The sky is a mix of blues, pinks and purples. The sun has all but set, and Clint and Angie are sitting parallel on the bench seat of his vintage Bronco. He had that put in just for her – or really, so that he could sit closer to her. She was the only girl he never got tired of, and always wanted around. Originally the old truck had separate seats with a cavernous space in the middle, without so much as a console where their elbows might touch together when they rested their arms.
The first time Angie sat in the Bronco with him, he knew he had to change the seats. He wanted her to sit right next to him when they drove across the country, which in his mind they were bound to do. God, he was crazy about her. He sometimes drove with the windows down and her long brown hair would tickle his face and neck as it got swept up in the wind, and little goosebumps would raise on her legs. Who knew goosebumps could be so sexy? They were. She was. Sexy and sweet and just enough of a sorceress to send him into a frenzy without even meaning to.
Angie usually sat right next to Clint, just like he’d intended except on certain Summer nights. On a clear night like this one she loved to see the moon and stars, so she slid all the way over to her side of the truck to watch the twinkling lights in the sky go by overhead. The stars were magical. Small, beautiful, enigmatic representatives of the Cosmos – a tremendous unknown world that she likened to the deepest, bluest, most mesmerizing ocean she’d ever want to dive into and would likely never get to swim in. She loved the stars like other people loved their pets or their sports teams – that is, with wild abandon and without apology.
She talked about the universe and all its inhabitants with such genuine passion, you might think she wanted to become an astronaut or fly to Mars. But she didn’t. She just felt connected to it, that big expanse. The moon with her phases and the galaxies with their total otherworldliness. She delighted in their beauty and marveled at their placement.
(((He drives her to a field. blanket the works. Likens her freckles to stars. A galaxy yours. It’s yours, she says. That’s the most romantic thing anyone has ever said to me, he says. I promise you, I’ll never stop exploring it.
Can I change my answer? This is my favorite.
What? The field? The stars? Being naked?
Scrunch up her nose laugh.
She sits on his lap and he hugs her tight, the sarape enclosing them in their own very colorful cocoon… whisper/talks into his ear. Tells him they are two halves of the same star. That’s why they recognized each other the first time they met. That’s why they keep circling back to each other. Why there’s so much heat. Why her face lights up, why he gets restless. The whole deal. She waits for him to laugh at her. He doesn’t.
So can I?
Can you what, Kiddo?
Change my answer. I want to change it.
Sure. Hit me.
These are all my favorite. These moments I used to dream about, the ones I never thought I’d really get with you. When we do something like drive out to an abandoned field and lie in the grass and trace freckles and breathe in the wild air and just hold on to each other and stare out at the constellations. It’s hard to explain but sometimes it makes my fingertips tingle. I can feel energy shooting from them, it’s like my soul reaches out a little, just outside the confines of my body, and yours reaches out too – just a fraction – and they touch. And for half a minute we are one person, not two. Like we’re whole again. When they make the movie about my life, these are going to be the thing I talk about when it’s over. The best part.