(Write about two characters going apple picking.)
Last night I went out on my porch roof, a folded blanket under me and a fleece throw to keep off the night air. I layed on my back, the night sky dark and full of stars. I tried to imagine far away galaxies, seeing things never before seen by human eyes, maybe even creatures vastly different from us. The problem was, as exciting and fantastic as far away stars and planets might seem, Gina could not keep her mind on the sky.
She felt like she had been drawn up and disappeared into a cloud or a distant vacuum but once there, she wasn’t thinking new and strange things, she was thinking about the up coming weekend. She felt isolated in the possibilities, the future wrapping around her, her dreams almost strangling her. She was consumed by it. It was frightening in a way, to want something so specific so badly. Somehow she felt it was her last chance for her imagined ideal life.
Gina acknowledges that she is a bit cynical and that often she speaks with a sarcasm that puts folks off but really that all stems from the knowledge or feeling or fact that five minutes into a new relationship she knows with certainty that it is never going to work! She is tired of the cycles of excited anticipation and crashing of all hope.
Gina is three weeks into a relationship with Marcus. For her that equates to a lifetime and the fear that lurks in the corner of her mind will not let her mind rest. This friendship is so important and she is already drawn to him. No need to overlook his clothes, or his books or music, nothing to overlook, he is close to her ideal match.
Marcus seemed shy at their first meeting. He was quiet, almost to the point of being withdrawn. They had a nice dinner in a casual neighborhood bistro. Gina in her normal way of cutting to the chase asked him outright why he kept the date if he felt so unenthusiastic about the dinner or her.
Marcus was hesitant and then looking directly into her eyes and he decided he would go for it, he already knew he wanted this girl! He loved her directness, nothing coy or phony, he liked that she talked directly to him not scanning the room for other options. Well he liked most everything!
“Well, Gina”, he said. “I’m not much for the bar scene, loud music and louder people, getting drunk and not remembering the evening!”
“I always wonder, what’s the point?” Marcus continued.
“If I’m with a terrific girl, I want to remember every second.”
“I want to relive the best moments.”
“Unfortunately, most girls love the night life, the more dancing and drinking the better!”
“I liked you from the first moment and frankly, I was worried you would not agree with my ideas of a nice date, so I thought I’d just be quiet!”
With each measured statement from Marcus, Gina’s smile grew until she thought her face could not contain her smile. She reached out and took his hand and decided to be just as honest.
“Can we get out of here?” She asked. “My idea of a date is being able to hear each other and get to know each other!”
And so, that is how it began, now three weeks into spending every free moment together they were off on an early fall kayak long weekend. Camping along the rivers and just chilling out in nature.
He was into healthy food but not health food and he was into quiet times together. I was into wading in the shallows trying to catch fish in my hands which had him laughing like a loon when I fell in and had to be rescued. We were into looking at the stars from wild places away from ambient light.
I was a hand, he was a glove! We fit so well. It was a great weekend! We agreed it would be hard to top this.
And then the inevitable, it seemed like it was too soon that we were packing up our gear to leave. Hoisting the kayaks up onto the roof of the SUV. We were both quiet. How could something so perfect create such a somber mood?
And then we were on the road south, I was drowsing to music in the background and the swaying of the car as we drove. I would be lying to you if I told you I was sure this was going to work. I was feeling strangled by my dreams again but now I was thinking I could never survive losing him and before I was sure time was running out and I’d never know the feelings I now have with Marcus.
Suddenly he was heavily braking the car. We skidded to a halt. He backed up and did a U turn in the highway.
Now fully awake and alarmed I demanded, “what in the heck are you doing?”
Marcus replied, “Fate, fate with a capital F!” “It could be proof positive that we are meant for each other but you must close your eyes until I tell you you can open them!” “Don’t be alarmed, you are safe with me!” “ Just let me have the next fifteen minutes of your life and then be honest with me.”
Gina understands impulsiveness and emotional tests and being sure for no good reason, so of course she agrees.
She squeezes her eyes shut tight, lays her head back on the headrest and hums along with the radio.
Marcus drives about a mile down the road and turns into a gravel drive. It is a large orchard and big signs announce “Pick Your Own Apple Pie Orchard”. He parks and hops out and goes to Gina’s door , helps her out, grabs a sling to pick into and then leads Gina off and into the orchard.
He chooses a nice tree hanging full of sunny red apples, he kisses Gina lightly on the lips and says, “Open your eyes.”
Gina slowly opens her lashes trying to peek at first then her eyes fly open...APPLE PICKING...one of her very most favorite things to do!
Marcus says, “I’m sure you’ve heard the very old saying, “The couple that picks apples together, stays together!” “Honey, I am so happy to have found someone who shares my corny views.”
Come on before we lose the light. Gina carries the sling and Marcus tosses nice ones to her waiting hands!
They are sure now.
Blame it on the apples or fate or the stars but they are both, very sure.