"You've never been to the zoo?" Alex looked at Sammi surprised.
She shook her head, no. It was a bright spring day. Kids were everywhere with parents and grandparents. It was nothing like the college campus.
"You just said to wear comfortable shoes." And she did. Jeans, too. Her top was light weight and airy. But she hadn't brought sun screen, which he had. And an old bucket hat to keep the sun off while exploring she guessed.
"Yeah, you do like to walk, don't you?" He edged a smile out of her. "We'll take the train, OK?"
That sounded great. So as soon as it rolled in, to the shade, he found them, the last seat. As it was, there was a rush of little ones getting on, up front. He put his arm around her, ever so effortlessly. As if they did this all the time.
Sammi smiled. This was calm and nice, and Alex was so good.
"We used to go every Sunday afternoon during the summer when I was growing up." Alex told her.
"Really." She felt the coolness of spring hit her face. It was almost chilly. She found herself even closer to Alex, who smelled of cinnamon and fondly of oatmeal. Warm oatmeal cookies, she thought.
"Oh, yeah, my Dad loved the zoo." Alex's confident smile made her want to smile more. "He'd bring bread to feed the ducks." So that's what that bag of crumbs were for, Sammi was a little worried it might be lunch. Soon enough, they made it to the ape house. It was a new exhibit.
"I love what they've done." Alex told her. "Before, it was just so human. I mean, there was just a rocking chair for this old ape, and he'd stare at you so angry. He was so trapped. I mean, it could have been worse. They could have had him out in the sun on a harsh cement floor getting skin cancer." Now there were places for the apes to go, inside and out side. It was a small tribe.
Alex spotted the baby then. It was feeding itself under the vegetation. Sammi observed, but really, she wanted to watch Alex. Perhaps it was his appreciation that she adored.
They went to the butterfly house next. And Sammi felt at ease with him. He knew the way, and she followed. It wasn't long until they were holding hands. She was shocked how comfortable this was. The feel of his warm palm in hers. And he always seemed to point out the unusual life around them. Sammi felt as if she'd been waiting for something like this to happen for a long time.
They stopped at the bridge then. He opened the bag. Oh, this really wasn't about feeding the ducks at all. But to watch the water come to life with the orange fish below. They swirled about, making new dimensions as she tossed the crumbs below.
Sammi started to laugh as she watched. Seriously, there was a lot going on in this world..she'd over looked until now.