It just was just happenstance at a gas station no less five miles from her house. There he was in his baseball uniform pumping gas into his 57 Chevy truck. She was gassing up her Honda. The late intense fall light was bouncing off the cars. Through the blinding light she knew him immediately. As she looked over then he looked up and gave her that shit eating, jack-o-lantern grin. She shook her head, turned and laughed into her shoulder then looked back grinning too.
So now here she was walking along the sidewalk to his house kicking up rust colored leaves, the color of his hair, taking in the acrid eucalyptice. She liked it when her boots hit the piles of loaming leaves, scattering them everywhere.
It’s easier to lie to yourself, to be safe than try to find out the end of the story she thought too many times.
The last time she saw him was twenty years ago, he was in his truck at a turn light by the University, she in her car next to him, he looked over at her and then he turned his head. Nothing hurt so much than his obvious ending of their friendship with such a small gesture. So much misunderstanding between them in those last days before she left.
She loved him. She tried not to for many years. He fell out of her mind then slowly crept back in. It was more like the child’s game of picking daisy petals, she loves him, and she loves him not. But her womb still blushes at the thought of him.
That is what happens when you never get to know someone, really know them. The slight of hand at flirtation, the possibility of what could come, the furtive touches and bantering, innuendo conversations. It led up to big fat nothing and a now dull heartache. To finally kiss, to complete that one night that never had a chance to be born, then she thought then the demon of him would be exorcised. We would find we have nothing in common, that as she knew, we are so different.
She walked faster to his house, looking trying to find his house in the farm of almost identical track homes.
Tim, Timothy, Timmy
He was an Irish Catholic Republican; his mother actually filled out his absentee voter card for him every four years and probably still bought his pants at Sears. He was a jock and scientist. She is a liberal, Jewish writer, an artsit. It could have never worked.
He could be harsh with others but sweet with her. And it was true; they were very gentle and funny with each other. Her work buddy Cassie told her no one believed how much he changed when he was with her. That flattered her to no end. He’d drop by occasionally to the Geology department office where she wrote grants and where they flirted. His appearances where the highlights of her dreary job there. They attended a few University work parties together, began to get closer but she never had the opportunity to find out what he was really like. It ended before it began so they say. He just stopped showing up.
If they had sex then she knew she would have been pregnant the minute he ejaculated that is how much their atoms moved towards each other. She predicted, to comfort herself, they would marry, have kids, hate each other, then divorce. But she also knew couldn’t love her husband deeper have children with him without finishing this with Tim.
At the gas station she agreed to meet him at his brother’s house where he still rented a room. She felt so shy as she knocked on the front door. She was feeling drunk and disorientated with expectations. He opened the door and ushered her in. He gave her the two minute tour. Typical suburban layout which made her she miss her lovely, nested home. In his room she looked up over his desk piled high with geology books, like a teenager’s desk and there next to it was her goodbye note taped to the wall by his desk. It was now yellow from age and the tape looked like crinkled skin attached to the paper. She had left him a typed goodbye note in his University mailbox that said just said "Goodbye" when she had quit her job. She looked at it and looked back to him.
“Want to take a drive?”
She was glad to get out of that bland house to be in a more intimate place of his 57 Chevy truck. They drove up to a lookout point over the hills of their neighborhood. He had brought a six-pack and he lowered the tailgate of his truck. Like two grade school kids they dangled their legs over the gate swinging them back and forth as they drank their beers.
As they looked out over the valley the lights were just starting to illuminate the ribbon of freeway below. She smelt the fresh scent of his skin. She felt fifteen again as they giggled and snuggled closer together, buzzed he put his beer down she leaned into kiss him, her mouth covering his. It was as if their mouths were a perfect fit absorbing each other. She put hers arms around his neck and he encircled her waist pulling her close to him. He whispered
She liked his playful assertiveness, she always had.
His athletic almost adolescent build and a sweet sweat of his body made her damp too. She kissed him softly on the lips, then slightly biting his lip. He laughed then bit her back. They we playing like cats nipping and biting their lips necks rubbing and curling into each other.
They undressed each other pulling sweaters, shirts and pants off, finally laying down naked on the cold bumpy truck bed all the while caressing and kissing. He pulled out a car blanket laid it over the cab. Her body wanting and repelling him at the same time. Her guilt kept stopping her feeling him but finally her desire winning out pursing her need to find out more.
What do you do when you will always love someone but not sure you want to be with them always. What is that all about? You just keep crashing back to them.
Then he stared talking to her in her ear as he was holding her. She never had a lover that talked to her when they had sex. It figured since he was always a talker. His talking even was more erotic than the sex because it was reveling him to her. This is not what she expected. She did not want to feel that this was better then what she already had. He was saying tender things, funny thing, intense things, She cried into his freckled shoulder. He whispered quietly not to cry she cried harder as he pushed into her. They moved in perfect sync, sensing each other needs.As he was in her she gasped at how fulfilled she felt at that very moment.
When they had finished she asked.
“I guess we’ll see each other in another twenty years.” He joked.
“Why did you stop being my friend?’
“Because you are the type of girl who I’d have to marry.”
She lay on her back of the cold hard truck cab, she was shivering, looking up at night sky, a plane was flying overhead and she wondered where are they going?