After reading the prompt, I couldn’t help myself…
A little personal history with a twist of fiction…
When the Ride Ends…
We met after a band event at an amusement park when I was sixteen. My best friend and I ran into him and his best friend. We were inseparable; hitting the rides together, eating lunch, even just walking around. We parted ways when the day was over with a “See you next year” thrown over my shoulder and my
friend and I didn’t give it much more thought.
“Miss Smith, Miss Johnson, can I see you both in my office for a second.” Our music director had been one of my older brother’s best friends in college so he was always teasing me. I’d had a crush on him when we first met–older, cooler, cuter than guys my age. Now, he was my teacher and was much more of an annoying reminder that I had a family reputation to uphold.
“I received a letter at the school here.” He began. “Inside was a request to hand these off to you ladies,” he continued handing us each an envelope from out of a larger one. “I had meant to give this to you a while back”.
We looked at the envelopes, my friend’s addressed with her name and mine addressed with “For the Friend whom you know to give it to”. Whoever had tracked us down didn’t even know my name…
“I realize this is a bit presumptuous, but given the letter I received with them, I think it’s safe to assume they’re meant for you two.” He smiled that annoying big brother knows a secret kind of smile and dismissed us.
We looked at each other, grinned, and went to find an empty practice room. We closed the door behind us and tore into the envelopes. They were from the guys at the amusement park. We laughed till we cried.
…… Ten Years Later……
Time has a way of changing things, what you consider to be an adventure among them.
I wasn’t galavanting around, living off of my skills as a musician or writer anymore. I was a single mom working three jobs. My adventures these days consisted greatly of watching my child’s eyes go wide with awe as he learned about animals, bugs, science, everything. The antagonist of this journey was his neglectful father.
I still spoke with the young man I met at the amusement park on occasion, but the discussions were few and far between. I didn’t have much time for friends these days. On one of my rare, true days off we reconnected and he offered to take us out to dinner.
We ate and chatted and he told my son what a smart, wonderful kid he was. The evening was wonderful. So, when we got back to the house and I got my little one in bed, he was a bit baffled when I started crying.
I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had an evening out I wasn’t working or worried or just trying to make it through. It was nice to feel like a person again. The rest spilled out with the tears, how difficult things had been,how terrible things were with my son’s father even when we had been together.
He held me close, silent, gentle, and strong while I feel apart into the thousands of pieces I was always trying to hold together.
“I’ll take care of this” He whispered into my hair.
I din’t know what he’d meant, what he said didn’t even register until I got the call the next morning.
Seemed my son’s father had been found dead. The police said a lot of things and asked a lot of questions. It seemed like they couldn’t decide if it was gang related or not. There didn’t seem much evidence of violence among the gang members themselves…
The police asked a lot of questions… and when they left… I cried.