The Woman With Her Kite

Sunday morning dawned sunny and warm. I went out to the porch with my coffee and sat to look at the old park across the road. Huge, ancient maple trees dotted the broad, grassy clearing in the centre. Further along, there were the high fences of the tennis courts, and a children’s play area.

I finished my coffee and took the empty mug into the small kitchen. When I went back to my chair on the porch, a woman had appeared in the park. She had a large kite, and she was trying to get it up into the morning breeze. She was too far away for me to see just what she looked like, but I could see that she was very tall and slim. She moved like she was an athlete or a dancer. I went down to the street and across to the park

I sat in the sun on a bench that faced the clear area where the woman was working with her big, red kite. She was getting frustrated. Frankly, so was I, watching her try repeatedly to get the kite to fly. It just flopped along on the grass, while the woman ran across the clearing in vain. I stood up and took a step toward the kite.

“Perhaps I can help,” I said.

“I don’t want no help,” she said, in what was almost a snarl. I stepped back and sat down again. I’m an average sized man, about five-foot-eight, and the woman was considerably taller than I am. I didn’t want to antagonize her. She looked tough and sounded tougher. I watched for a while longer as she helplessly laboured with her kite. After another half hour, she was clearly dejected as she walked over and sat on the other end of the bench.

“Would you like a cold drink, or coffee or something,” I said. She was sweating and breathing heavily. She looked at me with hard eyes. I could see, now that she was close, that she was perhaps in her thirties, and had suffered some hard times. Her face was attractive, although somewhat lined and stern.

“Coffee would be great,” she said, perking up a bit. He voice was softer, but still tough.

“I live just over there,” I said. “Bring your kite. You can sit and relax on the porch while I start up a fresh pot of coffee.” I strode briskly away to my place without looking back. Once on my porch, I glanced back to see that she had rolled up her kite string and was following me, with her large, red kite carried like a warrior’s shield in front of her. I decided to think of her as a warrior

I was setting up the coffee maker when I heard her behind me. She stood in the kitchen doorway and leaned on the door frame.

“Why did you offer to help me?” she said.

“Because you were trying so hard, and failing,” I said. “You were trying to do alone what is really a two person job.”

“Nobody has ever offered to help me before,” she said.

“What, to fly a kite?” I said. “How do you take your coffee?”

“Black,” she said. She went back to the porch. I followed soon after, with two mugs of black coffee. We sat together in silence for a while, until she turned to me.

“May I stay with you tonight?” she said. I didn’t expect that, and I was wary of the situation. The woman was a stranger; she was bigger than me, and in much better physical condition.

“Why?” I said.

“You might not believe this,” she said, “but your offer of help was something I’ve almost never heard before.”

“That’s difficult to believe,” I said.

“I’m not often around people like you,” she said. She looked into my eyes. “I want to see what it’s like to be held, gently.”

“You’re bigger than I am,” I said. “Do you think I can give you what you seek?”

She stayed the night. I taught her gentleness, with caresses and kisses in special places. I made us Eggs Benedict in the morning. We kissed goodbye, although I was uncomfortable that a woman had to bend down to kiss me. She left, and I’ve never seen her again. I don’t know her name, and she doesn’t know my name. However, the big, red kite is still here. Perhaps she’ll return for it someday.

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