Through the Black Door

She was often disappointed.

With the endings of films, with her relationships and all of their lackluster trimmings, and most often with herself. Yet this one shining moment, against all odds, was not to be filed away with the cancelled plans and regrettable plot twists.  

The door opened with the attitude of a student who has missed a week’s worth of classes- slowly and awkwardly, but then with an added burst of adrenaline. It seemed it may part from its hinges and have a walk in the garden if not tended more carefully. Such odd thoughts, she admonished herself, as she at last noticed the man behind the black door.  

He was of a height with the boys she had run into at the motel, but without their bulk and conceit. Like the house he stood within, he dressed absent of color- meticulously clad in a charcoal gray long-sleeved thermal and black jeans. For someone who had been unexpectedly roused from his musings and goings on, he appeared curiously well put together, as if he had been waiting for a visitor such as herself. Denver took in the whole of his face- jet black hair that ran in controlled rivulets away from his olive skin, a small but arresting scar on his left cheek, and his emerald green eyes, the one indulgence of color his persona begrudgingly allowed. For a few moments- absorbing the allure of this strange yet entrancing individual- Denver failed to realize he was also making an assessment of her, yet his was far more concrete and less poetic.  

“I’m sorry- Can I help you?” 

Ripped from her reverie by the direct yet not unkind inquiry, she returned to the plane of reality.

“My apologies. I’ve been driving all day. . . and then I came upon your orchids.”

She stopped there uncertain of what to say next and aware of a slight downward curve of the man’s mouth and lowering of his eyes at the mention of the flowers. Perhaps she was the last of a dozen or so travelers who had interrupted his concentration to inquire about their beauty and origin. Surely she wasn’t the only one who had been arrested by the vivacity and freedom of these flowers, almost never glimpsed outside the confines of a solitary pot, apathetically adorning a desk or coffee table.  

But before she could follow her regret down any other theoretical rabbit holes, the man spoke with earnest enthusiasm: “Of course- Welcome to Preservation. Come on in and let me get you some tea.” 

Under normal circumstances, she would have politely declined this stranger’s invitation and retreated to the relative safety of her vehicle. Yet, these were not normal circumstances and so she thanked the man and followed him through the black door.

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