Joe was toweling off when he heard the soft knock on the door. Misty came into the bathroom and seeing her husband with nothing but a towel on she spread the fingers of her left hand wide and covered her eyes with it. She grinned and said, “Wouldn’t want to see you naked now, would I? I need the bathroom, can you leave please?”
Joe looked at her perplexed and she pointed to the commode with her left hand and to the door with her head, “Beat it, please,” and closed the door as he left the bath. After getting the hint he got dressed and packed up his belongings. Misty soon emerged with a large bath towel she had draped around her breast and that barely reached her legs and with another wrapped around her hair. “Let me get dressed and we’ll blow this popsicle joint!”
This first morning of his newly married life they were about to head over to Meghan’s house on Blueberry Hill to retrieve his belongings, mount all six bikes on their little four cylinder, Chevy Cavalier Cadet and begin the long march to Georgia. Luckily they had planned ahead and Barry had sold Joe a Yakima roof rack that fit Misty’s car. This augmented the Allen trunk rack that he’d owned for years and which would be used to carry the Ross and Trek while the other four bikes fit on the car’s roof rack. The little Cavalier seemed up to the task of carrying that much aerodynamic obstruction at the highway’s maximum speed of fifty five miles per hour, but just barely.
The car’s two bike racks were empty and he zipped along the back roads in eager anticipation of filling the three standard and one tandem carrying kit which currently went unused and starting the long trek south. The Ethan Allen was just off highway 6 and rather than hopping on the interstate Joe meandered along U.S. 6 west heading into and through Brewster. Joe looked at Misty as they passed Putnam Avenue on their right and reached out and took her hand.
Her parents’ house was a scant three quarters of a mile north east from the intersection of U.S. 6 and Putnam Avenue and Joe slowed as he drove by. Everyone had said their tearful goodbyes the night before and if they stopped at every locale that held meaning to them they would never break free of Brewster’s, nor the D’Meiner’s, gravity. Joe squeezed her hand and drove on as Misty gave her old home a finger roll wave and again closed her eyes. He followed old Highway 6 until he came to Crane Road and then turned right and north on 32. Blueberry Hill was at the end of the road and Tom and Meghan’s house was the first of the five sisters’ that he had been in.
Joe pulled into 1956 Blue Berry Hill Drive and wound his way up the gravel drive. “Misty? You awake?”
She opened an eye. “Sort of.”
“You know what I was just thinking about?”
“I can probably guess,” she said as she reached over and stroked his inner thigh just above the knee.
“No! Well, maybe. No, I was thinking about Peggy and Karl’s wedding cake.”
“Really? What about it?”
“Do you remember all the worrying you did about making the cake all natural? Using honey instead of sugar and not using a mix and all that?”
“Yesss. You know I didn’t do all that, right? I mean, I made the cake from scratch but I used regular table sugar and not honey and I just added instant coffee to the icing that I made.”
“Yeah, I know, I was there. But Peggy said it was incredible and perfect and how much she loved it, remember?”
“I guess so,” was her noncommittal answer.
“Well I do because that was the first time I met her and everybody else in your family and even though I was overwhelmed with too many D’Meiners new experiences stay in your mind more than ones you’ve done before, right?”
“Sure. Even exciting things get to be old hat after a while and then they don’t stick in our minds like they did.”
“Right. I also remember how carefully we carried that cake over in Tom’s car. It was my job to protect it! Anyway, Peggy kept saying how delicious and perfect it was and I kept trying not to laugh because it was delicious but it wasn’t the cake she ordered. I was just thinking how sometimes we get things that aren’t what we think we want but they wind up being perfect. You ever think about things like that?”
Misty turned her head directly at him and lowered her face slightly so that she was looking at him through her eyebrows. “Yes, but not at seven in the morning when I haven’t had enough sleep. Is there a deeper meaning to this question?”
“Nope. Just thinking back. And looking forward. I know our life is not going to be what we expect but I really think it’ll be delicious.”
“That’s sweet, Joe. Now let’s load up this car and head south, okay?”