April 19, 2005

Story numero two

All right, the assignment for this week was to write about a trip home by plane, car or train -- NO planes! Also, the main character has to being home to either rekindle a lost love, commit a murder, or reveal a secret to the town, be it one they don't know about or one that they've been trying to conceal. See if you can find out which one I chose. ;-)

It’s the kind of day where you’d have to be crazy not to own a convertible. Unfortunately, that’s where I find myself – strapped into a battleship grey Sentra with the windows down as the only air conditioning. Not quite the Thunderbird I’d seen myself in for this reunion, but it’ll do, I suppose. After all, this is the one of those rare trips when the destination turns out to be much more important than the journey itself.
I haven’t seen Samantha in nine months, though the months seem like decades now. Cliché as it may sound, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about her, and the drive home isn’t helping. It’s a long way to Seaside Gardens, FL, and the lack of air conditioning isn’t the only thing making time crawl by. Every Podunk town or Mom and Pop store seems to rekindle a memory of her, which somehow makes the ride quicker and longer at the same time.
Take Shirley’s Ice Cream Shack over there. I met Samantha there as I was working one summer. She ordered a double scoop – Mint Chocolate Chip with Cookies ‘n’ Cream in a waffle cone. “That’s a lot of chocolate,” I told her as I handed her the cone.
“I know, but I think I can handle it,” she said with a smile. It was that smile that made me fall in love with her. I don’t know if it was the wink that came with it or just the way her dimples flared, but I knew at that moment who I was going to marry and spend the rest of my days with.
I can’t help but hum along to the radio as the miles go by. So many memories along this stretch of highway, but I can’t seem to escape the ones that deal with Samantha. Throughout high school we were with each other, not just in a relationship sense, but actually side-by-side. I can’t help but smile wider as I pass Ocean View College, home of the Sea Gulls and our alma mater. We spent a lot of time together there, either in class, studying, or even just hanging out. I really don’t think college would’ve been the same without her – she not only helped me with the work I didn’t quite understand, but she also supported me through the rough stretches when I thought I was going to go nuts. After four years, we stood by each other, degrees in hand and ready, but a little scared, to face the real world. We knew we had an advantage that our classmates didn’t have; we had each other.
I remember the drive from school to her home being a lot longer, but here I am, pulling up in front of her house. As many memories as we had at school, we have threefold as many here. As I step out of the car, I can’t help but walk around the house before going in. I don’t think she’ll mind – even though it’s dark, I’m sure she’ll know that I’m not just some looney walking around in the middle of the night.
Walking into the front yard brings memories of birthday parties and sitting in the sun for hours. We spent of lot of time here, either studying over the week-end or just getting away from the hustle and bustle that college kids create on Friday and Saturday nights. Not that we didn’t create any of our own while we were on campus, but it was so much more special when we were away from it all.
Waves sweep over my senses as I walk behind the house, filling my ears with the roar of the water pounding into the sand. The beach, which was the entirety of Samantha’s backyard, was our special place. I can see our beach chairs where we would watch the sun set over the ocean. We had our first kiss at dusk while standing at the edge of the water as she leaned back while wrapped in my arms.
I flip off my shoes and wade an inch or two into the water, trying to remember the exact spot. I can’t quite find the exact spot, but it’s close enough to soak in the love I feel on this beach. I can see the house from here, point out each room and remember hours of special times we had in each one. Outside, though, was where the most special moment happened, where we made love, right here on the beach. Afterwards, we held each other for hours, whispering sweet nothings, and she told me that I was the one for her and no one else could have her. It was in that moment where we both knew we’d be together forever, and had no idea if anything could ever tear us apart.
But now I know – it’s a restraining order. A legal document stating that I couldn’t be within 50 feet of the woman I love. I tried so many times asking her why, why she was doing this to me – to our love, but she kept running away. Then the men came to take me to court, and I sat there listening to her say that she hadn’t met me, that I hadn’t even been to Ocean View University – just because I can’t find the diploma doesn’t mean I didn’t go! Then that woman in white sat down and said that I had PDS – pervasive delusion syndrome, where daydreams and fantasies become so engrained that I perceive them as reality. After that everyone thought I was crazy, and they sent me to Shore Line Treatment Center, where for eight months they tried to “cure” me by telling me that none of it ever happened. I still don’t know why they wanted me to lie about it, but it was the only way out, so I did.
And here I am, in front of her house. I know I’m not crazy – could a crazy person have driven all this way? Could a crazy person have found the unlocked door into her house? And who would’ve sold a crazy person this gun in my hand from the back of their truck? It adds up, doesn’t it? I can’t be crazy.
But Samantha said I was – she lied to all those people, and they sent me away. But I’m not upset about that. What upsets me the most is that she won’t talk to me or even look without running away. She won’t even acknowledge the love that we once shared, and the love that I still feel. That’s why I’m here in her bedroom. She used to stay up past 1 AM, but I guess she decided not to tonight. I bump into her dresser, and she wakes up with a start. As she opens her eyes, I raise my gun and tell her that I love her. Even though I can hear her scream for help, I can see in her eyes that she knows I’m holding her to promise – that if I can’t have her, no one can.

(This isn't a part of the story, I just want to note that I'm NOT a lunatic, and not that creepy in real life. Honest.)


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