Blue skies of 2nd chances
HarperThere was no signs of Jay as we made our way to Nick’s car there was no black tire marks that lead out of the parking lot, or a trail of cigarette buds that would suggest he left on foot. He simply was gone. The sky had no intentions of clearing up, as another thunder head barged its way over the small town. People silently made their way to their cars and began to form the procession that would cut through the heart of the town and past the football field.
“I was surprised he got up in front of everyone.” Nick said as we waited to merge into traffic.
“I knew he would, it certainly was not a rehearsed speech, but it was all Jay. And for Ben I think that would have been good enough.” I say unbuttoning my dress shirt.
“Yeah good enough.” Nick answers back looking through the review mirror. “I would have thought that you would have been the first to get up there and talk. You know since you guys were such an item for the longest time.” He says coldly.
The remark catches me off guard and for a moment the lack of sleep and the rush of feelings I had bottled up made me want to punch him in the face. “I didn’t think it would be appropriate. You know since I moved on.” I said watching my knuckles turn white.
“Since you started dating me, right?” He spat back taking a corner too sharp.
“Nick, I don’t want to fight right now, I’m highly over emotional and I feel like I’ve been run over by a bus then reversed upon. So please let’s not do this right now.” I plead with him.
“I just don’t want to be the best rebound for you. I have feelings for you and they are real and they are happening now. And I just want to make sure that you hold those same feelings.” His face begins to turn a light red and I can see that this ordeal has also taken its toll on him.
We take a few more rights and a final left out of town before coming upon a gravel road that even in the daylight cast an ominous glow upon intruders. We follow the pattern of the cars before us and park in a narrow ditch. The wind begins to pick up and the car methodically rocks back and forth with the wind. Rain begins to pelt the unprotected black jacketed people as they run for cover under the poorly staked tent. Nick reaches behind his seat to grab our jackets.
He holds out my jacket for me “Better take this…wouldn’t want you to get sick”
“Nick, I’m sorry if I’ve been acting like a.” I struggled to find the word that fit my persona in the last day.
“For acting like a selfish, heartless pisshead.” He said with a smile on his face.
“Okay I deserved that.” I say trying not to laugh.
“I found it to be fitting given the situation.” He replied grinning ear from ear.
“I just want you to know that you aren’t a quick fix rebound for me. I do want to be with you, and you are everything that I want in a boyfriend. You know how to make the shitty days better and you have learned to love me when I am the ugliest person on the planet. Nick, I love you more today than I did yesterday, and I hope I will love you more tomorrow than I do today.”
“I’m glad you do.” Nick said caressing my chin. We slunk down in our seats and shared a quick kiss.
“Can’t get too carried away.” He says gasping for air. “Too many people here.” He says fixing the collar of his shirt.
“Just think after all of this is over with we can be a normal couple.” I say zipping my jacket up.
“That would be nice.” Nick says pulling the key from the ignition and opening the door letting in a brisk wind that ruffled my hair.
We joined the rest of the people at the tent covered hill. We squeezed under the small shelter next to Mr. Mac, our old history teacher. His hair had started to recede from the front of his head and speckles of white could be found upon further observation. He wore wire rimmed glasses that were with no surprise too small for his oversized head. His white and red checkered sweater vest bulged at the seams especially where his stomach tended to protrude.
“Well speak of the devil; I didn’t think you two were in attendance today.” Mr. Mac spoke in his gravely past timely voice.
“Good to see you too Mr. Mac.” Nick and I say in unison. Then we awkwardly attempt to side step around him and into the back of the pack of people.
The burial wasn’t much different than the sermon in the church was with the exception of the whipping wind against the side of the shelter. The dug of mound of dirt had become a pile of mud that lay next to Ben’s casket. Thankfully everyone seemed to get their feelings out in the safety of the church so we didn’t have to endure the elements for long. Like everyone else we paid our last respects to Ben as a couple and then we began the long journey back to Nick’s car. My three inch heels sunk into the soft ground with every step I took.
Nick had beaten me to the car and was waiting patiently by the passenger door. I kick off my shoes and slide into the passenger seat; he closes the door behind me and runs around the front of the car to his side.
“So did you want to go to the church for lunch or did you want to go somewhere else?” Nick asks turning the speed of the windshield wipers up.
I don’t answer him. I stare at the top of the tent covered hill where only one person remains, Ben’s mom.
“Let’s go back to your house.” I say and watch out the window as the cemetery and the woman disappear from sight.