Magic things happen at the beach. First when we pulled up to Luna’s after 8 long hours of driving, and parked out on the sandy street, I noticed a new trampoline in the side-yard of her house. Zoe was yelling “drink, drink” but when I unbuckled her, pulled her out of her seat then pointed at the trampoline, she stopped yelling.
“Come on” I said and leaving the doors open I carried and ran with her to the trampoline. It had a big laminated sign pinned to the safety net that surrounded it, that said, “Merry Christmas Zoe and Odette, love Luna”
I shoved her through the little opening in the net, jumped in myself then held her hands as we bounced up and down in circles, she giggled like a maniac and it was so amazing to hear her laugh like a little girl should. Then Bob came wandering over, he must have seen us pull up, and he walked up to the trampoline and waved at us with a big Bob-grin.
“Helooooo girls!! Do you like the trampoline?”
“Yes! we love it!” I shouted breathlessly. Zoe was now running around the edges in circles and laughing. “This is so awesome for her sensory needs, just perfect…so fun.”
“I had six guys out here putting it together yesterday. Luna called from England and told me it needed to be up before you got back today. I think the labor cost more than the trampoline!”
“Thank you so much, Bob!! Wanna jump?”
“Um, no thanks,” he grinned. He went off to get bags out of my car and take them inside while Zoe and I continued to jump. We shed our sweaters and watched seagulls fly over in the blue sky and listened to the waves crash as we bounced and laughed.
Later Lucy came over and she brought some leftover lasagna so we heated it up in the microwave then took out out onto the deck to watch the sunset. I turned on the outdoor heater and fed Zoe some food off my plate while she ran off to the sand to play then came back sporadically to take more off my fork.
“So how was Athens?” Bob said.
“Great” I lied.
“Did you see Jake?”
“For a second.” I took a bite with the cheese stringing all over the place. “He is totally into Rissa. It’s weird.”
“That’s good” Bob said. “Maybe he won’t be showing up around here again anytime soon.”
“Well, Clarissa’s is from St. Augustine” Lucy said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they came back together.”
“Well, hopefully not to stir up trouble” Bob said.
I smiled and shook my head. “Don’t worry about those love birds” I said.
Lucy pointed her fork at me and said through chews, “Speaking of love birds, have you heard from Chris?”
“I hate talking about this” I grumped, feeling comfortable enough now to tell the truth. “He is done with me. It’s been months.”
“Well, she said, “I know that Evan really likes you but he is hesitant to get involved with a married woman. Why don’t you and Chris get a divorce?”
“I’m not getting a divorce” I said and looked at them both with anguish. “Don’t even say that word.”
“Well if he doesn’t call you from his tour, and you are unfaithful to each other it doesn’t seem like a relationship you should be hanging on to” Lucy said.
“Lucy,” Bob said, “People can get past infidelity, we know that, don’t we honey?” he raised his eyebrows at her “And Chris loves Odette to the ends of the Earth, I know he does, he told me.”
She shook her head, “This is just dragging on.” She looked at me, “And those awful magazine photos. I just hate seeing you in pain all the time. You looked happy with Evan. Why not move on and feel good again, honey?”
I stood up and gathered empty plates then took them into the kitchen. I turned on the hot water, breathing in the steam and slowly moved the soapy sponge in circles over the smooth ceramic. Maybe Lucy was right. Maybe I couldn’t keep hanging on like this. If he didn’t at least call me to talk to me, then maybe I would instead call him later, make him talk to me, and use the “d” word. No…there was no way.
With Zoe bathed in a large, warm bubble bath then tucked into bed with some new flannel PJ’s that Luna had left for her on her pillow, I went into my room. There was a package on my bed too all wrapped up with a huge glittering silver ribbon tied around it. How did she do all this from England? I tore it open and I got some new PJ’s too, light blue silk ones, they were almost cold on my skin and I practically slid into bed they were so slippery. I noticed a tag on the wrapping that I hadn’t looked at so I picked up the crumpled paper and smoothed it out. It said, love, Evan. I smiled. He got me silk PJ’s? Hmmm.
I read blogs online for a couple hours and then just as I thought I would go to sleep I got a text from Evan that said, “Did you like the trampoline?”
I texted back, OMG, AMAZING, SO FUN!!” and thanks for the present…perfect fit.” I thought about the time, it was 3:00 am in England. I texted, “What are you doing awake?
“Thinking about you.”
I looked at his words. This wasn’t like him. I smiled and wrote, “Think…light blue, silk PJs”
I thought about texting, ‘What else are you thinking?’ But instead wrote, “Goodnight”
I put my head back on my pillow and my phone buzzed again. I grinned, my heart starting to thud at the possibilities of where this could go, but then I raised my white and silver iPhone in front of my face and saw it was from Chris. It said, “Did you get my last text? I mean it, I still love you.”
I sat up quickly and looked at it, what? Then it rang and I jumped. I slowly put it up to my ear, paused for a minute to process what was happening, then pulled my response from the usual, limited group of sentences reserved for Chris’s phone calls, “Zoe’s already asleep.”
He simply said, “I miss your pancakes” I almost started to cry with relief but I took a deep breath, clasped the phone to my head with both hands and whispered, “me too.”