She’s the most beautiful woman I’ve ever laid my eyes upon. She is smiling up at something or someone, I can’t really tell from this distance. A blink of a second later, her eyes widen in shock. Whatever arrested her vision, must be something awful. I patiently wait with my hands planted in my pockets. The cool breeze rustles her wavy chestnut shoulder length hair and carries her tears along the wind. Blotting her eyes, she steels her spine and sets her shoulders back and begins to walk away. Before I get a chance to call her attention, I feel a tap on my right shoulder.
“You’re going to regret that.” he said pointing at her four five quart ice cream tubs. “I’m going to be the victim yet again to the question, ‘does this make me look fat’ when you’re trying on your wedding dress a year from now”.
“May I remind you that I take very good care of myself and I’m going to look drop dead gorgeous on my wedding day. Remember, you have to walk me down the aisle.”
“Yeah I know Kerri. I am your big brother.”
“You’re my only brother Brandon. I don’t know what’d I do if I didn’t have someone to walk me down the aisle.”
I watched my little sister begin to tear up and like a big brother should, I put her in a head lock and watched her struggle for freedom. That wiped all traces of tears away and earned him a few jabs to the ribs. Kerri’s smiling now, even laughing in pure joy.
“Come on kiddo, you have to get back to work.”
“Thanks for taking me out on my lunch break.”
“Not a problem.”
Kerri walked up to the car door as I rounded my truck and asked,
“By the way, who was the woman you were staring at earlier? Do you know her?”
“No. I don’t know her.”
Kerri nodded apprehensively while eying her brother.
The drive back to Kerri’s job was silent and swift. I put the truck in park and wait for her to hop out. Before trotting off, Kerri peered in through the passenger door staring at me. “What?”
“You would tell me if you’re dating someone, right?”
“I said I didn’t know that woman.”
“I heard what you said! All I’m saying is I want to see you happy, especially after everything…that witch.”
I chuckled, “You don’t need to worry about me.”
“Just because you’re my big brother, doesn’t mean you’re invincible. Some times it’s healthy to have someone in your corner.”
I nod. “Get inside before you get fired.”
“Yeah, yeah. I’ll see you later Brandon.”
I give her the one hand salute, put the truck in drive and head home, out of the city.
City life never appealed to me, but life in the country was peaceful. There’s no need to rush anywhere. Time almost seems to stand still. I plan to spend the rest of my days reveling in the beauty of this land. Currently, there are rabbits scurrying about in relatively tall grass just beyond the lining of trees in the distance. A hawk soaring across the sky is screeching. He must be enjoying his freedom.
I have plenty of that. I can do whatever I want when I want. The problem is I don’t have the who and I’m not sure if there will ever be another woman by my side. I chide myself for my thoughts. I tell myself that I’m not dead yet, there’s still time. I just have to be patient just like dad taught me. He’d say moving too fast can make you miss the opportunity of a lifetime. I nod at the sound of my father’s wisdom laced voice; he’s right, he was always right.
A puff of laugher escaped through my lips as I positioned my head against the head rest. There has to be something more for me, I just know there is. Why else have I rebuilt my life, built a house to just live alone? I sigh as I pull the key from the ignition and pile out of the truck. Shoving my hands in my pant pockets, I move ever closer to the stairs. I stop and gaze up reflectively at my house, soon there will be someone to create laughter in this place. Skipping two steps at a time, I land on the porch and let myself into darkness.