A Stranger's Embrace

At first, the hug was tentative, as if I was trying it on for size. She didn’t react in the slightest. I tried a little harder, squeezed a little tighter, pulled her in a little closer. Nothing.

Being stubborn, I took her lack of reaction as a challenge. I stood back a moment and gave her a long hard look. Standing there in the gallery I hugged her. I mean I really hugged her. Slowly but surely, I put my heart and soul into that hug.

I hugged her like I hugged my teddy bear as a child in the dark night. I hugged her like I hugged my mother after I was lost and then she found me. I hugged her like I hugged my grandfather when he gave me my first pocket knife. I hugged her like I hugged Clarissa, back when lust overrode reason. I hugged her like I meant it, and I did.

Slowly at first, but with increasing urgency, she hugged me back. After what seemed like forever, but was probably only a few minutes, she stepped out of my embrace.

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