He knew the first moment he saw her that he wanted to share his life and his secret with her.
“You fixin’ to get drunk?” He asked, glancing at the six-packs she was carrying.
She smiled and he was hooked…despite the fact that she had shit taste in beer.
“Can I show you a better way?” He motioned for her to follow him to a quiet corner of the party. She only hesitated for a second, then seemed to decide she could trust him. She left the beer on the counter, and they left the kitchen, together.
Once they were alone, he took one last glance around them and then smiled. Never taking his eyes off of her, he reached his right hand out to his side and made an invisible circle in the empty air. Her hair lifted off her shoulder slightly as a breeze escaped the hole that had just opened up beside them. While the room around them stayed the same, inside the ring he’d created, it was different. His kitchen, though she didn’t know that. Her eyes widened as he reached through, felt around for a moment and then pulled out a bottle of beer. The circle began to close as he held the craft beer out to her.
“If you’re gonna get drunk, do it right.”
She looked down at the bottle in front of her, then back to where the air had opened only seconds before. He wondered for a moment whether he’d made the wrong choice to trust her.
Then, she placed her hand around the bottle, her fingers closing around his, “Why’d you only grab one?”
He landed back on the bed of the truck where she was waiting. She laughed as he dramatically presented her with yet another bouquet of flowers.
“Where are these from?” she asked, as she added them to the pile behind her.
“A mountainside in Colorado.”
She shook her head. “You can really go anywhere you want?”
He shrugged and sat down next to her. “I guess so.”
“Then why are you here? Why do stay in Michigan?”
He reached out his hand like he was going to open another door, instead, he motioned to the open field in front of them. It was dancing with fireflies as if the starry sky above had decided to pay a visit to Earth for the night.
“Why would I want to be anywhere else?”
He took her hand and knew he never wanted to let go.
“Watch this,” he yelled over the rush of the ocean waves crashing against the beach. From her spot on the sand, she watched as he studied the beach, picking up stones and then casting them aside. Finally, he straightened up and turned toward the water. He took a look up and down the beach and when he was sure they were alone, he primed the arm holding the rock and with his other hand sliced a circle into the ocean air.
With one, practiced motion, he whipped his wrist, tossing the stone out into the waves, at the same time jumping into the hole he’d created. In less than the blink of an eye, there was a flash against the sky out in the waves, another flash on the beach, and he fell into the sand, holding his right arm triumphantly above his head, the same stone he’d thrown now gripped in his fingers.
He tossed it to her, grinning. “I guess I never have to look for the perfect skipping stone again.”
She laughed, “I’m glad you’re using this to do important things.”
“Why do you always go alone?” she asked when he landed on the kitchen floor, clutching the bag of groceries he’d told her not to worry about getting.
He shrugged, “I always have. I don’t actually know what would happen if I pulled someone through with me.”
He was out of breath when he fell onto the bed beside her and she knew something was wrong.
“What happened?” she asked, sitting up.
“Someone saw me.” His hand was shaking as he reached over and gripped hers. “I was stupid, Kayla. They saw me and now they’ll expose me unless…I steal for them.”
“You can’t do that. You don’t do that.” He was honest. He always left money when he took things and he never abused the power he was born with. It wasn’t who he was.
His eyes met hers and her stomach turned to ice. “I think I have to.”
Something was wrong, she thought, pacing the floor. He’d been gone too long. She twirled the ring on her left finger, wondering if he’d even get a chance to place a wedding band next to the engagement stone. She shouldn’t have let him go alone. Never again. If he came back, he would never jump alone again.
Then, a whoosh and a strong breeze. She turned around and found him on the floor, sweating as though he’d been running.
She kneeled next to him. “What? What is it, Ben?”
“I messed up. They got it all on video. I bet it’s already online. My life…our life, is ruined.”
“No.” She pulled him to his feet. “There are options.”
He shook his head, “I can’t leave you.”
“I’ll go with you.”
“But we don’t know what will happen.”
“We’ll find out together.”
He looked down at their intertwined fingers, a perfect fit after 15 years of holding hands.
“Okay,” he said and then lifted his gaze to hers. “Okay.”
The tunnel opened. She didn’t know where it was leading, but she didn’t mind. A cool breeze lifted the hair from her shoulders as they stepped into the unknown, together.
Kayla had this story written for Ben for Christmas. She offered a few details about their history and Ben, and I wrote them an adventure. Ben sure loved it.
“It was perfect. When I presented it to my fiancee, he absolutely loved it! He was teary-eyed. I Gave him it in front of family or he would have fully cried. At least that is what he secretly texted me later. Chuckled a couple times. Smiled throughout.”