I Actually Love You - Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023
Wednesday, Jul. 05, 2023 @ 2:44 pm
We stop beside the lake and turn off our headlights. The barred owls are noisy in the trees, young owls begging, and the parents swooping among the shadows. Frogs croak, one type like a plucked banjo string. Another deep hollow ribbit.
Standing there quietly, a wave of dizziness hits me. Something is happening to me, and it’s not good. I make my way to a bench telling him that I need to sit down. I feel faint and hot. I really want to lay down and close my eyes.
He sits beside me and rubs my back. “I’m sorry,” he says, “I feel badly.”
“Don’t feel badly. I wanted to do this. You didn’t know this would happen.”
Earlier in night, we stood together under an old, tall cedar, and he passed me the drugs.
“I’m a bad influence on you,” he teased.
“Only because I let you,” I responded.
Time passes while I ride the wave of panic. I close my eyes and lean against him, focusing on breathing. I don’t talk for a long time. An hour? I have no idea.
“I feel badly that I’m keeping you out this late,” I tell him.
“I’m not leaving you,” he says.
Little brown bats dart above the water of the lake.
The beaver slaps its tail and splashes into the water, the sound loud and startling in the quiet night.
Eventually I am able to stand up. Did I fall asleep for a little while there? I don’t know.
“I’m ready to go.”
We ride home through the park on the gravel trails, our lights casting moving shadows of branches and leaves. I’m still not talking, and I hear every piece of gravel shift under my tires, and I hear his breathing in and out beside me as we ride.
We stop where we are to part ways. We hug, and he apologizes.
As I’m riding away, he says quietly, “Don’t be a stranger, hey? We’ll figure this out.”