Looking for that everlasting love written for Write from the heart contest 7 12 17
The Light At The End Of The Tunnel
I recall that it was a hot summer night when my brother, Michael, was teaching me how to catch lightening bugs and put them in a mason jar. My young eyes were captivated by the collection of those little lightening wonders. I was enjoying the chase and watching them light up the whole jar. Their collective glow reflected through the glass, and their blinking made shadows on my tiny hands as I held tight to the jar.
Michael was older than me by four years. Even at the age of ten, he was a person I looked up to. He taught me how to ride my bike, and with great patience, he showed me the “right way” to bait a hook. Perhaps more important, he taught me how to spit watermelon seeds - a skill every child should have. Tommy was Michael's best friend. Tommy always said, “girls can't do anything.” He was forever trying to get my attention by bad mouthing every friend I had, especially, if they happened to be girls. You can imagine my delight when I challenged him to a seed spitting contest and won! When it was over, he turned away with a look of dejection mumbling something under his breath. “Stupid girls...” was all I could hear over my satisfied laughter. '
Secretly, I felt a little bad inside for Tommy. I didn't want him mad at me. I liked him, in fact, I had a crush on him, and the crush I had on him was huge. At six years old that was serious stuff. Tommy was eight years old. His eyes were bright and the color of the bluest sky. His hair was black as coal. He also had freckles across his nose and cheeks. His smile was soft and warm. But at the same time, whenever he smiled at me my stomach hurt.
Since the day of my victory, Tommy swore, with an official pinky swear to Michael, that he would have his revenge before the summer's end. This bit of information was passed on to me by Michael that evening, and I was on my guard whenever Tommy was around from then on.
While we were chasing lightening bugs, Tommy showed up. He teasingly told me he was going to let the lightning bugs go free as he grabbed up the mason jar and pretended to loosen the lid. I ran toward him, determined to make him leave me alone. He quickly turned and walked away.
Just as I got close to Tommy, he turned toward me. In one quick movement, he threw his hand in the air making a grabbing motion. I thought he was just grabbing at the air trying to fool me. I stopped dead in my tracks. It was evident from the smirk on his face he was ready to get his revenge. He slowly opened up his hand to show the lightning bug he had just caught and smashed. After muttering something about bug guts, he started running toward me. It was clear that if I didn't get away from him, I was about to have bug guts smeared all over me.
In one quick movement, I turned left to run away. I ran head first into the trunk of an apple tree. I hit it so hard; it spun me around before I hit the ground. As I was falling, I blinked a tight blink just as Tommy flicked the bug guts at me; then everything went black. I laid face up and stretched out under the apple tree.
I could hear the faint sound of my Mother calling my name. I was unaware that the ball cap I was wearing got knocked forward and that it now covered my right eye. I opened my eyes and a sharp, bright yellow light, was all that I could see. I lay there stunned into silence feeling sure I was dead. My short life passed before my eyes, and since I was only six years old, the vision was almost over before it began.
I felt my Mother's tender touch. Her hand carefully removed my ball cap. She examined my sore forehead. She tenderly she wiped my face with her apron, digging slightly into my left eye. I anxiously explained to my mother how I had seen the light at the end of the tunnel and how I remembered Grandpa telling me of a story. I reminded her of the story he told me about how at the end of your life God shows you a bright light to help you find your way to heaven.
Confused by my Mother's reaction I tried again to tell her about the light I saw at the end of the tunnel, but her voice was holding back a laugh as she explained that it wasn't a light at the end of my tunnel that I saw. It was merely the glowing light from the butt of a lightning bug.
Tommy had gotten his revenge. And I was, well let's just say, embarrassed and sore, I retreated into the house straight to the bathroom to wash the bug guts out of my eye. Now, that's gross! After that day, for quite some time, I never saw Tommy in the same light. Now when I saw him, I couldn't get away from him fast enough. His smile was fake, His hair out of control. I didn't trust him anymore.
Then we all became teenagers. Everything changed. Michael didn't have time for Tommy or me. He now ran around with a new group of friends. They were people he met at school, people Tommy and I did not know.
In those days Tommy started treating me differently; always smiling at me. He always there when I am out in the yard., sneaking up on me or jumping out to scare me. Making a point, to grab me by the arm or touch my back. I had changed as well. I enjoyed the attention from Tommy. The crush I had on him was nothing compared to how I felt about him then.
Fast forward to today. Michael married two years ago today. He and his wife are very happy and expecting a baby boy in six months. The name they picked out for their son seems fitting. He will be named Thomas Ethan, after his uncle and Michael's best friend since childhood, Tommy! The same Tommy who is now Michael's Bother-in law since Michael had married Tommy sister Alexi. And yes, the same Tommy who once caused the only time I have ever been knocked out.
Today I am getting married. I have found the perfect person for me. I wanted someone who made me want to be a better person. Someone who I did the same thing for them. I wanted someone to share life with as we grow old. To share dreams and together make those dreams come true. Somebody I could support and trust with everything I have. Someone who loves me and allows me to love them with everything I am. A person that I can be loud with or quiet. Someone who wants a big family, as I want. Though, I had dated several different kinds of men. I have spent many nights alone with my dairy spilling out my guts about what I want from love. I have wondered where I might have to go to find the kind of person my heart long for. I've traveled to Paris and Rome searching for love and what I thought love should or could be. To find it in the most unexpected place in my parents back yard. Today, in that back yard, I marry my Tommy!
(1288 word count )