1 year ago


“Maybe, I’m not too

“Maybe, I’m not too familiar with kung-fu, but I told you my secret, so it’s only fair that you share yours,” she said. “Don’t get upset, but I really don’t know how I shot lightning from my hands. It kind of felt natural to me, like I’d done it before. But I never did it before today,” I told her in all honesty. She looked slyly at me and shot me a glance that was somewhere between ‘yeah right,’ and ‘what else aren’t you telling me about yourself.’ As far as her own secrets I didn’t want to probe her anymore, but it looked like I aroused some curiosity about myself. I think she thought I was kind of noisy as it was. But I couldn’t help myself. She was so darn mysterious. That night we were sitting in the shed snacking on coffee and pastries. It was our third night in the dull, colorless little place. Conversation was our only entertainment. Our only light was a decorative candle we had bought. The good thing about it was it was scented with cinnamon and reminded me of my destination, the ranch, and Grandma’s apple pies. I asked, “Have you decided where you’re going?” She hesitated, thinking a while. “I need someplace warm where I can sleep out without needing a room.” “Couldn’t you just get a job?” She gazed at me for a moment. “I really don’t want to work that hard. I’m not out here on my own to find a career. I’m looking for things.” “What things?” She grinned a rare gesture. “Somehow I knew you’d ask that. I’m afraid with me you’re not going to get many answers. I don’t have any. Not yet, anyway.” I felt a little guilty; the mystery thing with Kelly was really attractive, not only that, but she also radiated an inner innocence. I’d only been gone for a short while, and I found myself staring at her, every time she spoke I caught myself daydreaming about kissing her soft lips. I never thought freckles were cute, but on her they were hot. She gazed at me for a while. “You’re really shocked at someone like me, aren’t you?” She had hit on the truth, but I wasn’t sure how to answer without offending her. She was like my crutch. I didn’t know where I’d be so far without her. Then I finally replied. “Yeah,” I said. “But there is nothing wrong with that. You make life exciting, you are like a free spirit, I’d wager you enjoy life more than most ever will in a lifetime and that’s really cool in my book.” She kind of smiled (at least that’s what I think it was) and said, “I believe that you’ve run up against your first real free spirit.” I said, “That’s cool.” “I guess the word, ‘Cool’ is really popular where you live; where is that anyway?” she said. I felt a little dumb. I knew I wasn’t as worldly as her. I said, “Yeah. That’s what they all say. All the time, back in Pennsylvania.” She looked at me and concentrated, her green eyes studying me, then finally she said, “I see it now, I thought your accent was Dutch.” The moment was starting to feel awkward, but I still managed to ask, “Where are you from? And do you have any idea where you’re headed yet?” “Like I said before, I’m like a closed book… But if you stick around long enough I might spill. As for where I am headed, I was thinking along the lines of San Diego. It’s warm there all the time. I think I’ll head that way.”

I didn’t say anything. Oddly enough I was already getting a feeling of loss. She seemed to be making all our decisions. I just realized that I had been following her agenda. *** Next afternoon Kelly ran up to an old lady walking her poodle at the park, calling her grandma. She wrapped her arms around her like she was giving her a hug. But I saw what she was really doing, as her hands went to work inside her purse. She pick-pocketed the old lady and ran back over to me. She said, “Don’t look at me like I’m a bad person, Davis! This is survival, and it’s not like I took all of her money, I left about half in her wallet.” “I’m not judging, so don’t worry about it. I understand that we are trying to survive. The only thing I’m wondering is are you going by way of Flagstaff by chance?” She thought a moment. “I’m not up on my geography, but I do think that Phoenix would be closer to San Diego. Why you getting off at Flagstaff?” “My grandfather’s ranch is just northeast of Sedona.” “Sedona?” Her eyebrows arched almost imperceptibly. I nodded. “That the place where they got those spiritual things going on?” she said. I cocked my head, confused by the comment. “Spiritual things?” “Yeah, spiritual things that sometimes transpose into physical things,” she said. I thought about that for a minute. “Like you being a human stun gun?” I said. “Yeah. Something like that.” She paused. “Yeah, they got some famous red rocks, they call, let me think… Cathedral Rock and I think Red Rock. They got something they call… Uh, let me think… Oh yeah, vortexes.” “Say what?” I said. “Vortexes. Got something to do with a whirling, a coming together of different energy levels and different spiritual planes,” she said. “Never heard Granddad talk of it.” She was quiet for a while. Finally, she said, “I guess I could go with you as far as Flagstaff anyway. Can’t make much difference in my trip.” I don’t know what came over me. I planted a kiss right on her lips. It lasted close to a minute before she pushed me away. “Look, Davis, I’m flattered that you think of me that way…” said Kelly. “But…?” I said, feeling dumb and disappointed already. “There are things about me… It’s not you, Davis; I felt something special when we kissed, that’s why I didn’t stop it right away. But… I don’t know if being more than friends is a good idea, at least not yet.” “So it’s just bad timing then on my part and not because you think I’m a freak from what happened back at the storage unit?” I said, feeling a flicker of hope. “Yeah, that sounds right…” she said. I never knew how lonely a person could be traveling to strange places. I wasn’t a baby or anything like that, but it was better to be with someone than be alone. At least at this point. Thinking of Kelly and me as a couple gave me a more positive outlook. We got a bus and were on our way. Our tickets were for Flagstaff. The last leg of my trip. It was pretty country. As we climbed out of the desert with its mesquite, rolling sagebrush cactus and wildflowers the

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