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Samantha had a great laugh. People used to tell me this, and I believe it is true. It was flirty without being a giggle and reminded me of the sound of a waterfall- it came in waves. Still, as great as that was it is not what I remember most.

Have you ever received adoration at close range? Has someone ever looked upon you with that kind of appreciation, a feeling a person cannot hide? You know the look. A child finds a long lost toy or a senior citizen is given a piece of jewelry they thought was gone forever. First there is a bright smile focused on the object, then the eyes come up and give you that flash. All those warm sparkles directed at you. It is more than thank you. It is this: I have no words to say how much this means. And no words come.

More than once I can recall sitting in a bar or a restaurant with Samantha. I would be checking out a ballgame on the TV or trying to view the imported beer on the back counter of the bar and she would be giving me those eyes . That chin in hands, sparkling eyes directed into my chest look. The first time I saw this, I stupidly asked her

"What?" .

She just smiled, blinked the look away and squeezed my hand. I never asked such a question again.

Samantha moved away when her family moved to Denver two years ago. I hate friggin' Denver with a passion now and I take great joy in rooting against any of their sport teams. It doesn't make remembering that gaze any easier.

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