the entire region was thick with smoke as fires burned out of control. she was driving back from a quick overnight trip. they agreed to meet for late lunch when she returned. the trip was uneventful until she was twenty minutes from home.
traffic slowed, then stopped. there was a wreck on the highway. someone had died. she was triggered. hands shaking, she used the voice recorder to message him a heads up about the delay and the triggering. he responded saying he would pick her up at the house.
as she neared home, she called her friend to pray with her. images of the wrecked vehicles wanted to stick in her mind like super glue, only causing more angst. she fought to keep her peace. it wasn’t the first time she was triggered by a wreck and a death. she let the thoughts go by, asking jesus to heal her and wash away those images. breathe, just breathe. keep breathing. inhale, exhale. let it out.
he pulled up to the house minutes after she arrived. she jumped into his pickup and they drove downtown to their favorite hangout in town, choosing to sit outside in smoky haze generate by fires hundreds of miles away. they ordered late lunch, happy to have their regular server welcome them.
he pulled out his phone to show her several new family photos sent from his mom. they were photos of his own dad and his daughter together, another of both his parents with his daughter. “look at this!” he said. “purpose. they have purpose! she has given them purpose to live! i guarantee he would not be alive now without her living with them, giving them purpose.”
tears filled her eyes as she listened to him. he had missed all of his daughter’s growing up years, the birthdays, the special events, proms and homecomings. even as regret tried to strong-arm him into condemnation, he was beyond grateful his parents raised his only daughter. she was a beautiful, confident young woman. her grandparents had poured love and care into her. his fought through a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts, battling to get free of years of guilt and shame.
tears in her eyes, she only affirmed him. “i’m so proud of you, so glad you can see this. this was the absolute best thing for her under the circumstances. they gave her a stability you could not. her life would have been destroyed if she’d been with you these years.” it was not an easy truth, but it was the truth, nonetheless. they both knew it.
when lunch was finished they walked to the marina, resting on ‘their’ bench for a minute before walking down the sidewalk. he shared how there were issues with a couple who were friends of his. the wife was having some issues with him being around her husband. he was angry about it, feeling rejected.
she was silent, knowing well the why the wife felt this way. conversation continued as they walked along the river and sat down at a picnic table. the smoke from the fires was thick now. it was getting harder to breathe. wisdom showed up to warn them, but they did not hear her voice.
his work was ongoing drama, too. a new female mechanic was not performing up to his work standards. he was angry at her sloppiness, wanting her to steer clear of his own workspace so he wouldn’t get hurt. he was afraid of getting hurt, afraid of getting sick again. afraid of so many things.
fear had entered his heart as a small boy when he had leukemia. the demon of fear and it’s sidekick infirmity still tormented his mind like a battering ram, keeping him from sleep most nights.
she gently tried to steer him out of the current thought pattern, but he wasn’t having it. suddenly, she’d become the enemy as he looked back at her with daggers in his eyes. she apologized for what she said. it was the quickest way to diffuse his anger and fear.
after a time, they walked back to the truck and he took her home. she mentioned her upcoming trip to him, and asked if he’d take her to the airport. he answered her query with his own. “do you want me to take you to the airport?” “yes, i’d like that very much.” “okay, done.”
a few days later they had dinner at their favorite mexican restaurant in the city. it happened to be the same place where they often had lively conversation about matters of the heart and family. old memories came back to her as they found a table in the backyard.
shortly thereafter, his phone lit up with a photo of a woman on it. she was calling him. the ringer was silent, but it didn’t keep the photo from popping up. he nervously looked at it, then across the table at her, trying to find a way to explain what he hoped she had not seen.
he excused himself to the restroom, clearly busted and guilt-ridden for something she was not yet certain of. filing away the important and curious clue, she later presumed he’d left to call the woman for a brief moment. she saw it, knew she was correct. it was painful when the seer gift showed her more than her heart wanted to see.
they ordered dinner. he began to talk about how he joined a social organization called, ‘meet up.’ it allowed him to meet other people, get out and socialize, so he wouldn’t be ‘that creepy guy” any more. she’d never seen him in that light, but apparently he saw himself this way.
he offered that maybe she could join, too. there were a bunch of christian groups doing things. he pulled out his phone, showed her the app, opening it up so she could see. she might like it. she studied him again. what was this all about? was he inviting her deeper into his world? did he want her to join him in some other type of activities? more puzzle pieces, more filing.
people who go here aren’t looking to date other people
he was going to yoga class, too. hot yoga, designed to release tension, without any of the foo-foo religious stuff. this was purely for stretching and endurance. as they drove down lombard street, he showed her where the studio was.
then he made the oddest remark of the evening. “you know, people who go to this class aren’t looking for people to date. it’s almost 100 degrees in here, so most people don’t have a lot of clothes on.” what??? now, that was just plain odd. what was he talking about? another clue.
her trip was only a week away. he still on board to take her to the airport and pick her up when she returned. the following weekend, she drove north to her friend’s house. she texted him on saturday morning when she woke but never got a response. it stung. something was amiss, out of order. what was it?
her heart hurt as she went to sleep that night. peace was elusive. she would soon understand why. when dreams came, they were vivid, often strange. this one was no exception. it came to her early in the morning, when it was nearly time to get up for the day.
in the dream, there was a race with many people running in it. she was one of them. so was a woman she admired but did not know well. there was a man in the race, too. she knew him, too, but not very well, either.
she observed the man closely. while he wasn’t wearing a shirt, he was wearing running shorts, but something was wrong. he was missing the undergarment one would expect him to be wearing under the running shorts. as he was moving about, he experienced a wardrobe malfunction.
it was not the front of his anatomy suffering exposure, but the backside, the place where one releases excrement. in the dream, she saw his ***hole. it was unexpected and shocking.
at the same time she saw his ***hole, she heard the woman she knew calling her name loudly, warning her. as she transitioned out of the dream, it was her friend’s voice she heard calling her name…
tens minutes later, she had a cup of coffee in her hand as the dream replayed in her mind. oh, my. this would take a minute to process. and still no word from him. why? why was he ignoring her? why wasn’t he responding? it wasn’t like him at all.
the why was revealed in the dream. he was hiding something. he was being an ***hole and he was exposed. was this dream from father or from the liar? what was she to do with it? and what about those clues?
clearly, the inference of the dream could not be ignored. he’d been caught talking out of both sides of his mouth.
it was not funny or cute. it was painful and hard.
he was lying to her.
copyright © 2017 jane doe productions