What? #10

He drove across the bridge with no small measure of trepidation. It was one of those dark, threatening days where it never rains but you are always sure it will.

He glanced at his face in the mirror and saw the grimace. He took the thumb side of his hand and tried the rub the frown away with moderate success. It would do no good to walk in with that mug all wrinkled up. At this point, he wasn’t sure how he supposed to be.

It had been coming for months but the boy inside the man tried hard to resist. Awww, just ignore it. It’ll be fine. Well, that only goes so far. It wasn’t like he didn’t try to prepare. There were classes and books and all that. But everyone knows that the reality is never the same as the practice. You can’t know how the truck running you over feels til you’ve been there.

He recited the things he knew he’d have to say. He recited the things he’d hoped he’d think to say. He had this feeling that none of it would matter. He was more than right.

The waves were biting at the sides of the low bridge. The spray forced him to turn on the wipers now and again. As he crossed this two mile span between the island and the city, it seemed that the pounding became more intense. The waves would roll in an endless row of relentless pressure that would build and build. A brief release of pressure and it would begin again. Stronger with each succession. Spray flying farther across span.

His already flittering nerves seemed to explode with each wave. He gave his head a shake and focused on his driving. Within a few minutes he’d left the bridge behind and pulled into the parking lot of his destination. His palms found new levels of clammy as he walked into the building. He asked the receptionist where he had to go and she gave him a knowing smile as she pointed to the elevators.

He felt nervous in a way he’d never felt before. His body was vibrating with that weird mix of fear and expectation. He was standing, waiting for the doors to open, shaking his fluster away with his hands. ‘I must look a right and proper fool’, he thought. But he knew he was not the first and certainly wouldn’t be the last.

The elevator bell startled him as the doors slid open. He turned right as he read the sign on the wall. He was greeted and went into the outer area just outside the room. How would he be received? Joy? Anger? What would he see? Would he freak out? Forget everything he’d learned? He held his hands up in front him and pulled himself together. It was now and he had to go in.

She lay on the table. Legs splayed in stirrups. All manner of machines beeped and buzzed and rang. He looked at her as she turned to see who came in. Much to his relief she smiled and looked relieved and reach a hand out to him. Their eyes met and that moment passed between them. That cusp of a new reality. The day that it would never be the same. The cliché and the truth.

He knew they would probably not remember that moment specifically. And in the hours that followed, the specific one where you hold breath and wait for new life to live, it was forgotten. But it was written on their life. It was the demarcation, like a wrinkle of a memory, that would define them. A rag-wrapped gift lay on her as their lips met in one of those purest of joyful moments. They stared at their wonderous package and began a new dream. Of the untold and the unwritten. A fine mist scattered on the wind of fates.

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