"What can't be cured must be endured." -Robert Burton
My green eyes squint through the fast falling flakes swatting into my numb face. With my hands tucked into my coat pockets tightly, I could feel my pants soaked and stiff as a board. The worst part was I still had five miles left.
Funny how the trip always back seemed slower than traveling to my destination before?
I peeked up from the sidewalk to see a man carrying many rolled up papers and struggling to get out a door of a building. He seemed fluster indeed ramming the door with his shoulder.
Bad day, I guess.
As I approached closer, I watched this man attentively make it finally past the glass door and juggle his papers in the intense snow storm. It was impressive in my books.
Only a matter of seconds I be passing him until I noticed a few of his papers slipped from his arms. In a hast attempt, he scrambled to gather them up, but the wind took a turn for the worst blowing some of them into the street.
Poor guy. He can’t catch a break, I thought.
And like a good samaritan, I ran faster to help him retrieve his important papers.
“Here let me help,” I announced as my hands reached further out to grasp the ones from his escape hands. As I bent for the next one, my body suddenly shifted without my permission.
Before I knew it, I was falling down to the ground and the feeling of my butt smacking onto the pavement sucked. The man, who had been throwing his papers he collected into a familiar car, quickly made his way over to my side. “Jesus.”
Still clutching his crushed paper into my hand, I said, “Be careful, it’s a bit icy.”
His big clumsy feet slowly walked in front of me and my head tilted up into the flakes showering down upon me. Immediately, I noticed that the person I thought I wouldn’t see for awhile, like the wedding day while, was standing before me.
“Alexia?” Peter stared down at me in surprise and then bent down to his one knee and asked concerned, “Are you okay?”
“Besides a sore rump, I think I’ll survive, Peter. Help me up?” I asked as I lifted a hand up to him. Without hesitation his one arm pulled me up to my feet and that’s when something else took me by surprise. In a second my foot gave way in pain and Peter caught my arms preventing me from falling again.
“Uh, my ankle.” I looked up at Peter feeling uncomfortable pain shooting through my leg.
He asked more concerned, “Do you think you broke it?”
“I don’t know. It just really hurts too stand on it.”
Wrapping my arm around his shoulder, Peter helped me into his front passenger seat. After a few moments he got the other side and handed me a lunch box.
I really don’t think eating was on my mind at this particular moment.
Peter started the car up and hit the wipers. “There’s an ice pack inside. It should be cold from being in my trunk.” I nodded my head ashamed at my last sarcastic thought.
Taking the ice pack out, I placed it ever so gingerly onto my ankle. Peter’s lips pressed together as he finally said, “I’m going to take you to the hospital.”
I nodded my head trying to not resist his idea. I hated hospitals. Well maybe that wasn’t so true. I hated more of the memory of fighting off Dana and Jason wanting me to go after a certain incident.
Buckling up, I shifted around in hopes to find a comfortable position from those dark thoughts. “How are we going to get there? The roads are so shitty.”
Peter showed me a calming smiled as he buckled up, “We’ll just take it nice and slow.” A plow went right by us and he added, “…behind that plow.”
Pulling out onto the street, he followed the plow’s path. Attempting to take my mind off my injury and darken thoughts, I asked, “So what were you doing back there?”
Peter shifted his mocha brown slightly eyes on me and answered, “I was coming out from a job interview to hopefully work as their architect for the company’s project.”
I nodded my head and Peter suddenly question me, “The true question was why where you walking out in the middle of a blizzard?”
Watching the snowflakes race toward the front wind shield, I responded, “I went out to get a bite to eat. I didn’t know the weather called for snow.”
Peter was leaning closer to the steering wheel, “Yeah, it wasn’t supposed too from what I heard this morning.”
“Weather men.” I turned to Peter with a smirk because we simultaneously said that.
Turning up around a tricky corner, we slowly passed a few cars that skid into each other on the opposite side of the road. “Shit,” I said as I gawked back.
Panic entered my mind, were we going to make it to the hospital that was really far away?
As if he could read my mind, he reassured, “As long as no one is stupid on the road, we should be okay. My car is pretty good in the snow.” I nodded my head feeling a little bit at ease.
Putting my head back onto the head rest I closed my eyes and slowly breathed in and out. How was Peter so calm? I pondered in jealously.
Peter said breaking my concentration, “So what did you get?”
Nothing. My eyes open confused, “What?”
He gave that carefree smirk again, “What did you get good to eat?”
Finally my mind had registered what he was asking, “Oh, I just had some soup.”
He glanced over at me like I was crazy and mocked, “Please don’t tell me you call that a meal.”
I glanced back with sarcasm laced in my next words, “Whatever do you mean?” I snorted with a small smile as I responded seriously now, “No. I was just hungry for something hot and what I could afford with the limit cash I had on hand.” Especially on the limited budget I had myself to get back my dead car.
Peter laughed before saying, “Well I’m glad to know you’re not one of those girls that eats a salad and says I’m so full.”
“Oh, I love my food too much to stop with just a salad.” I snuggled deeper into my seat as the last of our daylight dissipated making it more of a challenge to drive.
Changing the subject to a more important issue at hand, I suggested, “Maybe we should just stay at my place and I can go to the hospital later. This is just too crazy.”
He disagreed with my notion and responded, “We’re closer to the hospital than your house now. I think?” I whipped my head over to concern.
But before I could squander my fear, Peter asked calmly, “How’s your ankle?”
It definitely hurt like a bitch if I put pressure on it, but if I kept it off the ground it was just a throbbing pain I could handle, I observed as I flexed my foot very, very carefully. Actually, the pain was much more bearable with my distracting panic.
I answered back with shrugging my shoulders instead of giving a verbal response. Yes, I was afraid my voice would give away the anxiety building up inside of me. I need to relax. Be relaxed as Peter was easily being for in this storm situation. Finally I squeezed out, “It’s okay.”
“Damn it,” Peter announced and I looked away from my ankle to the dark road. “The plow turned off at some point,” Peter said with a tad nerves wavering through.
“Why don’t we just pull over until the snow at least slows down,” I suggested surprisingly with a calming tone. Honestly I was just as scared as his voice seemed.
Grimacing at the idea, Peter gave a defeat sigh, “I don’t want too, but I honestly can’t even see where the road begins and ends.”
Pulling over more and more off the road, Peter placed the car in park and flashed his hazard warning lights on. With his tense body, he laid his head on the steering wheel as I raised my wounded leg up onto the dashboard. Seeing him frustrated and nervous in defeat, I knew it was my turn to return the favor of comfort.
Waiting in the silence I glanced over to Peter and finally asked to distract, “So how has been wedding planning going?”
His once frustrated brown eyes pivot over with humor again and responded playfully, “What wedding planning? Only thing I have to do is order some tuxedos or suits, whatever Dana prefers, carry the rings and make sure the poor sucker is standing up at the altar.” He scratched his blonde locks away as he thought more perplexed. “Actually the only thing I thoroughly have to plan out is the bachelor party.”
I crossed my arms slightly annoyed and possibly jealous, “We’ll aren’t you lucky. I have go with Dana for every other aspect and help her decided on the cake, the flowers, the dresses, her dress, the reception hall, the decorations….”
He tried hiding a smile, “Shouldn’t you be all excited about that stuff?”
“Are you insinuating because I’m a girl I like this stuff?” Peter shook his head quickly, though I knew better he was pulling my chain with those mischief eyes. “But besides that I have to make sure all the orders and plans work.”
Cracking his neck, Peter asked, “Why isn’t her fiancé helping with the decisions. I would think deciding on the food and drinks would be one of the many perks of planning a wedding.”
Shaking my head a few strands of my hair escaped my loose ponytail. I responded surprisingly with more miff tone than I expected to come out of my mouth. “He can’t. He actually left on a huge business trip to Alaska for a year and Dana probably would have gone if it wasn’t for….”
I suddenly halted in my sentence with displeasure and glanced down at the thought, me.
“For what?” Peter turned toward me more and asked intrigued.
Umm…come on brain think of something. “She didn’t want to give up her job yet.” I looked past Peter and said, “Hey look, I can see the other side of the road now.”
Peter glanced up at the window and stated with relief, “It does look like it lightened up a bit. We’ll back track and try to find where the plow turned on the main road again.” Shifting the gears into drive, Peter pressed his foot gently on the pedal. But we didn’t move. Giving it a little more gas, I could hear the wheels spinning in place.
Peter sighed in frustration, “I knew I should have bought that kitty litter when I had the chance.”
I peeked over to Peter with my brow scrunched in puzzlement and he enlightened me, “I could place it on the ground to get some traction.”
Biting my bottom lip hard, I couldn’t help but feel this was my entire fault. I said softly, “I’m sorry I suggested pulling over.”
Peter snapped his head to me with a bewildered expression, “Alexia. It’s not your fault. We had to pull over when I couldn’t see a foot in front of me.”
“What do we do now,” I reached for my phone in hopes to call the police. In reciprocation, Peter copied me waving our phones around.
No service. Just peachy.
“I guess we’ll have to wait the storm out until morning. A plow is bound to make its way by us tomorrow. I’ll flag them down.”
“Will your car run all night?” I asked troubled with the idea of freezing to death.
He tapped his gauged and said confidently, “Thankfully I filled up yesterday. So a full tank can get us through a few nights. In the mean time, I’m going to get a blanket from the trunk.”
Opening the door a gust of cool air entered quickly and I turned my head to watch Peter open his trunk and rummage through.
I hated that we were stuck in the middle of nowhere, with no cell phone service, and in an immovable car. It was literally the beginning of how a horror film would begin....
The slam of the trunk broke me out of my thoughts and Peter rushed into the back seat shaking. “Wow, its cold out there.” Placing the blanket to the side, he waved an empty water bottle in the air, “Look at what I found.”
“I’m not peeing in that,” I stated just to see his face turn to shock.
He said flustered, “I wasn’t even thinking that Lex. If we needed water, I could just put some snow in and let it melt.”
I smiled at his red nose, “Smart?”
Peter tilted his head with his eyes trying to hide something that struck him funny.
“What?” I asked curious now.
He replied joking, “I see nothing has changed since we were kids. Your eyes still widen when you’re taken aback from my genius ideas.”
A laugh escaped my lips as I responded, “I think your confusing it with my expression of horror. If I recall, I don’t think the idea of the bottle rocket on the slide was one of your finer moments.”
Peter raised an eyebrow at me, “Time out. That was your idea missy.”
“No. It was my idea to push the bottle rocket down the slide tube after lighting it so it would have more momentum to fly faster and we would be safe when it went off. Not leave it on the floor we were standing on in hopes it would go into the entrance of the slide.”
Peter began to laugh and added, “Yeah, I thought the bottle rocket would be able to push out of the crack in the wood I used to steady it.”
“So instead it stayed put and we had to jump off to get away from it exploding by us,” I shook my head at our crazy times together.
Moving closer to me, he said, “Okay, once in a while things don’t go according to plan, but we made it. Anyway, I’m going to help pull you to the back, just keep an eye on your ankle. Wouldn’t want it to bump anything, now would we?”
I nodded my head in agreement. Pushing my body over, Peter’s arms lift me smoothly to the back seat. “Why am I moving back?”
“Because I thought placing your foot on the arm rest would be more comfortable than sleeping with your leg on the dashboard.”
Draping the blanket over me, his long arm reached for the lunch pail. I asked quickly, “Can you lock the doors?”
Peter turned his head to me with curiousity, but obliged. “Have you been watching too many scary movies?”
I shrugged my shoulders and tried to respond coolly, “You can’t be too careful.”
He shook his head in amusement and mutter sarcastically under his breath, “I highly doubt anyone would be walking in this storm.” He said louder, “I almost forgot, but I have some food left over from lunch. And since you had just a cup of soup….” I interjected, “a bowl” and Peter shook his head, “a bowl of soup, you be starving.”
Now that he mentioned food, I could feel my stomach turning in knots. I questioned as he opened his lunch box, “What do you got?”
“Well on the menu we have half of an uneaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The edges have been cut all around and spread with strawberry jam.”
I smiled, “Hmm…enticing.”
Peter continued to say, “Also we have the delectable cheetos.”
I asked concerned, “Are they the cheeto puffs or crunch?”
“Does it matter?” Peter asked fully entertained by my train of thought.
I nodded my head, “Of course.”
He pulled out the bag and announced, “Crunch.”
Peter slide down in his seat and laughed, “I also have fruit snacks.”
Snuggling down into the back seat too I asked, “Can I have the cheetos?”
“Sure,” Peter passed them over and stated, “Wow, we're really fogging up the place. I better turn the heat up.” As he bent forward, I did something I never expected myself to do. I was checking out Peter.
As he turned back, I tried hiding the faint blush on my cheeks with the blanket. Peter asked concerned, “Are you that cold?”
I nodded my head even though the only thing really cold was my hands. Giving a small sigh, he undid his jacket and placed it over my lap. Slowly he slid under the covers with me. “Come on, let’s get you warmed up.”
His arm, which was on fire, snaked around my back while the other warm hand grasped my frost bitten hands. “Ohhh, your hands are freezing Lex.” With friction, he rubbed my numb hands back to life. Resting my head back my eyes slowly closed more and more as my body became more comfortable.
Before I passed out, I could help but think,
This wasn’t so bad.