≡≡≡continued from here≡≡≡
Steve doesn’t linger, despite how much I might like him to. You know, just to catch up, ask how he’s been…find out if he ever married. With the hurricane approaching, he has 101 things he needs to do and catching up with me is definitely not one of them, and I completely understand. I always have. Which is probably why he fell for Mandy. The big difference between me and Mandy was that she always put her heart into everything, and while my heart was on the playing field, I always kept it sheltered.
I decide to take Rufus for a walk and get a lay of the land. Some of the people staying at Lyle’s place, The Dome, as I’ve heard it called, are playing wiffle ball on the grassy lot adjacent to the building. No one is taking it too seriously, and they all seem to be having a great time, probably because beer has been brought into the mix. With the raucous laughter, I could almost forget that there is a storm barreling toward us.
Rufus leads me to Main Street, which I’ve always thought was a cliché. Do all small towns have Main Streets? Probably, how else would they give directions? The distance of a football field away, I see the interstate and two lines of cars pointed inland, people fleeing the storm.
There aren’t that many folks here, in a town just a smidge past the evacuation zone with a generous river just south given to flooding. Evidently a lot of this town’s residents have opted to leave or are boarding up their homes or stacking sandbags or whatever else they need to do to insure safety. It feels like a ghost town.
I’ve never had to do this, evacuate my home and hope for the best. Ask strangers for kindness. Pray, in my own way for the fates to be gentle. And, yet, here I am, finding that when I need help there are others willing to offer a hand. This is what it’s all about. Forgetting anything else other than helping a person who is in need, and paying it forward when the opportunity arises.
Rufus and I wander back to our temporary home where beer and wiffle ball still entertain. Inside, I smell the scent of fragrant chili and yeasty baked bread; the aroma of something chocolaty like freshly baked brownies . My stomach rumbles.
Inside room 16 with its two twin beds, I feed Rufus, pull up the radio for my hometown on my cell, listening as music streams like nothing was about to happen, no storm looms off the coast. I close my eyes. Ed Sheeran’s voice lulls me. For a few moments, exhaustion claims me, my dreams of Steve and me at prom, dancing, holding each other close, kissing. And then he’s gone, lost in blackness, like inky dark waves, lost to me.
≡≡≡to be continued≡≡≡
FYI for future installments this will be under the category Don’t Worry Every Little Thing’s Gonna Be Alright