CrossroadsPosted: March 24, 2016
We sat on the bench seat of his old pickup next to the city river. I think he was happy to just sit there and enjoy the feel of my head nestled into the hollow of his shoulder. He’d left the switch on so we could listen to the radio, and I sang along to about every song that came on.
We didn’t talk; we didn’t need to. At least, not yet. But we would.
He’d lost his job, and my travel visa was up next week. Without money coming in, he wasn’t going to be able to come back with me, and My application for an extension was denied. Everything we’d carefully planned over the past month, shattered with the loss of his paid vacation time.
It wasn’t even anyone’s fault; there was no one to blame for the fire that took out half of the block his company was on. Bad wiring, or something. Neither of us cared why it had happened, only that it had.
I closed my mouth mid-verse, and closed my eyes as I tried to burrow deeper into his embrace. The burgers we’d had for dinner lay in a ball of indigestion in my stomach.
I didn’t want to say goodbye.
I thought back to the night we met, two people walking opposite directions downtown, our eyes met, and that was it. I’m not so naive as to call it love at first sight, but we knew we were kindred spirits, even before we spent the next seven hours laughing over the same two cups of coffee in that deserted diner.
“I don’t want to leave you,” I whispered. I didn’t think I was loud enough for him to hear me over the radio, but he did.
“I don’t want you to leave,” he answered me.
Tears were threatening, and I had to back it up a bit. “Remember that time we got stuck on the sandbar when the tide came in?”
“That was all your fault,” he chuckled.
He was right, and I knew it. But since he didn’t hold it against me and we made it through okay, it had become a running joke. That was our second date.
He reached his hand up to stroke my hair, and I opened my eyes again.
“Do you want to go get ice cream?” I asked.
He cranked the truck in answer, and I sat up to put my seatbelt on.
We could talk tomorrow.