We shine brightly for a short stay on Earth but we just pass through. Love lives on.
|The leaves crunched beneath my feet....it was Autumn and the air was cool. The kids were back in school. Today would have been Dane's twenty-ninth birthday. On his last birthday, Dane had driven to the top of the mountain where only service roads ran. They could see the city from there and drink a toast to their future.
Remembering, the tears welled up. "Isn't it all a miracle? The stars, sun, moon and Universe are amazing. God sure had a great architect,'" Dane laughed, "and he made you, pure perfection".
How she loved that goofy grin on his face. He was like a five year old getting a puppy. It took so little to make him happy. He loved Oreo cookies, took them apart and dipped them in milk. Then he kissed her with his messy mouth. Just like the kids she taught at the school they had once gone to.
She could still hear his voice, “How can you love someone as weird as me?”
“Dane, that is exactly why I love you. You are the magic in my life”.
Was he watching over her tonight? It had been years and her grief was still like a shard of glass in her chest. Love with Dane had been magical. She missed his quick wit, infectious laugh, dimples and constant encouragement to be her best.
Then there was the intimacy. It was like sitting in a cool stream as water ran gently over your body. His kisses; like butterfly wings, sweet and then exploring to find that special place of intensity. Making love was a tender journey ending with a mutual trembling.
Greg Hardy stopped when he saw her stop in front of her Mom's house. They had all been friends since elementary school.
"You look like a lost little girl. How about "Doc's Ice Cream Shack"? Peppermint Stick, right?"
"Kinda cool for ice cream...how bout KFC?"
He opened the door of his baby, a black 66-Shelby Mustang. A girl didn't have a chance competing with his car. He spent two hours just detailing it on the weekend.
He had his heart broken recently by some multiple personality wench that Diane had set him up with. She had seemed like an angel, helping out at the school doing volunteer work. She had truly hurt Greg. He was beginning to like her a lot when he caught her in his bed with a local cop they all knew..
Suddenly, Greg leaned over and kissed her forehead. "Been a hard day?"
She nodded as tears filled her eyes.
"You know I loved him too. I know it's not the same but it hurts."
"Diane, try to give me a smile. I will take those blues away for a while."
She had to giggle, he sounded just like John Denver.
“Now I want to request “Thank God I'm a Country Boy”.
“Please tell me I don't sound like that jerk. You know I hate that kind of music.”
“Okay, I won't. You know Denver was talking about the environment before Al Gore... even smoked weed." Diane continued, "He even mowed grass in the nude.....upset his neighbors. Gotta love that.”
Greg was laughing now. "Ok, Ok enough about Denver! He was a rich hillbilly with a little hippie in him, uh?"
Greg had held Dane's bleeding head after a car apparently lost the brake function. The teenage driver panicked and didn't try to switch gears or pull the emergency brake so they were hit hard on the driver's side. Dane never regained consciousness. The driver got off with probation. There was something strange about the whole accident. Of course the kid had a rich Dad with connections.
Greg had gone to bed for two weeks with depression after the funeral. She had gone to his house and climbed in bed with him. They sobbed together and drank shots of tequila.
Moving from tears to giggling, they started a tickling game and wound up making love. It was sweet but both felt guilty.
"We are disgusting pigs!" she grabbed her clothes and left.
Now, Greg touched her forehead pushing her bangs out of her soft brown eyes,
"Listen, for one night let me take you to the shore. We'll tell our troubles to the wind and waves."
She climbed in.
The two headed toward the beach. Greg picked up chicken dinners and a couple six packs of beer.
They were the only ones in the parking lot. They took the stuff out of the car along with a few blankets.
The sun was going down, the colors exquisite; orange slices, shades of apples, a hint of satin blue and a lavender wash over.
She and Greg dug into the chicken and beer. All was perfect now except the ghost on the blanket.
"He's watching us, ya know?"
The wind was picking up and they snuggled under the blankets.
"That's okay. He always knew I was crazy about you."
"I never knew that you liked me like that."
"Of course not, you were in love, couldn't see anyone but Dane. Then weren't interested in anyone since the accident".
He gave her a sweet kiss, tasting like honey as she kissed him back.
Greg said, "Dane's death taught me to take a chance. I know it's my fault that we lost control that night but we hurt so badly."
Diane put her hand over his. "I think Dane understood that."
She looked up at the stars and all seemed perfect for the first time in a long time.
The ghost on the blanket seemed to fade to nothing. Perhaps he had become part of the stardust in the night sky as the moonlight shone down.
By Kathie Stehr
word count 953
Jan 6, 2022
The following written by Harry Chapin, my inspiration for this story.
All my life's a circle;
Sunrise and sundown;
Moon rolls thru the nighttime;
Till the daybreak comes around.
All my life's a circle;
But I can't tell you why;
Season's spinning round again;
The years keep rollin' by.
It seems like I've been here before;
I can't remember when;
But I have this funny feeling;
That we'll all be together again.
No straight lines make up my life;
And all my roads have bends;
There's no clear-cut beginnings;
And so far no dead-ends.
I found you a thousand times;
I guess you done the same;
But then we lose each other;
It's like a children's game;
As I find you here again;
A thought runs through my mind;
Our love is like a circle;
Let's go 'round one more time.