He spun the steering to the left and let it unwind as he massaged the throttle, shifting into second through the long corner. He got his hand back on the wheel in due time, accelerating away from the stoplight. His other hand still clutched the phone to his ear, and there was a smile on his face. You know the kind.
She had one of those sexless, protestant accents that didnít come through cleanly over the air, but he was sure that it would be better in person. They were from different worlds. There would be things they each had to adjust to. That was fine. What mattered was that she felt about him the way he felt about her. That she was ready to do whatever it took to be together, and to be happy, and all that sappy nonsense. Ok, it was a long shot, but it was a shot they had to take. Together. It hadnít been easy, and it wouldnít get easier. They knew. They were ready. They had already had their first taste.
When her old man first heard that she met her latest beaux online, he had lost it. Had her committed. No shit! A jilted old flame had something to do with that. The right lie in the wrong ears can do anything. ďI donít care how much you love her. My daughter isnít making good on a suicide pact with any goddamn Internet predator!Ē Even after the old bastard had sifted through the bullshit, there was no way out of a one week involuntary vacation in a state mental facility. They were allowed to talk for half an hour each morning during her stay there.
In the end, she was your standard twenty-something college graduate: independent, but without any dream job to tie her down. Just like him. Just like everyone else. After her whiny mother and half-psychotic father were satisfied, there was nothing to keep them apart other than the few hundred miles between them. It took a while to arrange it, but they pulled it off. She spent hours telling him of this place she had stayed on vacation as a kid and talking up the food and the atmosphere and how romantic it had been. Rosieís. That was the name.
It was a bed-and-breakfast-and-horses thing, far as he could tell, just out past the edge of town. It was going to be their special place. The one thing that had gone right in the time since they had met. There had been one single solitary opening on the perfect weekend for the two of them to meet there. She had booked it in an instant, with no hesitation, without even asking him first. He had been delighted when she told him at last.
Ten miles out of town. Ten minutes out of town. He set the cruise on 60 and told her they would see one another live and in person for the first time in just ten minutes, but he realized just as the words left his mouth that the connection was bad. To be expected, really, given the terrain and the remote location; the cell signal at its best had never been more than one or two bars for most of the trip out here. He started to redial but then decided to surprise her. The beautiful girl in the red car. The most beautiful girl in the world.
It was just after sunset when his headlights swept across the parking lot. Across the bumper of a gray Buick. A brown Saab. A cute, yellow, BMW.