They were, unequivocally, both crazy. He, with his temper and his absolute refusal to do what someone might call plant roots. She, with her strange, new world mentality and the attitude that she is always two steps behind. A runner, and a chaser. Logically, a match made in Heaven. But, philosophically and in practice, a match made in Hell. Still, somehow, they endured.
His attitude stemmed from his upbringing, as most attitudes do. His father was, somewhat unnaturally, a purposeful journeyman. His mother, a foreign expatriate who came to America out of boredom. Quite obviously, his world perspective was no accident.
Her upbringing was far different. She came from a large, close-knit family. Even though she, too, was raised purposefully as an outcast, she never seemed to notice. It was merely her role in the clan, and that was how she saw it. Leaving her home never even crossed her mind.
Having one never even crossed his.
And then they met.
By pure chance, his vagabond nature had brought him to her. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the smile, of the kind that lights up an entire room, that would forever change his life.
He was tentative in approaching her, and reflexively relied on his training to stalk and to spy on her, wanting to learn everything he could about her before he would speak to her. She was, he found, sad in ways that few ever experience. She blamed it on the people in her life and their actions, both voluntary and involuntary. Friends, family, and lovers were both there for her and had abandoned her. At least that's how she saw things.
To him, she simply didn't realize the disease that was incubating in her heart. The disease that is the desire to wander, to travel, to experience the world that one suspects exists beyond one's own perceptions, but expects to never see.
And so, despite several warnings, personal and professional, he took her with him.
At first she was hesitant. Scared of the sky, the sea, and the places beyond the horizons she grew up staring at. But the disease strengthened, and it became chronic, a permanent fixture of her psyche. She soon loved floating on the wind, experiencing new people and places, and all of the inhibitions her family instilled in her fell by the wayside, perhaps with a hint of guilt.
It was this guilt that prompted her to question where she was going; what she was doing. There was no plan, after all. She merely traveled with her new lover, who was, fundamentally, a stranger to her. A stranger in a strange land, led by a stranger from a strange land.
Her life with him was accompanied by meetings with mysterious people, his so-called friends and family. Behind his back, she would sift through his things and would often learn obscure facts about the histories and cultures of various regions of the world. She questioned where and why he learned what he learned, and knew what he knew. His answer was always the same. He liked to read.
It was a psychological dance. Her desire to know everything about him, and his necessity to keep things a secret. Often he would feed her clues. Hints and clues of who and what he was. But this only served to infuriate her. She wanted to know the truth. Only an angel would show the world to someone without expecting anything in return. But he did not believe in angels.
Ultimately, she adopted his secretive nature in an attempt to learn more about him. She asked questions she should not have asked, to people she should not have questioned. Frustratingly, the answers she received only led to more mystery, and the dance increased in tempo and ferocity.
Growing tired and sick of the mystery, she abandoned her attachment to him. This time, having already abandoned her own roots, it was easy to her. For now she knew what was hidden beyond the horizon.
And he watched. Watched as she moved through his body and away from his secrets. At once, he was happy for her and sad for himself. She had grown past all expectation, and the world was hers for the taking. A world he had meticulously influenced to protect those he loved, especially her.
Yes, she would flourish. And he would continue to watch.
He would follow.
Only now it would be he whom was two steps behind. The silhouette of his gypsy dancing on the horizon, ready for whatever else the world had to offer her.