Fiction Saturday – And Pull The Hole In After You – Continued
Fiction Saturday – Continued
Davis wasn’t late the next morning. He showed up on time and he was carrying one white rose. Laura blushed.
After another leisurely breakfast they walked down by the shore of the Bay. The fog had stayed out at sea and the Golden Gate Bridge dominated the view, it’s towers vaulting into the sky. As they strolled beside the magnificent sailing yachts and watched skeins of pelicans skim the surface of the Bay, these two transplants from other lives held hands and knew that something was happening that they hadn’t planned on. And they let it happen.
Davis offered to show Laura around The City, to share with her his favorite spots. She happily accepted his invitation and they spent the day seeing the view from atop Twin Peaks, careening up and down the precipitous hills, clinging to the handrails of the ancient cable cars, and sampling the distinctive flavors of Chinatown, the Haight-Ashbury, and the vibrant Latino soul of the Mission District.
Their day turned to evening and they moved together with the rhythm of the Rumba in the crowded dance clubs along Valencia Street, holding each other in the amorous embrace of the passionate, pulsating music.
Tonight was changing their lives and there was nothing they could do about it, even if they had tried. Sometimes destiny does intercede to make right what has gone wrong.
Laura and Davis, two people who had been alone and lost, ended the evening knowing that at least for now, their solitary exile was over.
Love doesn’t always announce its arrival with blaring trumpets and the fluttering of angels’ wings. Most times, it creeps up as softly as a stalking lion. It’s on you before you are even aware that it is there.
Laura certainly wasn’t looking for love. She was looking to stay alive. She wanted love in her life, of course. She needed love, but in her mind, love was not at the top of her to-do list. It was down the page, somewhere after “keep breathing” and “don’t end up in a shallow grave.”
Davis believed that he didn’t have time for love. He felt that his own name mocked him. In his past, love had never brought anything beyond momentary pleasure, let alone real joy. Once the lights came on it always ended in pettiness and unanswered phone calls. Falling in love was well down on his agenda as well. His life priorities included “become financially secure” and “keep a roof over my head.” He perceived love as a possible impediment to both goals.
They both also saw love as a very complicated game where a wrong move could get you put on the disabled list for a long time. A game–and nobody seemed to have a current copy of the rules.
At almost the same moment on a foggy evening in the Mission, coming from different poles, both Davis Lovejoy and Laura Smith started walking toward a very uncertain future. Their newborn love had, unknown to them, magnified their worlds around them. Laura’s was now even more dangerous and Davis’ had unknowingly taken a detour into a very bad neighborhood. They superficially realized what was happening and, despite all the warning bells alerting them that the road ahead was perilous, they moved onward. They were speeding, going faster than they knew was safe.
There was an almost desperate rush in the growth of their relationship. It was as if they both knew, deep down, that they might not have all that much time. They tried to spend almost every waking hour together. Davis worked like a madman to get his professional obligations fulfilled. His clients were happy. Their books were in better shape than they had been in years. Laura took a revived interest in herself and her living conditions. She turned her simple refuge into a home—a place you would show to someone you cared about. She was nesting.
Usually, in a new relationship, the two people involved want to hear every detail of the other person’s life. They want to know what was eaten for breakfast a year ago last Tuesday—all the little stories that give texture to a person. With Laura and Davis, these questions went unasked and unanswered. They ignored the usual process, but could not ignore the fact that they were ignoring it. It was a dark cloud on their horizon, but the glare of their expanding love kept it obscured.
Laura lost her fear of Davis. He was no longer a faceless stranger. The rest of the world might still be a threat, but he was not. Davis lost his fear of enduring an endless string of lonely nights and of never being missed.
In the days following their first night together, Laura spent a lot of time thinking about her marriage to Dominic and how it had ended up going horribly wrong. Despite living in the same house with Dominic, she had been alone for years. Her marriage to him had lost even the pretense of civility, let alone happiness.
Within three months of their wedding at St. Polycarp’s Church, Dominic had become physically abusive. That killed any love that she had felt for him. The romance of being in love with love died in the Emergency Room at Mercy Hospital as she was getting twelve stitches in her scalp. She told her father that she had fallen off a bicycle.
When they were first married, Dominic didn’t want children. He had grown up as the fifth of eight kids and he did not relish the idea of being lost in the crowd again.
She wanted to start a family right away. For her, having babies was a sign of adulthood. Being a mother was the be-all and end-all. When she became pregnant six months after the wedding, Dominic’s rage over the possibility of having to share his wife’s affection put her into the hospital again and resulted in a miscarriage. It also made her decide that she would not provide the world with another generation of Dominic Deltinos.
By the time Dominic began to feel the pressure to prove his manhood within the Family and father an heir, his wife was already long into her regimen of contraceptives. Dominic never figured it out. Of course, Dominic never figured out self-serve gas pumps either.