They start driving she recognizes the way they’re going, but doesn’t say anything. She thinks she knows where she is headed. She doesn’t want to ruin it since for his thinking it is supposed to be a surprise to her. The music being played she is somewhat surprised by it’s classical. She asks about changing the station, he tells her sure, and the confusion really sets in. He’s got every station on his presets except country music. She asked about the classical music, and he explains that it helps clear the mind when studying because there are no words to it. The mind grows better with that kind of music.
They arrive at their destination. For a moment they sit in the car listening to the rain pounding on the roof, staring out over the open ocean. The jetty going out along the rocks with the waves crashing over it, and the sea lions, and seals laying on the sand. He looks at her, then opens his door and gets out. She thinks for a second he’s got to be kidding, then follows. Once she out she asks him if he’s out of his mind. He replies with no, just really like this place. They walk down to the jetty the rain still coming down, the waves crashing over the jetty, as they walk he walks just a little behind her and says to walk all the way to the end. She does, and when they get there she turns around and is facing him. He leaves a little space still between them so as not to seem intimidating. They talk some more and laugh about the fact that now both of them are soaking wet. They talk about the animals and watch them on the sandy shores, trying to get back on in the water, or trying to get onto that rock that the animal has been dreaming about. The place is quiet, usually there are some people there, but tonight there is nobody, they continue to chat and laugh and stand in the rain. He tells her not to worry he has a towel in the back of his car. She can dry off with that. She then spreads some concern for him and he tells her not to worry about it, he doesn’t have time to get sick. The full moon above glowing with an outer ring that gives the moon the look of having a halo. They both take that in, and look at the stars, and talk about those. Looking around she points out some rocks over closer to the beach and off the jetty, that they could sit under without being rained on the rest of the night. He agrees then they go up to his car; he gives her the towel, and moves things around in his trunk, before finding a blanket. It’s a small one, but a blanket nonetheless. They bring the towel and the blanket back down to the beach and underneath the rocks.
She dries herself off as they walk down, he lays the blanket out, then they lie down on the blanket still talking, looking at the stars, and watching the ocean listening to the rain as it hits the ocean, the rocks, the jetty, the sand, and occasionally with gust of wind it still hits them.
The moment becomes completely silent, she doesn’t say anything, and he doesn’t say anything. He feels the need to break the silence with humor, but decides against it. It occurs to him that this awkward silence isn’t awkward at all. It’s nice, it’s like they both are taking a minute to take it all in. He rolls to one side putting his elbow to the ground and his head on his hand looking at her. She looks up at him, still in silence.
As he watches her, his mind runs with ideas. What he wants to do, what he should do, if he is going to do any of it the questions start of how. What’s right? What’s wrong? Then the fear of rejection kicks in. What if she doesn’t like it? What if he does something wrong? What if? Just once he wishes his mind would shut up, and he could just take a feeling and run with it, but even then starts more thinking. If he takes the idea and runs with it, what does that mean? Is it the right thing to do? Non-stop his mind goes. What if she does like it? What does that mean? Finally, he takes his feeling over his thoughts.
He leans down closer to her, her eyes had looked away for a moment, and now we’re back on him. He leans in to her and kisses her gently. Fortunately, especially for him she kisses him back. They continue kissing and he starts wondering how far she would go. He doesn’t want her to go all the way definitely not on a first date. Even this really isn’t a first date; they just met at the restaurant. Although every moment they’re kissing his mind does actually stop thinking, and he lets his emotions take over. The soft sensual touch of her lips against his, their arms around each other in a caring, compassionate hold. She stops for a second and gently pushes him off. Still leaving him close enough to kiss again, but at the same time, she needs to talk to him. She asks him what this means exactly? He responds by explaining to her that he wasn’t even sure at one point if he’d ever see her again, and he had spent many nights just wondering about that, and now that he had this chance he wasn’t going to mess it up. Even though his mind almost managed to for him. She clears up the question because he still really hadn’t answered it yet. She says to him what does this mean for us? Where do we go from here? He tells her he really isn’t sure, in his head he only got as far as the beach. The kissing thing was just an added bonus. So again the signed sealed and delivered thing comes up for her. Wants to know what’s next. Wants to know where their moving to from here, and he really just does not have a clue.
She thinks about his response for a moment, and then remembers what she had said two years ago about maybe in another life this went better. After that thought passing through her mind, she thinks to herself, maybe this is the chance for that better life, and leans up to kiss him again.
After spending more time on the beach kissing and talking like high school kids in puppy love, they decide it’s time for them to leave. They go up to the car get in and drive home. This time she turns on the classical music. The ride home is quiet, as they both just enjoy the sounds of a string quartet, or the sounds of a full symphony. They pull up to her house, and he walks her to the door. She invites him in, but he explains to her that he doesn’t think that would be a good idea, maybe another night. He leans in to give her a kiss goodnight. She returns it, and they say goodnight. She closes her door, and he goes back to his car, and gets in.
In his car he sits and thinks for a moment then sees her light in the living room go out, and decides it’s time to drive off. As he drives his mind starts running about what had happened he goes over it and over it in his mind. Smiling all the while thinking of how pleasant she was, and how honest she was. He can’t get over it. His experiences with others have left him bored to such a point that a second date was never in his mind. He wouldn’t treat them bad or anything, but they never really liked his honesty either. He doesn’t talk to any body he’s ever gone out with before, other than when he saw them in the halls at school, or out. An acknowledgement of some kind he would do.
He got to his house and walked in turning the light on to see if he had any messages. There we’re none so he decided to go to bed. He lied down and started talking to himself, but in reality was talking to God. Well his God anyway. He’s not kneeling and praying he’s just lying on his bed talking to him like a normal person. He didn’t start the prayer with thanking the God he didn’t start by saying anything other than how you doing. He asks that if anything, anything at all tonight offended anybody, or upset or scared, or disturbed. That not only would he like to ask their forgiveness, if he ever found out, but he would like to ask his God’s forgiveness as well.
As he sits in the restaurant that had just recently
burned down. He remembers that night there. He’s in the same place. The table they sat at has fallen to ash, and that has blown away in the wind. He remembers her smell, he remembers what she looked like walking in. He remembers that his brother had given him the opportunity to eat with her sacrificing his own night of freedom, so that he could eat with her. Yet still to this day he doesn’t know what his brother said to her when he was walking out. He just remembers the smile that came across her face, and the look she gave him after, before joining him to eat. He runs through that night sitting there, and the answer to his first problem is right in front of him, yet he still can’t see it. Over, and over he runs through everything that night with her. Having dinner, sitting on the beach, dropping her off, and what he thought about when he got back into his car. He gets up and starts walking around the restaurant, pacing back and forth in the same line. One way for so many steps then back the other way. This continues as he runs all this through his mind, looking for a solution to this current problem. His pace slows, as if he was about to give up and sit back down. Then his pace picks back up. He starts telling himself I know it’s there. I now it’s in that night. I’m not giving up. This is not over. Repeating all these things to himself. He looks around the room, and spots a pack of smokes on the ground. He picks it up thinking there might be one in it. He opens it, there was a half-a-pack left.
He hasn’t smoked since being twenty-nine, but now he was almost requiring himself to smoke. He knows there’s a burned down half demolished liquor store nearby. That if he really wanted to, he could walk in the rain and go get some. This just happened to be really convenient. He takes out a smoke, and lights it taking a drag. He always carried a lighter even after quitting smoking. He found it to be very useful in certain times. So he always kept one handy. He throws the remainder of the pack on the table, and continues pacing. Repeating the words to himself, I’m not giving up. He drags again off of the cigarette, still running that night through his head. Again he only takes it as far as dropping her off. Then finally he slows his pace, and repeats back to him the words said, the things that happened from beginning to end. Slowly he moves forward through his thoughts, and it happens. He walks his mind all the way through to when he went to bed.
He prayed, but he always prayed in his own way. He did ask forgiveness, but he asked in his own way. He did the right thing, he just did it his own way. It occurs to him that maybe his own way wasn’t right. Maybe it was right for that time, and that’s just how he did it. Keep in mind he always said if the day came that he met God he’d have his as in a church the next day. So finally step one solved to the point of he knows what he needs to do. Now it’s just a matter of doing it, willingly and having it being acceptable to God, his wife, and now even his daughter. Which means every emotion he’s every felt. Anything he’d ever shutout. The things he did for a job all need to come out, and true emotions need to be shown.
So he figured out part one. Now only three things left to do. The second and third have been stated to him. The fourth he is required to figure out himself. Deductive reasoning for him, he’s always loved that. Always liked figuring things out, well until now anyway. It used to be fun, of course then his life was never dependent upon it like it is now. The second thing he knows what it is. The task itself is going to be a long tedious journey for him. Well at least he thinks so. As far as he knows no one else is alive here it’s just him and a lot of time to do what he needs to do. This rain has to stop though, before any journey can take place.
He sits waiting for the rain a little, to see if it even gives a hint of dying down. He then starts to think of what the fourth thing could possibly be. He looks out the window the rain still pelting down. No hint of it dying. He puts the cigarette out on the floor and wipes it with his foot to make sure it’s out. Not that it would really matter at this point. He used to smoke all the time, you couldn’t find him without one. Then when his wife and him got together she had asked him to quit. He started by saying he knows he should he just hasn’t yet. Then a couple of years into the marriage she pushed the issue a little more. He still said he should and just hasn’t yet. Then his wife told him she was pregnant, and that either the smoking went or he went. He didn’t really like the ultimatum, but he loved his wife greatly, and didn’t ever want to see her with anybody else. So he gave it up. At first it was very hard. The first week he was hacking like he was still smoking, when it was only his lungs trying to clear themselves out. After that stopped he felt a lot better. He wasn’t coughing anymore he could breathe normally. His exercise wasn’t interrupted because he wanted to stop and have a smoke. So overall I did work out better for him. Also after his wife found him more attractive, and wanted him all the time, even while being pregnant. Of course after she had the baby, that slowed down a little. By that time smoking for him was no longer any kind of issue.
Some thought goes into him asking forgiveness while he sits here while he waits for the rain. At least that way while the rain is still going, he will accomplish one of his tasks and he can move forward as soon as the rain breaks. He stops for a moment to take in his life and all the things he has done. All things that he needs to ask forgiveness for, and realizing who it is he’s asking. He’s part asking himself for, part asking his wife, part asking his daughter, and part asking God himself. He starts to wonder if would be better if he tried to separate the feelings for each one in such a way, that whoever it is he’s asking he can express that to them individually instead of trying to ask four people at once for forgiveness. By separating the four. He can do it his way, as such, as long as who ever he’s asking understands what it is he’s doing. He does his best to clear that with God. He waits nothing bad happened. So he assumes that that will be okay. Now where to start with this? Does he start with is daughter who loved him unconditionally no matter what happened, does he start with his wife who even after finding out what he did, simply stated I don’t like that, but I’m not going to complain either. Then spent her every Sunday in a church, repenting for everything she knew her husband did. Should he start with himself, and if so where? He never told his parents how he felt. Why would they change what they we’re doing. It was his fault to not say anything. Should he start with his profession? Should he start with the fact that in the interest of protecting himself he turned in his brother, after the last fire. Or should he start with God, his God or the God he saw that took all the souls and left him. If he starts with God what does he say? How does he say it? How does he get his point across? How does he do it honestly since God will always know his feelings on the inside?
Frustration builds up inside of him again. Where to start? Who to start with? He thinks that himself would be the easiest, but that means that not only would he have to convince himself he’d have to believe in himself, and believe the words he speaks. He’ll need the same beliefs behind him to prove himself worthy to God.
He sits and thinks to himself about everything he has done, then begins mumbling to himself about he is supposed to fix it. He knows he must ask forgiveness, and yet at the same time that means that he has to change his belief system first. It’s funny he used to think that nothing was ever wrong with what he believed, and now he comes to find that it’s not wrong. It’s simply different, and to move ahead it has to be different again. So now what does he do? What if his beliefs were simply changed to ideas, then he took the ideas and started changing them. Making them different to fit his needs at the moment. Is that right though? Can you change something for a moment even though you know it’s not really how you feel? Can you change how you feel without being a hypocrite? His mind wanders back and forth with the concepts he just threw at himself, and yet still has no answers.
When he was dating DeeAnna things like this were a lot easier, at least with her anyways. Most of his relationships never really went past the first date. He became bored with them. Anyway he could bounce thoughts like this off of her, get her opinion and move from there. Usually she had something really good to say about it, and he would think some more then somewhat come up with a conclusion. Other times though it would become a bigger issue, and they would go back and forth discussing it. He loved it. He liked having her around for conversation. He always thought that if anything ever did happen with them, at least when they got older the conversation would still be there even if nothing else was.
He continues with throwing the thoughts back and forth in his head. Slowly coming up with answers, then debating those wondering if they’re right, wrong, or acceptable. How would he know, then finally comes to the conclusion that he just needs to ask. He looks around the restaurant, and decides that the best way to do this would start by kneeling. He gets down next to the table and rests his arms on there. He bows his head, and his mind begins to wander. How far back must he go or does it matter? How will he know if what he says is right? This is what has always bugged him about God in the first place, and now his strongest belief which is there’s something out there, don’t know if it’s God has hit him straight in the face, and he has no idea how to act. Time to move on he thinks to himself. He crosses his hands interlocking his fingers, and rest them on the table. Then he thinks maybe he should be more open, instead of closing himself off. Letting God have the opportunity to touch his soul. He stops looks up for a second, then decides to stand. He stands with his legs somewhat apart, but still comfortable. Arms are no longer crossed. Instead there dropped to his sides relaxed.
He bows his head again, rotates it once then leans his head back. He starts with his prayer:
Don’t know if you noticed.
But at this point I’m a little unsure.
I don’t know how to do this
My daughter, my wife I miss
My life may have gone a little off
No one ever told me it was wrong.
I heard it once didn’t want to believe
Maybe because I just didn’t want to see
So I guess now I’m asking for your help.
A chance to change how I felt.
I have to say this is a little weird.
And at the same time, running through me is simply fear.
Don’t know if you’ll hear a word I say
Don’t know if you’ll help me along the way.
At this point not sure what to expect.
At this point, there are things in my life I do regret.
It was a job and it was one I had to do.
I apologize greatly if it’s not what you wanted me to do.
I asked for help along the way.
You never showed me, and if you did then how did I still go astray.
I don’t know what to say at this point, I really don’t
I’m asking your forgiveness, and will it work. I don’t know.
So I leave this thought with you.
If at ever there comes a time I cross you, please tell me
Because if you don’t I may never see.
So make sure it’s clear, so that I’m not blind to it.
Make sure it’s there, so I can’t deny it.
I say these things in the name of Father, son, and the Holy ghost.
He waits never changing his stance. His eyes open slowly at first readjusting themselves to the already dark room. His arms stay at his side, his head stays leaned back. He brings his head forward, and rotates it again. He doesn’t feel that much is different. The rain is still pelting down outside, the feelings inside of him racked with guilt for the thought of everything he had to ask forgiveness for. The people that are dead by his hands, the people he’s hurt because of his job. The people that may never forgive him, and even if they would have they’re dead now too. Frustration wells up inside of him, the lump in his throat forms from starting to cry. He beats his fists down on the table, mumbling to himself. His tears coming out more now. The pain inside of hime stronger and stronger. He looks to see the rain still hitting in the window. He turns to grab a chair, and launches out the window. It’s been awhile since he’s been this mad. Last time he was like this didn’t go very well for him.
It was a beautiful day outside. He had just completed a job the night before so he was back to having his free time. It was also his 28th birthday. He had actually forgotten. He stopped celebrating his birthday years ago. He knew what day it was when it came he just never did anything about it. This time he had forgotten. He had been so busy with work, and projects of his own that he really didn’t care. He woke up in the morning opened his blinds to the morning sun, as he watched the waves crash over the ocean. He reached over and turned on his computer. It started up. He went in the kitchen to make coffee. He was out. So he looked at the pot hoping last nights was there, and he could reheat it. Gone. He looked in his fridge to get a glass of milk. Empty carton in there. The phone rings it’s the bank. There’s a ten day hold on this check. He hangs up the phone. He looks in the freezer for food items. Nothing that sounds good, ice cream is in there it is vanilla he thinks guess that counts for milk. Closes the freezer in frustration. He walks back to his computer and sees that it didn’t load right. He restarts it to see what happens. He goes to use the restroom. He’s out of toilet paper. He changes his mind comes back to his computer. It loaded right. He sits down to log into his email, and the network he’s connected to is down. Can’t check his email. Can’t send his email. Can’t do much with his computer as long as that network is down. Shortly after all that his phone rings. He thinks for a second. He has plans with DeeAnna this evening, and the first thing he thinks is that it’s her calling to cancel. So he’ll just wait and let the machine pick it up.