup of coffee or something? I am truly sorry. I saw the whole thing. You went down hard. Took it like a linebacker.”
“Ha! having three older brothers does that to you I guess. Um. . . yeah, how about a hot-dog instead of coffee?”
“Sounds good.” Together they walked to retrieve their dogs who were playing and chasing each other. They seemed to really like each other.
“so, you a local of the area?” Trevor asked as he walked with Sam to the nearest hot-dog stand.
“Yeah, I grew up here. Actually since the age of seven. My parents moved here with me and my brothers from upstate. I fell in love with the people. Despite what others said, they’re pretty nice. Trevor listened as he walked. They walked in silence for the longest time. Nothing was said. Just them and the dogs who licked each other from time to time. Trevor looked at Sam, smiled and went back to looking forward. Sam smiled back. It was awkward way to meet someone. Not saying a word, walking in one of the most wonderful parks in the US. The older folk seemed to beam at them when they walked past. Holding even more closer to each other in loving embrace. As if they were happy to see young people enjoying a peaceful moment together. Words never had to be spoken when two people knew each other well enough to not say anything. But Sam didn’t know Trevor. She felt she didn’t need to. He was rugged. scruffy short brown hair and a two o’clock shadow that brought a gentle demeanor to his smile. he was tall, well built. Pale green eyes. Sam felt embarrassed a bit to be next to him. Something about him made her blush. She’d never expected to meet someone in the park. Years of coming her and she’d never felt an attraction to anyone that she’d met. She ‘d never felt so comfortable in the quietness of another’s company.
Trevor finally spoke, “I, uh, was wondering what your name was.”
Sam turned beat red, “Oh, I am so sorry. Where are my manners?”She stuck out her hand, “Samantha Grace. Sam.” He smiled and shook her hand, “Nice to meet you Sam of New York.” They seemed to shake hands for a moment longer. The dogs had stopped and laid on the ground huddled together. Paw over paw. Trevor and Sam didn’t let go of each others hand hands. They just looked at each other. Smiling.
“Well, I better get going. It was nice to meet you and thank you for sharing the walk.” Sam remarked.
“Never a better walk. Or food for that matter.” Trevor retorted. Sam slowly backed away, pulling Scooter with her. Trevor waved. Sam turned. Gleaming. She was a short ways away when Trevor called to her.
“Miss Grace?!” Sam turned.
“Would it be okay to get your phone number? Maybe we can . . . go out sometime?” He blushed, rubbing the back of his neck. His dog perked up at the offer. So did Scooter.
“I’d like that. ” Sam walked over and gave Trevor her number. He gave her his. The smiled at each other again.
“Thank you,” said Trevor.
They began to walk away from each other. A small breeze blew through the leaves. Two pieces of paper floated in the air from the back pockets of the man and the woman. Both dogs barked. Neither person paid attention and kept on walking. Smiling at how wonderful they day was.
Only, in the fall. Only in New york.