Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2130043-Darkest-Hour---Part-2
by koenig
Rated: E · Short Story · Dark · #2130043

"Adam. Adam wake up." He smiled, not knowing if just to himself or if he in fact smiled. He could feel the sun streaming through the window, warming his face, pressing against his eyelids.

He enjoyed waking up to Miranda's gentle hands and quiet voice. "You've slept in, it's nearly," she paused to look at her watch, "it's nearly 8:30."

Eyes still closed his grin widened and he knew for sure that Miranda could see. She gave him a quick kiss and rose from the bed. He imagined she was staring across the sunbathed lawn. The pin oaks kept the street in shadow this early but the light moved over the stand of rhododendren and viburnum, across the small lawn, the grass still flattened by dew, and through the clumps of day lily, iris and heuchera.

"I know you hate it when I let you sleep too late."
"I think you hate it more than I do."
"I just don't like wandering the house alone, it feels so empty, I like having you with me."
Adam finally opened his eyes and pulled himself upright so he could rest his back against the headboard. "You know I'm always here, just right upstairs."
"I know, I just like having you beside me," Miranda replied with a hint of indignation but her voice was still sincere and kind, "Besides I've made breakfast."
Adam smiled again and thought he was the luckiest man alive.

He had met Miranda at the beach. One of those rare days on the northern Oregon coast when it was both warm and still. The ocean was a deep blue instead of the typically menacing green or brown. The waves were breaking far out to sea but still pushed water high up onto the beach, chasing the gulls and plovers away only to be chased by the same as they receded.

Adam was absently tossing stones into the waves. It had been a hard two weeks at work. The office was short staffed and he'd been obligated to work twelve hour days just to keep the doors open. He didn't feel any animosity towards his coworkers but hoped they'd soon recover because he was simply worn out, getting dangerously close to his why's end. But that didn't seem altogether certain. He knew many of the downtown businesses had been closed for more than a week due to being understaffed. And then there was the news, radio and TV, reporting something more ominous. He didn't like to think about it too much, it seemed so grim.

He found a particularly well weighted rock as the most recent wave retreated back toward the sea. Picking it up, he gave it a quick shake in his closed palm and then threw it with all of his strength. The rock curled to the right and soundlessly disappeared amongst the waves. He gave a little shrug of disgust.

"Nice throw," a voice startled him. He turned to find a petite brunette in a floral pattern sun dress directly behind him. Her long hair fell far below her shoulders and she smiled widely. Her smile was kind and genuine and he immediately felt comfortable. She was somehow familiar even though he'd never met her until now. Still, he couldn't think of anything to say and simply returned the gesture with a shy, authentic smile of his own.

"So, I hope you don't mind, but I've been watching you for a while. Not in a creepy way, you just seemed lonely, I thought you could use a little conversation. I think we could all use a little more human interaction these days."

From that moment they became inseparable.
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