TODAY’S BREW: Warm stuff! Just got power back! Who am I kidding, it’s hard cider.
Beau Barnett is a wonderful friend of ours who I cornered into writing this piece for us. I could not be more impressed by its beauty. Enjoy and follow our friend on twitter @INukeYou!
MAKE A WISH
by Beau Barnett
I sat on a park bench on an unseasonably cool August Sunday, wondering if she’d show up. Every time I heard a sound, I would look to see if it was her. Time passed, and I started to worry she wasn’t coming. Not that it was expected of her. We had met at this very park when we were 6, and had been friends ever since. As we aged, we would periodically meet up here and just talk. Seemed as if we always knew when the other would be here; whenever one of us needed the other, we would meet. This was the last day before she left for college. I hadn’t seen her since we graduated.
About the time I was starting to give up hope, she sat down on the bench next to me. I looked up and saw her golden blonde hair, glistening in the sunlight, the deep blue of her ocean colored eyes seemingly a pool I could dive into and get lost. She was wearing her trademark half-smile, a mischievous thing that would lift the spirits of any man, no matter how downtrodden he felt.
“Hey,” I said, smiling, lifting my hand from the bench in a wave of greeting.
“Hey,” she said back, “how was your summer?”
“Good. Didn’t really do much besides work, ya know?”
She shrugged her shoulders, “Yeah, that’s about all I did, too.”
We exchanged some small talk for a few minutes, filling each other in on our relatively boring summers. I kept taking furtive glances over at her to see if she was bored. I always worried about that. Whenever she caught me looking at her, she would smile, and I’d look away. What was going through her mind?
We kept talking, and watching a couple of squirrels frolic near the playground. She would periodically laugh at something the squirrels did. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever heard, a sweet, melodic sound. Truth was, she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. Whenever I spent time with her, I believed in love. If such a thing existed.
“I can’t believe I’m leaving for school in the morning,” she said, nervously pushing a lock of hair behind her ear.
“I know. I hate we didn’t get to spend much time together this summer,” I said, sighing.
She looked up at the darkening sky, then jumped, pointed where she was looking, and said, “Make a wish, quick!”
I looked where she was pointing and saw a lone meteor shooing across the sky. I made a wish, just like she asked. For her.
“What’d you wish for?” I asked.
She playfully punched my arm. “Silly, it won’t come true if I tell you,” she replied.
I laughed. “I hope it comes true,” I said.
“Me too.” Her face turned forlorn, “We’re going to keep in touch, right?”
“Of course we will.”
“Of course,” she repeated, as if trying to make it true. “Doesn’t everybody say that, though?”
“We’re not everybody,” I said, “we’re us.”
She smiled. She rarely smiled fully, but when she did, as now, I swear my heart fluttered. I felt a little stab in my heart. What if we didn’t?
“You’ll be so far away,” she said, “we won’t have our park anymore.”
“You’ll just be in Gainesville,” I determined to stay positive. “I’ll be in Columbia, that’s only 5 hours.”
“That’s a long way. We’ll be so busy with school.”
“We can always meet in Savannah. It’s beautiful there.”
“Yeah. Of course we’ll be home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, too.”
I nodded. After that, she changed the subject, and we spent the next couple of hours just talking about whatever came up, enjoying each others’ company. Purely, blissfully happy. Still sitting on the park bench, we watched the stars and put any concerns we had on the back burner. Never even touched. Heck, we never really had. A few casual hugs over the years, that was about it. But, I could have done this all night, wanting for nothing else, and all the happier because I was almost sure it was the same for her.
At some point we got up and walked over to the playground where we sat next to each other on adjacent swings, not really talking anymore. Just looking at each other, swaying slightly. She looked so adorable and cute in the moonlight. Occasionally, she would smile her little playful, mischievous grin. I would chuckle, and look quickly away. My eyes would soon find hers again, and the cycle would repeat. It drove me wild.
She was so breathtakingly beautiful. Everything about her. I knew I had to do something about my wish before it was too late.
“Hey, Rachel?” I asked, quietly, hoping she didn’t notice my voice wavering from nerves.
Swallowing my fear, I asked “Why did we never get together?”
She planted her feet in the ground, stopping her swing. She sat, looking at me for what had to be an eternity as my heart pounded in my chest. Then she got up, walked in front of me, and pulled me out of my swing, grabbing a hold of my hands. Her hands were so soft, and just fit mine. Like they belonged there.
“You never asked, Mark. Why didn’t you?” she said, flashing that brilliant smile. Without thinking, I leaned in and gently placed my lips on hers, kissing her softly. I could feel her smile against my lips as she kissed me back.
She pulled away for a moment, to say, “My wish came true,” before our lips molded to each others’ once again.
My wish came true, too. We needed to keep in touch.