The Visit

Submitted for Contest #96 in response to: Start your story in an empty guest room.... view prompt

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Jun 04, 2021

Romance Coming of Age Contemporary

I sat on the edge of the bed in the guest room where he slept. I fell back on the bed and looked up at the ceiling. It hasn’t even been an hour and I already miss him. It has been nice having him around again. 

I closed my eyes. His voice was still loud in my head, “I love you, Davina!”

The last two days went by quickly. It feels like he only arrived. 

I got up from the bed and tore the bedsheets off the bed. It was time to clean up the mess and the memories. I threw the dirty bed sheets into the hall. I found clean bed sheets in the closet and set the bed up nicely. I smiled at myself as I looked around the room. Last night was fun except when he tripped over his suitcase. My first reaction wasn’t to make sure he was okay, but I burst out laughing. 

As I laughed to myself, I took the heap of dirty bed sheets and went down the hall to throw the sheets in the washer.

The apartment was quiet. No laughter. No crying. No chatter. It was silent. I thought I liked the quiet part of living alone, but now the apartment feels empty. 

I walked into the kitchen and saw the pile of dirty dishes. Why do I have to clean everything? He should be the one to wash the dishes, not me. He was the one who wanted to cook dinner last night and cook breakfast this morning. Yet, here I am standing at the sink scrubbing the grime of these dishes. 

I am interrupted by a door bell. I turned off the sink and found a towel. Drying my hands as I walk across the apartment to answer the door. I opened the door and my jaw dropped to the floor. Tears welled up in the corner of my eyes.

“I had a remarkable time with you. Would it be okay with you if I stayed a bit longer?” Arlo leaned on the door frame with the biggest grin on his face.

I stepped into his arms, “you can stay as long as you want. I won’t kick you out.” I stepped back, “since you are back, how about you wash the dirty dishes you left behind.”

He laughed. I put my hands on my hips. The smile that was on his face disappeared. He nodded. I stepped aside and watched him walk confidently to my kitchen sink. I took his suitcase that he left in the doorway and dragged it down the hall to the guest room. I guess this room will be occupied for a while.

I returned to the kitchen to see Arlo dancing to James Brown’s I Got You (I Feel Good). He thinks he is an excellent dancer, but he has no rhythm at all. I leaned on the refrigerator watching him dance. I walked over to his phone and paused the song. “Arlo, I said wash the dirty dishes.” I said laughing. He took a few steps toward me, “that is true, but you never said I couldn’t dance while washing the dishes.” Arlo took his phone out of my hand. Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop The Feeling filled the room.

I smiled and started dancing. I heard Arlo chuckle, “now you are getting it.” I looked at him and he took my hand. The two of us dancing in the kitchen with the dirty dishes still dirty in the sink. 

Once the song ended, I helped Arlo with the dishes. It is nice having him back. Even if it is for a few more days. I hate that he lives so far away. 

We finished washing the dishes just in time for me to put the bed sheets in the dryer. 

Arlo followed me like a shadow, “I was thinking since it is a beautiful day out, why don’t we go somewhere.”

I moved the bed sheets from the washer to the dryer, “what did you have in mind?”

“We can ride bikes through the park. We could visit the zoo. We could go hiking. We could go into town. We could go mini-golfing. We could go to the pool. We could… there is so much we could do. I do not care what we do as long as I am with you.”

I smiled, “well all of that sounds fun, how about all of the above except the zoo because that drive is long.”

Arlo jumped up in excitement, “alrighty. Let's go into town first. It is getting close to lunch time.” He spun on his heels and skipped away from me.

I love spending time with him. He just brightens the room. I watched Arlo skip around my apartment. I just realized he is definitely a Golden Retriever. He has so much energy. 

I turned on the dryer and walked to my kitchen. I picked up my phone, wallet, and keys. I followed Arlo out of my apartment and locked the door. He held out his hand and interlocked his fingers with mine.

The walk into town was nice. Arlo kept talking about having tickets to see the latest baseball game. He couldn’t wait to see his favorite team. I don’t think it is the actual game because he talked about what he is planning on eating while watching the game. 

I can’t believe he decided to spend a few more days with me. Actually I can’t believe we have been together for a year. We have had our arguments, but who hasn’t. 

We walked for three blocks. The bike rental shop was filled with people. Luckily I know the owner. Arlo’s father waved at us as we pushed through the crowd. Arlo gave a hug to his father, “two bikes please.” His father nodded, “sure, but I thought you were heading back today.” Arlo smiled and looked at me, “two days wasn’t enough time to spend with Davina. I decided to extend my trip a few more days.” 

Arlo’s father smiled, “you know where the bikes are being held. Just pick the ones you want.” 

We found two adult size bikes and rode them through Central Park. The air was warm. It is definitely a nice day for a bike ride. We rode for an hour and decided to go on our next adventure. 

We went mini-golfing and I lost. I only made one hole-in-one. All the other 16 holes, I was either hitting the ball too hard or too soft. Arlo was acting confident because he kept getting the golf ball into the hole after three or less tries.

I stood at the last hole waiting for Arlo to hit the golf ball. He was taking forever. What exactly is he doing? 

“ARLO!!! Come on!! I am starting to get hungry.”

He laughed. 

It only took a second to realize what he was actually doing. I watched Arlo hand me his golf club. He got down on one knee and looked up at me.

He smiled, “I know this isn’t the best place. You know I am not great with words, but I had a remarkable time with you these past two days. Leaving this morning was heartbreaking because I know I wouldn’t see you until next month. I can’t wait that long. I know that you build a life here in New York City, but I can’t be here with you because of my job. So, Davina Thompson, will you do the honor of leaving New York City and move to California to live with me?”

Tears are pouring down my cheeks. I grinned and nodded, “YES!! I would love to move to California and live with you!”

He stood up and smashed his lips onto mine. Arlo wrapped his arms around me, “I love you Davina.”

“I love you Arlo! Now can we go get food? I am hungry!!” I said in his arms.

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