A/N: I just started this last night, so don't expect updates too fast. I really like the story so far though, so I will continue. Please read and review (if you didn't like it, please still review, just tell me what was wrong with it). Suggestions and corrections are very welcome, as well as loving praise.

Thx,
RLB


Jaqui Eclaire Medlevere was the most intelligent, beautiful, amazing person I'd ever met. I loved her and she knew it.

She always said that too many people live life in memories. She was different, of course. She lived life in the moment, in the future even. Tomorrow was her favorite day. I, on the other hand, was one of those too many people. Anytime I let it go, and that seems like all the time nowadays, my mind wanders to her. It revels in the laughter, the love, the life that was Jaqui. Look at me now. Here I am, thinking about how much I think about her. Absurd, really, but what is love if not absurd?

We met in a park in the fall. The leaves were dropping their green and the magnificent crimsons, goldenrods, and coppers took reign like a chariot of fire. I was on a vacation of sorts. It wasn't of my own choosing, I simply wasn't finding anyone to publish my work. I'd decided to take a break. She was there because, well, she felt like it. Jaqui never had a reason for doing anything, nor did she need one.

I walked along the leaf-ridden sidewalk, trying to take in the beauty of the park and forget my everyday troubles. She was lounging on a splintered old bench reading the New York Times. Upside down.

Her dark blonde hair was somewhat pulled back into a ponytail, but much of it had escaped. About an inch near the front was vibrant purple.

She startled me when she spoke, "What, do I look like an art display to you? There's a museum two blocks north if you want that, or a strip club two more blocks past that if you're into it."

I smiled, but said nothing.

"That was your first smile of the day, wasn't it?" She smirked, "And it's already past lunch. What were you thinking not smiling 'til now? You know, once you learn, it's easy to spot the first smile in someone's day."

I pointed to the bench where her feet rested, "Mind if I sit?"

"Well I don't mind, do you? I mean, these boots aren't the most comfortable sitting cushions." She drew her feet in towards her a little, making a small space for me to sit.

"Berret Case," I extended my hand. "I'm a freelance journalist."

She shook politely, "Jaqui Medlevere. I like swingsets."

"Excuse me?" I thought I'd heard her wrong. What did swingsets have to do with anything?

"I like swingsets. I don't think my occupation is of relevance. It's just a job, it's not a personality fixture."

"Oh. So, um, swingsets."

"Yeah, I love 'em." She grinned. Probably not her first smile of the day, "I love the wind rushing at your face when you go up, like it's running a marathon in the opposite direction. Then I love the drop feeling in your stomach when you go back down. So far swinging is the most realistic and safest thing I've found to flying. Jumping out of trees hurts more."

I nodded, enthralled. I had never met a person like her before. She was just so much personality in on place. The people I worked and lived around were watered down, washed out. Nobody was as vibrant as her.

"Do you live around here?"

She shrugged, "Sometimes. I wander, really. I come here a lot though, it's gorgeous, especially this time of year." She looked at me, "What are you doing tonight?"

"Channel surfing, probably. My hotel supplies me with 200 channels and there's never anything worthwhile on."

"Hm. Well how about now?"

I wasn't quite sure what she saw in channel surfing, or what she saw in me for that matter. In any case, I didn't really care. I was under her spell, "Nothing."

"Let's go get smoothies. I don't drink coffee or alcohol because I've lost enough marbles already. I'd sure like to keep a few."

I felt my head nodding in agreement, "Okay. Smoothies then."