My first thought as I struggled to stand was: Indian sign language. My second thought as I turned to run again was: Fuck you!
But his knife stopped me in my tracks, stuck in the tree that had knocked me silly only seconds ago.
I grabbed it with one hand and tried to yank it out of the tree but it wouldn't budge. When I reached back with my other hand, that's when he jumped me, forcing me onto my stomach. When I rolled over to kick him again in the balls he caught my leg and... froze. He told me much later that he had never seen anyone with blue eyes before and will never forget the first time he looked into my eye.
That's right. He only saw one eye. My mighty Mo had settled across my face because I had jumped into an alligator infested canal to get away from what I thought was a mutant Miccosukee with a boner.* Later Nokosee told me seeing my one blue eye peeking out from under my wet pink hair reminded him of a weird 18th Century thing called "Lover's Eye Jewelry" where lovers sent miniature paintings of one of their eyes to each other, to be worn in a locket around their necks. He said my one angry eye looking up at him couldn't be contained in a locket, that it would burn a hole through it because of my fierce spirit.
Un hunh, that's one reason I married him.
Anyway, at that time, I didn't know he was a well-read Romantic as I struggled to push his sweaty body off of me. So, in angry frustration, I chomped down on his long black wet hair covering my face and shook my head from side to side. He yelled like a girly-mon, pushed himself up, and to my surprise, yanked the knife out of the tree and sliced it through his hair. My head fell back against the dirt and the second impression I made that day on my future husband was him looking down at a good sized clump of his hair in my mouth. He said he would have laughed if given half the chance but I spit it out like a "leetle girl" before I slammed my head against his. I was hoping that would stun him enough so that I could free myself but I discovered his head is harder than mine. The last thing I remember thinking before I blacked out was that I was looking up at the state tree, a sabal palm, spinning in the smoke and soot; fate's co-conspirator, planted there in the middle of nowhere to grow big and tall and to wait patiently until I ran into it so I could meet this pagan caveman (as I once thought of Nokosee) who had the most beautiful eyes.
Oh, and this is what I saw as he chased me across the burning Everglades and stepped out of the fire.
At least until you got to know him. And then you wouldn't want to leave his side.
*I'm a shallow chick and thought he was disfigured (read the book). I've grown since then and am even known to not jump to conclusions about people and things I encounter for the first time. :)