The next morning I woke up trying to remember a dream I just had. I hate that, you can wake up in the middle of it and not even remember what you were in the middle of. Something about being in the water, maybe it was from all the water from the toilet yesterday. I don’t know, it will probably come to me when I least expect it.
For some reason I didn’t have a very busy day today, I guess it’s dying down from the last few weeks where we didn’t even get a minute to ourselves. Everyone was calling at all hours needing us. But today I just had some accounting to do, not our company accounting but someone who hired me to do their business audit. And then maybe it’s also a good time to do some wedding money juggling to find out if I can pull some moola from thin air.
We used to have an office but it seemed pointless, no one ever stopped by, they either called us or came by one of our houses if they needed anything. And if both of us were out doing something then the office would be closed. So now I just work from the comfort of home. Sometimes I get tired of being home and if it’s slow I go out to lunch at the only place in town, The Diner. That’s what it’s called, it had a name a long time ago, but people always called it “The Diner,” even when I was a kid. So, when the sign with the old name got hit by lightning, melted, and had to be replaced they just put up a sign that said The Diner. Self-explanatory and to the point.
When we are busy I try to stay away from The Diner and don’t make eye contact with anyone if I’m out and about. I could spend all day talking to everyone I happen to run into, or rather, they could spend all day talking to me. Town gossip spreads and you get pulled into it when you know everyone and everyone wants to talk to you.
But today was almost like a vacation day, there is no rush on that audit, so I have time to breath. Maybe I’ll go to the lake for a few hours and take my romance novel. Or Brooks should be stopping by soon, maybe we can catch a movie. In this field you grab whatever time you can get for yourself or together because you don’t know when you won’t have it again.
I heard Brooks pull up in the driveway. He has his own key so I stayed at the kitchen table finishing my breakfast while he let himself in.
“In the kitchen,” I said with a mouth fully of cereal.
Brooks walked in and sat at his usual seat. He looked sore from yesterday, so I stood up to massage his shoulders. He moaned in pain or delight, I couldn’t tell which. But I didn’t stop, and he didn’t ask me to. “You haven’t got any calls today have you or anything to do?” I asked, hoping he would say no.
“Not yet, why. Was there a zombie apocalypse we didn’t know about last night and the town didn’t survive? Is that why no one’s calling?”
“I don’t know why but I think we should take advantage of it and go to a movie,” I squeezed his neck a little tighter as I said it and he moaned louder.
“Sounds good to me. When’s the next movie?"
"Probably at 10, so we've got time. Do you want some breakfast?" Of course, our small town doesn’t have a movie theater, so we have to go to the next town over. I was up to watch any movie just so I could get out and do something besides work and it would be nice to spend some time with Brooks. While he looked up the movies I made breakfast, eggs, bacon, and pancakes.
Brooks ate his breakfast while I got ready and then we headed out for our morning date. I felt like we were teenagers again, we held hands in his truck and he looked over at me every now and then. And every now and then I felt a butterfly in my stomach. How lucky I am, I kept thinking, I’ve got a great man and career and one day soon we will have a great little family. The butterflies were going crazy now.
"There was only one movie playing,” Brooks started to say.
“Don’t tell me what it is, I don’t even care, just as long as I get to spend time with you,” I said.
“Ok, that’s just what we’ll do today,” and Brooks kissed the back of my hand.
“And maybe we’ll get to make out a little like when we were in high school,” I said. Brooks kept his eyes on the road but couldn’t hide the big grin on his face.
We parked and walked in and got seated 5 minutes before the movie was about to start. Brooks couldn’t help himself and put his arm around me and whispered in my ear, “When does this making out thing start?”
I giggled and said, “At least wait until the lights go out.”
When the movie finally started I realized what it was, some action movie, not chick flick friendly at all.
Twenty minutes into the movie Brooks’ phone vibrated, he showed me the screen, it was Mrs. Wyatt. He walked out of the theater so he could answer it.
I waited about five minutes and when he didn’t come back I went looking for him. He was still on the phone telling Mrs. Wyatt to turn the shutoff valve. He was shaking his head and mouthing the words, ‘We have to go.’
“Ok, I’ll be there soon,” he said to Mrs. Wyatt and hung up.
“She said she was making sure what you did was sturdy and would hold and the hose came clean off. She said I need to come over and fix it.”
“Are you kidding me, I tightened that thing so tight, she had to be really yanking on it, that woman is stronger than I thought. I knew she didn’t trust me to fix it,” I said.
“Well, why don’t you stay here and finish the movie while I go back and fix it. When I’m done I’ll come back, pick you up, and we can have lunch and go shopping. I’m sorry honey, one of us deserves to have a good day, but there’s no reason why we both can’t try to.”
“Ok, if you don’t mind doing that all yourself,” I said, glad that I didn’t have to hear Mrs. Wyatt blaming me for busting her toilet.
As Brooks kissed me goodbye and told me he would be back soon I could feel the water rising above my ankles. That dream I couldn’t think of this morning came back to me. I was in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by water, I couldn’t see any land or a boat, and no one else was around. Something pulled my leg and I went under, but I was able to come back up with my head above the water. The next time it had both my legs and pulled me under again and grabbed my neck, pulling me down further, into the darker part of the ocean. I realized, when I was able to see, when my eyes adjusted to the dark surroundings, that I was staring into the eyes and round, shiny head of an octopus, its tentacles pulling me in every direction. Would I suffocate, or would I be pulled apart? And then I woke up.