The butcher always had signs of sweat and hard work about him. I put little colored pencil gold stars next to the ingredients I’d need from his counter. Ordering pork chops made me so goddamned nervous while simultaneously making me smile involuntarily for hours afterwards. He always tells me how nice it was to see me again, and then wreck me with that soft, irrepressible smile. Instead of telling him how beautiful he was, would he like to join me for dinner? Would he hold my hand while he toured my garden? Instead, I nervously mumble a ‘thank you’ and rush for the check stand. “Startling blue eyes and a delicate, fluffy blond beard…” I daydreamed into my journal. One day there would be a knock at my front door. He’d be standing there in a freshly laundered flannel shirt, holding a rose. He’d know I was ready to let go of all the reasons. That there would be no more running away.