(a true story with completely made-up parts)
On a cloudy day in Candler Park, Georgia, a girl stared out of the window in her tiny garden home, brooding and bored with her mundane routine. She let out a huge sigh and drifted off into the thought of living a life with more adventure and excitement. She dreamt of racing a fast sports car down the Autobahn in Germany and hang-gliding off a cliff in Venezuela.
Why can’t I have adventure right now? In this moment, here? She thought.
So she jumped up, grabbed the keys to the old-school Cadillac her grandparents gave her the year before, and headed out for a drive. Passing the same stores and restaurants she usually does, she felt discouraged and began to think that her hopes of finding excitement in this town were futile. Seemingly out of nowhere, she turned onto the next street that would lead her back home.
There she suddenly noticed a carnival had set up in town. I haven’t been to a carnival in so long, She thought. So she turned into the parking lot, got out, and lit a joint. As she stood there against the hood of her car observing the crowd, she noticed someone watching her. It was a tall brown-haired guy with a boyish frame wearing ripped black jeans and a faded band t-shirt she couldn’t make out from where she was.
He noticed her begin to pretend to avoid him and slowly walked over. “What’s your name,” He asked. She kept her cool, searching him from head to toe with her eyes before answering, “Rose.”
“You wanna go in?” He asked her as he stepped up to her even closer. He was closer than he should have been for being a complete stranger but he had a confident air about him that screamed I know you may be scared of me and I don’t mind. Rose was totally invigorated by this and met him eye to eye. Somehow she knew that even though he approached her in such an unexpected way, she had nothing to be afraid of. “Let’s go.” She replied.
As they walked into the fairgrounds, he stayed about one step beside her and watched her intently as she looked around. Suddenly he stopped and pulled her hand. She turned to look at him and waited for him to explain why they’d stopped. He simply smiled and pulled her closer. As the rest of the crowd walked around them, he stared into her eyes and asked her to open her mouth.
She stared back at him, holding onto his hand still, knowing that he wasn’t joking and thinking hard about what she would do. Without breaking contact with his eyes to hers, she slowly opened her mouth and lifted her chin. He reached into his pocket, pulled out a tiny blue square with little gold flakes that shimmered in the light, and placed it on her tongue. She closed her mouth and looked out to the grove of trees that surrounded the fair just beyond them.
“What now?” She asked. “Now we live,” He said as he took her other hand and led her to the part of the fair where an African jam band was playing music. He let go of her hand and began to dance freely on his own. She couldn’t tell if he remembered she was even there, so she started to dance just as hard. The rhythm of the music vibrated through every cell of her body and she moved with the energy of everyone dancing around her.
The rest of the day seemed like a vibrant watercolor painting. Together they rode all the rides, talking, flirting, and gently touching each other in curious ways while standing in lines. By sunset, they landed on a picnic table outside the fairgrounds eating corndogs and staring at the entrance to the forest ahead.
“Can I say something wild?” She asked him. “Try me,” he replied.
“I want to spend many, many days with you,” She told him with her eyes fixed on his like they had been all day. He looked down and turned toward her before taking her head into his hands and kissing her for the first time. Rose dropped the plate in her hand to hold and kiss this devilish stranger, and they kissed with the passion of one thousand burning stars.
As they lay on their backs against the table hand in hand, they stared up at the cloudy haze overhead as it turned from peach to purple to night’s deep blue. They lay there together in complete silence. Rose thought of how alive she felt that day. She thought of how much she laughed and smiled and screamed, feeling safe and free and encouraged by this guardian archangel. Maybe I knew him in another life, She thought.
She closed her eyes and imagined what it would be like to approach her life with more laughter, freedom, and excitement. She imagined hiking through magical caves in Iceland and dancing in a drum circle in Ghana. She pictured how exciting it’d be to have her newfound love join her in these adventures across the world. She reveled in that one possibility out of the infinite as it brought her so much joy to visualize.
Rose didn’t realize that she’d completely drifted off in her daydream, and when she opened her eyes the boy was gone. She sat up and looked around but there was no sign of him. So, she looked back out at the trees and closed her eyes again.