The rain has made her hair damp and she wishes she had not agreed to come with them. Walking is not a hobby of hers and finding herself lost in a wood is not the ideal way to celebrate her twenty-first birthday. Oh, her cousins assure her they know their location, but Molly herself cannot navigate out of the clearing. Soon darkness will fall along with the rain and she shall feel more alone than she has done throughout the day. Surrounding herself with cousins and friends leaves her feeling isolated and inadequate, because they have succeeded in their goals and aims and she is left with her one and only. He stands not far from her now, awkwardly avoiding his former lover. Molly had not deliberately heard the rumours, but her mother has a loud voice and a palette for gossip. All she still knows is that he and her cousin returned from France and went their separate ways. She does not care for details and now he stands five feet from her, single.
She wonders why he accepted her invitation to her birthday dinner when he no longer has an interest in her cousin. The hope surges once again and it is intoxicating, she allows it to consume her. She is no longer lost, watching him as he carefully picks his way through the undergrowth, his eyes downcast. She lingers behind, shy of someone so important to her but all the while wishing she has the courage to converse.
Suddenly he stops, and for a moment she forgets where she is. Unaware that her cousins have carried on walking, she remains with him. By his side is where she is meant to be and she does not resist it. She watches as he turns towards her, glancing over her body, hidden in long shadows. Her eyes feast on his eyes, his nose, his lips. Oh, how she has missed these forbidden moments; the reality is far more passionate than her imagination can compensate for. Her heart spasms, her slight frame shivering as they consider each other. The rain still kisses her cheeks and she closes her eyes in regret. She can reach out and touch him but she stops herself, she does not dare.
The silences stretches between them and she opens her eyes, using her right hand to peel the hair back from her face. His hair, too, is wet and darker than she has ever seen it before. Her eyes stop roaming his face and meet his eyes in the middle. This time the hope is there and staring her in the face . She does not flinch away from his gaze and in return he sees her, she is no longer invisible. He steps closer until she can feel the heat from his body. She welcomes it, though she cannot stop shivering. This moment has been awaiting for longer than Molly can count. She stopped counting a long time ago.
His hand rests on her shoulder and she has difficulty breathing; she is scared the sound of her breaths will awake him from this moment and it will be lost. She wants to close her eyes and save this feeling forever, to never forget how good he makes her feel. She cannot imagine feeling more dizzy with happiness and anticipation as she does now, as she has trouble standing in the muddy puddles. Something happens to her as he moves his hand towards her neck, and she seizes the moment before she can lose it and takes his face in her hands and kisses him.
She kisses his lips over and over again to memorise the moment, to engrave the feeling into her memory. She is not lost anymore and never will be again, because she has found him. And he has found her.