victordavis would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Wanna Take a Ride?

By victordavis All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Drama

Blurb

I try to be an empathetic person. Sometimes, my best work comes from trying to place myself in another's shoes and tell a story from their point of view. In this story, I invented a fictional "me," and tried to answer: How will I feel about "me" when I am old? I've always wondered what the mechanism is that drives the ambitious, creative, sprawling, adventurous spirit out of people as they grow up. This doesn't pose any answer, it only poses the question most adults have given up on. Why is it that such a tiny fraction of adults actually realize their dreams and achieve true greatness in life? I think it has less to do with the world we live in than it does the instincts we possess for interpreting that world. We can all search our pasts for those little defining moments and ask a million "what if" questions. But the real question is, how have I changed since I was seven, and have I changed for the better?

Wanna Take a Ride?

It seems strange to me now, at this point in my life, to feel so strongly and think so long on such a small decision made so long ago. With the sun getting so high, why should such a little thing haunt me?

I was only a kid. Fresh out of college, throwing myself headlong into my work, thinking about my future. Walking to the office one morning. Bag slung over one shoulder. Tie hung loosely about the neck, blowing in the wind. Looking down. Used to look up. Now, always looking down, deep in thought. Alive! But starting to feel that tingling numbness in my fingers.

And then a car drives up, breaking my train of thought. A sporty red convertible. Blonde at the wheel, brunette shotgun. Young girls, younger than me. Full of life, saturated with it. They stop next to me, and the brunette takes off her sunglasses.

“Wanna take a ride?”

And being what I am, I do want to. But -

“I can’t. I’m headed to work.” And I point ahead of me.

“We’re headed to California.” And she points behind me.

I look over my shoulder, and I can taste the ocean. I can feel the sun’s rays. And the warm breeze. I can feel the girl’s kiss, her hair, her waist, her shoulders. Her smile smoldering red hot against the back of my eyes.

“I can’t just ditch. Lots of work, projects, loose ends.”

And before I can ask her name, her number, anything -

“Suit yourself.” And she disappears. Forever. And what gets me more isn’t my reaction, but hers. Somehow, I had it that she would argue, convince me to go. Just for the day. Just around the block. And I looked down again, deep in thought, and went to work. After a few weeks, didn’t even think about it again. Until now.

Now, that I’m married thirty-five years. Kids grown. Happy. Complete. A good job turned great career. A good woman turned great marriage. Good kids with great futures ahead of them. The Great American Dream. The perfect life, in the little yellow house and the white picket fence, the dog, everything. Reading by the fire. Playing ball in the backyard. Building a fort. Painting that white picket fence, the distant twenty-year-old inside me chuckling. Making love to a woman after thirty-five years. Putting two kids through college. I loved my life. I love my life.

It just wasn’t the life I wanted. When I was little, I wanted to be an explorer. The Seven Seas. North Pole. Safari. India. Mt. Everest. The deepest cave and the highest cliff. An astronaut. Test pilot. And not just like everyone else, either. I remember. I embraced it. Loved it. Stories, movies. I honestly remember a time thinking, “When I’m fifteen…”, as if it was far beyond the horizon. There was just so much time in the world. Like grains of sand on the beach, the minutes of life spread out before me. I would conquer the world by fifteen.

And by fifteen, I had new ideas, a bit more grounded, but just as fantastic. I would be a rock star. A writer. A surfer. Rock climber. Travel around the world and back again. In college, I would be a millionaire, a CEO. International Business major. Switched to marketing. And on that hot day, content at the bottom rung of the corporate ladder, aiming high as I could see. That was the threshold, that day, the point of no return.

Two years ago, sitting at my desk, the memory of that day came back all at once. For some reason, I can’t shake it. Men my age - I think - go out and screw women like her and buy cars like hers and take vacations to places we used to dream of, where they build hotels to mock our adventure. But not me. I just wonder what happened. I wonder what happened to me, what forces of my own biology and culture squandered me. That when a lark flew by my cage to sing to me, I turned the other way.

What is it that snuffed out that candle inside me? I don’t know. There is nothing I can imagine, and yet it was me, the whole me, that turned her away. Not just a gut reaction, but a full body instinct. The thought of getting into that car turned my body to stone. It was all of me, my own freewill that turned me down this road.

And here’s what gets me more than anything. What wrenches my heart out of my chest. She was beautiful. Even two hundred feet away she caught my gaze, and two feet away she stole my heart. I can’t say if she was truly the perfect woman or if that’s simply what she represents in my mind. All I know is that she was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. More than my own wife.

I’d always thought of her as a lark, beautiful, free, and uncatchable. In reality, she probably went to school or married or waited tables or had a child. She’s probably still alive - my age - and would never in a million years remember me. She and her friend just picked up some other guy, had fun on the beach, and returned home. But to me, she would always be that beautiful, that unattainable, that wild and free, that daring thing.

I love my wife. I love my kids. I love my job. I’ve led a good life. But all that emptiness and loneliness and regret, that stinking regret inside of me, leads back to that day. One day on the sidewalk. One hour in the sun. One minute talking to that girl. One little minute, tiny and delicate. It is lonely and small as a grain of sand, plucked off a beach from a sea of sand. And it is truly everything.

Sometimes I catch myself crying. As my sun is setting, I think about that minute. That one grain of sand that defined my life. I think about a sunset on the Pacific, lying on the sand, in an ocean of time. And she’s right there beside me. Around the world. Deep inside me.

I suppose I’m too old for such thoughts, but I find myself watching sunsets. Waiting. Waiting to take that last ride.

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, victordavis
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Tinkerbelle Leonhardt: I'm such a sucker for this story, yes there are small spelling mistakes normal human errors, nothing major. you fall in love with the characters and wish to be apart of their lives from the start. You feel their happiness, their sadness and I found myself smiling through most of it, I love that i...

Pille: Absolutely awesome. What an interesting bunch of fantastical creatures. What awesome story telling skills!

Alicia Cameron: A rich business CEO (Tobias) has never had a girlfriend because he doesn't date, instantly promotes one of his fairly new employees (Ruby) to be his PA for no real reason other than her education. Tobias has a reputation, and is known to be cold, but Ruby breaks through his wall and gets to know ...

deedpa: Thank you for the Book

Whatever: I really cant stop reading this book, so amazing i think im gonna re-read again and again

Danielle Wilson: Ok, so i read the first book and i absolutely loved it, i fangirled about this next book. im in love. I hope you write another series, because this is amazing already. You're a great writer with a big future 😁.

Adebola Olabenjo: I'm not really into reading as it bores me out but when I came across this great book, i knew i could manage to read it.The characters are indeed very interesting and I like the twin characters especially.The description is quite captivating and the book is full of drama, romance, jealousy and go...

Sank105: Just wow! The writing style, the story plot, the characters- it was a blessing reading this story! Loved it every bit💖 looking forward to reading more of your works✌️

Silently_Writing: This was my first book read on this site, and I'm so happy it was! I loved this from beginning to end. There were so many little details added in the greatest places, suspense and mystery at unexpected times, and a wonderful story built and concluded.

More Recommendations

Jules0jewels: Beautifully written. Her books are amazing and just filled with emotions. Amazing author

Sarah Kennedy: Couldn't put it down once started reading! Loved it so much ❤ def worth reading and so are her other books as this is the 3rd book of hers I've read and can't wait to read the rest! Very talented indeed

Chandni: though "obsession" is something which is not socially appreciated as it can go either way... means when the person you love gets obsessed with you and showers you with enormous love and care and tenderness- that is called bliss, and when that person harms you cause he doesn't know how to deal wit...

giftawuse: This is a good story. I enjoyed reading the book. I liked how the two main characters opinions were expressed. The only problem is the ending, I don't think it is finished. Other than that it is a very interesting and captivating book.

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.