Intertwined

intertwined hands

The yellow lines on the highway sped by in a blur, and we flew through the night, and we felt free. But we weren’t, and we knew it. We were running away from something, and running away was never the path to freedom. I thought about telling John to turn back. I thought about suggesting we go back and talk to Minnie, plead with her. 

It all happened so suddenly. Neither of us planned this. We simply fell into a look, a glance, a touch, a rhythm. A swaying of souls, once parallel lines, now intertwined, vines wrapping around each other. 

After all, nothing lasts forever. At some point, love loses its vibrancy, its bloom. It withers. The vines shrivel, loosen, and slip away from each other as new tendrils grow on top of them.

I didn’t tell John to turn back. We moved swiftly through the night, our hands clasped, fingers intertwined like his and Minnie’s would never be again.

I turned and gazed at John. His right hand tangled in mine. His left hand on the steering wheel. His gaze intensely focused on the road and softening as he turns to look at me. A warm squeeze of his hand, a slight smile. All is well. I’ll call Minnie tomorrow and explain everything.

I pictured the day I betrayed my best friend.

Minnie was away at the conservatory. She had been gone for a month. Playing violin in New York. Learning new things, making new friends, forgetting about me.

Before Minnie left, John seemed so ordinary. But that day, through my tear streaked face and puffy eyes, he was my hero.

I was still home in Newcastle, slumming at the community college, struggling to pass my English 101 course. I asked John to pick me up after classes. We still hung out even after Minnie left. Just platonic. 

Until the anxiety attacks started, increased, and began to take over my life. I was crying in the bathroom when I called him. Luckily, he was off work that day.

In the car, for what seemed like the first time, I noticed how soft and warm his eyes were. His shoulders broad from construction work. His smile, solid.  Before Minnie left, John seemed so ordinary. But that day, through my tear streaked face and puffy eyes, he was my hero.

It was rainy and windy that Friday afternoon. The morning sunshine reluctantly devolved into a darkened skyscape of ominous clouds and lightning. Thunder reverberated down as we approached my home.

As our lips met, the rain and wind swirled around us, entwining our hair like a vine, entwining our souls over time and space.

My parents were out of town for the weekend. I told John I had a gift from Minnie to give him. It was a vintage lighter she found. The dark brown lighter with gold trim felt smooth in my hands as I retrieved it from my top dresser draw to give to John. 

Without warning, one of my windows flew open and wind and rain whipped around us. As I reached to close the window and subdue the tempest of air and water, John clasped my wrist and pulled me to him. As our lips met, the rain and wind swirled around us, entwining our hair like a vine, entwining our souls over time and space. Spinning us together swiftly, violently, until we teetered over the edge of the void.