Prompt: Write a springtime story about love using these words: Kiss, breeze, kite, skunk and mud.
Word Limit: 1,300
If I ever write that novel this is going to be the last chapter. Sorry to let you all know how it ends.
The End (1078 Words)
I hadn’t seen her for three months.
There had been text messages, phone calls and many, many drunk dials but I hadn’t viewed her with my eyes in 94 days. That’s what happens when you live on opposite sides of a state. Well, maybe not a state like New Jersey, Florida or Vermont, but Ohio is a little wider. Me being stuck in the northeast corner and her nearly in Kentucky hadn’t done wonders for our relationship. In fact it had all but ended it.
Then suddenly she came back.
There was no warning. No phone call. No text. No message on facebook. She just showed up at the door one afternoon in April with a kite and a picnic basket.
“Come on,” she said. “Let’s get some fresh air. You look like you could use it.”
I grabbed a jacket but found I didn’t need it. The winter had been colder and lasted longer than usual. The past few years had spoiled me with climate change, but the past month had been cold and I’d just put up the winter coat.
“How’ve you been?” she asked me.
“Fine,” I tell her. Nothing could be further from the truth. My days for the past few weeks had consisted of getting off work, eating a few over the counter sleeping pills and drinking a six pack. Except for on the weekends where I watched re-runs of “Scrubs” in my underwear until it was appropriate to go to the bar. Then I drank before I ate the sleeping pills. I couldn’t sleep unless I ate them. I’d just think of her.
I wondered what she was doing. I wondered how she was. I wondered who she was with.
I wondered if she still loved me.
“Do you know a good place for a picnic?”
“Of course I do.”
She’d left so suddenly. I worried. She said we’d stay together; that she was still mine. She said that she still loved me. But I started to doubt. For the first month we were in touch every day. We texted all the time and talked occasionally. Then in the second month we would text occasionally and talk rarely.
By the third month I gave up. I knew it was done. Her promises to come visit were broken by snowstorms, blizzards or a lack of gas money. Some of them I experienced myself. Most of them I check out on the Weather Channel to make sure she wasn’t making it up.
I could’ve just gotten my starter replaced. It would have been cheap and easy and then I could just drive to her. But that wasn’t the point; I needed her to come to me. How else was I to know that she was still mine? That she really did love me? She had to prove it by making the five hour drive.
“Turn left here.”
I couldn’t fault her. When you find out your brother is dying you have to go spend time with your family. I would have done the same thing. I just didn’t know how I was supposed to deal with her being gone. I’d moved to different towns after breakups and started taking different routes to work but this was different.
She was completely and utterly out of my life. I didn’t understand how she could just pick up her entire life and move somewhere else, leaving everything behind but knickknacks and furniture.
I felt like an end table that had seen better days and was left on the curb. If I was lucky a lower class neighbor would take me in. If not I was off to the dump.
“Here it is. Turn right.”
“Here? This is a cemetery.”
“It’s a nice place.”
She drove through the mud and parked among the headstones.
“We’ll eat over there.” I pointed to the only corner that wasn’t populated by a recently tilled farm or occupied by a permanent resident. There was a nice sunny spot in the shade.
“What’s that smell? Is that a skunk?”
“Kinda. That’s manure. They put it out on the fields to help fertilize. Maybe this wasn’t such a good place for a picnic. I always liked the view. Never noticed the smell, I guess you get used to it after a while.”
“I never got used to it. I always hated that smell.”
“You spent all of your time here in town though didn’t you?”
“Yeah. Most of it.”
I didn’t know what to do. I wanted her to stay with me. To move in. to be mine again. But at the same time I knew it would never work. She was in town for a day. A week at the most. She had to settle things with the school that she wasn’t attending this spring. She had to pay her bill at the hospital. She had to pick up the few things she had left with friends. And she had to break it off with me.
“It is a nice view,” she said. A light breeze sprang up and I turned my attention from the rolling Appalachian hills in their fresh green to see it whipping her brown hair across her lips. She turned to look at me when I took her hand.
“You know I have to go back right? I’m not here to stay.”
“I wish there was another way.”
“Yeah. It’s rough.”
“I want you to come with me.”
I hadn’t been expecting that. I didn’t want to leave. “I can’t just pack up my life and move across the state like you can.”
“I know it’ll be hard, but I’d really like you to be with me. And he doesn’t have much longer to go. He’s fading fast. Once he’s gone we may be able to move back. Or closer at least.”
“I’m not sure I can leave my family. My friends. It’s a big leap for me. I’m scared.”
“I”m scared too,” she paused. “But I want you to be there when the baby’s born.”
I frowned. I wasn’t expecting this. This wasn’t part of the deal.
“I don’t want to go through this without you.”
“How long have you known?”
“About a month. I didn’t know how to tell you over the phone.”
I smiled as tears came to my eyes.
“So what do you say?”
Our lips met in the first kiss in three months. That was the end of my sleeping pill problem.