When it Rains it Pours

The past few weeks he and she filled their time with work and preparing for the impending school year. Hers began a week earlier than his, though she wouldn’t be able to participate in the learning. She just worked at a school. He was about to begin his fifth and final year of undergrad work. Although they still worked on building their portfolios, they felt like most of the time nothing was accomplished. Deadlines were approaching fast as she battled with the notion that she already acquired enough student loans at this point and that maybe a cheaper certificate program would be a better choice. In three short months her grace period on her loans would end and the sum of her debt was to be due in increments she was afraid she couldn’t afford. He was worried about whether he would get into the schools he wanted for graduate school, though money was something that came and went in a vicious cycle he chose not to fight with.

This day, however, began with the sound of running water.

She awoke slightly at the sound of a stream of water splashing atop more water. At first it seemed normal, the fish tank made a sound like that. On previous occasions, she had woken him to ask if something was wrong with it or if it was spilling. “No,” he would say, “that’s just the sound it makes in a quite apartment.” Checking her phone, she decided 7:30am was far too early to wake up when she didn’t have work until 11am. She nestled her face into the pillow adjusting it until her face was caress and prepped for more sleep. The sound of running water, again, grabbed her attention until all the sudden it stopped. There was no familiar trickling noised escaping from the living room where the fish tank sat, no more running water, just quite apartment. Her eyes snapped open wide as she jumped up to her feet in a millisecond. Without yet waking him, she ran out into the living room. All she could see without her glasses or contacts was the tank at the halfway mark. She almost couldn’t believe her eyes.

“Babe! Babe! The fish tank!” She cried out. He didn’t even hesitate, as he leapt from the bed to see the disaster in the living room. She grabbed her glasses to better see the mess. The water had sprayed across the entire room, slashing the couch, the expensive purple rug they loved, and drowned the carpet. The outcome was simply murderous, not only to their apartment but to their relationship.

They both had separate ways of handling the situation. She approached it calmly, throwing down towels and moving things into positions where they could dry. He was totally freaking out without a better way to be described. From his stress emerged anger, which spewed into the morning air, hurdling towards her with high velocity. She attempted to disengage by stating that his anger would do nothing for the situation, though this bomb wasn’t as easily diffused.

They headed down the street to their grocery store where he rented a rug doctor to suck up excess water. Deciding she had had it with his temper, she stayed in the car while he went in. The woman at the desk was taking her sweet time, as he impatiently grew even more frustrated. The woman attempted a joking banter but he dismissed it and went on with the rental.

When they got home, they went back and forth pushing blame and anger in every direction until he finally, after two hours, finished sucking water from the rug and the carpet. They had both had enough, sitting in separate rooms doing their own thing until they had to carpool to class and work. Time had seemed to ease the tension as he came from where he’d been and apologized for his behavior. Not every day could be the best but luckily the worst had already past by 10am.

That night, they enjoyed a lovely meal of shrimp Alfredo, watched TV shows, and drank a nice glass of whiskey.

Making New Friends

He was a bit uneasy when it came to making new friends. Not because he was anti-social but because his track record was mildly torn by the fallout between he and T. She wasn’t the best at having friends either, since he and she rarely liked to spend much time apart. To some people, this is unhealthy or odd, but to them it felt like being able to spend as much time as they wanted with their best friend. They couldn’t understand couples who didn’t live this way, though understood that everyone in this world is different. In an attempt to broaden the spectrum, she spent a morning and an afternoon cleaning the apartment so they could have some company over. At the school where she worked, there were a number of young teachers that held the possibility of friendship. One in particular, though not to be confused by the revenge hungry character on Pretty Little Liars, A was a friendly girl with tattoos on her right forearm. Since she had a tattoo of her own on her left inner bicep, this sparked conversation. A told she about her boyfriend E and expressed that they lived a building away from he and she’s own apartment.

He was a bit frustrated at the thought of entertaining for the evening but when E and A showed up with some mixers, the party begun. The four hit it off, talking non-stop and inviting a couple other people over (Another girl from her work who brought a guy friend along). Those two were the first to leave, stating that they rode their bikes from miles away. He, she, E, and A took a 30 second stroll over to E’s place for another drink and a tour. It looked similar to he and she’s place thought a tad smaller with the opposing set-up. By this time, they were pretty well off into the night as the clock ticked towards two in the morning. They all laughed and conversed about a number of things as they all headed back over to he and she’s place for a final drink. She nearly fell asleep in her chair as E and A got up to leave for the night. It had been a long week for everyone but the night of fun and new friendships seemed to relieve some of the tension that had built. Though she woke with a massive hangover, he and she carried out the weekend happily working on art projects and glad they had made some new friends.

A Weekend of Surprises

They had finally come to terms with being back home, though they had spent the weeks in between looking at colleges. She wanted to get another degree; one in film and animation. He was looking to further his education by getting his Masters in Fine Arts. They searched all the schools in the country for ones that had what they both needed, ending up with twelve choices. They knew they would eventually narrow it down a bit but as for now they would have to buckle down and create at least 15 art pieces each for their portfolio submissions. It was exciting for them to have somewhat of a plan for the future. She liked her job at the school but it wasn’t paying the bills the way it needed to. Money was tight but they somehow made it work month-by-month.

On Friday night, he texted her at work, telling her that she should go home after instead of meet up with him at his art building desk monitor job. There they would usually talk about art or life, maybe watch Netflix to pass the time. Not this Friday. He wanted her to be home and dressed nice-casual at seven when his shift ended. From there, he’d texted “I’m gonna plan something for us to do. I’ll come get you when I get off.” She quickly raced home to shower and ready herself for a surprise evening. This wasn’t a common occurrence in their relationship, since they usually just stayed in to save money.

At seven, the door swung wide as he stood in the doorway already in nice attire. “Are you ready to go?” He asked looking her up and down, admiring the dark jeans and dress shirt she wore for him. She didn’t have to answer to respond but a mere smile and nod sent them out the door into the evening.

In the car they discussed the contents of their day breifly as she attempted to guess where they were headed. To her the surprise was that he was surprising her in the first place. Things like this didn’t happen often, so she was appreiciating every moment of it.

He pulled into the driveway of a brewery/restaurant that they had only been to once for a quick beer. “I am ordering us some bacon cheese fries.” He announced, having looked at the menu online before picking her up. They ordered the appetizer and some beers as they looked through the menu for their main course. Hamburgers just seemed to fit the meal as they ordered two different types. He played a game with her, asking which he would choose befre he ordered. Her first guess was the one he went for, since she had been right; he did, in fact, love bleu cheese the most on a burger and although there was peanut butter on it as well, she knew he liked to try anything once.

When the meals came, she was feeling a slight buzz since she hadn’t remembered to bring lunch to work that day and was feeling a bit starved. They scarfed down the fries practically forgetting about the hamburgers they ordered. He ate majority of his though she couldn’t bare to touch hers after all the fries and beer. “What else do you want to do tonight?” He asked her.

“I don’t know. I kind of want to drink more.” He smiled and told her to text one of their mutual friends, D. He had known him longer than she had but this friend was one they had in common and both liked. D had agreed to meet them at one of the campus bars for a drink or two. A few months prior they had come to this same bar. D had ordered one of every martini on the menu which had been around twelve that he shared with the table. This night, he and she got their own selected drinks and left it at that. It was fun to hang out with D for an hour or so, though they left him early knowing they had to wake-up early for a surprise party in her home town.

The next morning they headed out a tad late. He was going to pick up a planer that he found on eBay though she insisted they get to the party first and retrieve the new equiptment after. As they pulled up to her aunt’s house, she noticed her stepdad’s car. He parked behind it. She walked to the nearest house, certain it was her aunt’s. Since she had only been there once before, she couldn’t be too sure. As she rang the doorbell, a man she did not recognize stepped out. She asked him if her aunt lived there but all she got was a confused, “No…?” It was at this moment that she realized the number on the house across the street was her aunt’s. He stood back and laughed as they moseyed across the street. The cars had been parked down the way so that her grandmother wouldn’t see.

“It’s about time!” Her mother exclaimed as they all exchanged hugs. The party was going even though her grandmother had not yet arrived. It wasn’t for another 15 minutes that her grandmother arrived, inching her way up to the door as her family and he hid behind walls and furniture. What felt like several minutes of hiding later, the familiar sound of her grandma’s voice reached across her aunt’s house. Just as the footsteps grew closer, everyone leapt from their hiding spots, “Surprise!”

“Oh my God.” Her grandma exclaimed with a wide grin. She was happy to be able to come and spend a few hours with her mother’s side of the family. After some food, conversation, and cake, he and she left to pick up the planer for his studio and headed back three and a half hours home.

Mexico

He and she had only flown on a plane one other time, which was from New York back home. This vacation would be different than the last. His parents had invited them to come along with all expenses paid (they could not afford it otherwise). Upon arrival the heat was stifling, though he and she welcomed it with open arms. Due to the fact that they had awoken at 3am to make their 5am flight, their fight for consciousness was a difficult battle. When they got to the Paradisus Hotel in Cancun, the all-inclusive eight-day venture would begin. He and she were granted their own room. Walking in, it felt as though they were in a dream, one where they were older with a well-supplied bank account and endless vacation days, one where there were three meals a day and no worry of whether the next paycheck will be enough.

For the first few days they lazed around the pool, drinking and relaxing, catching sun through 50spf. He was the one who suggested quite enthusiastically on the 4th of July that they go to CoCo Bongo. His brother, the one who shared her first and middle name, came along with them. One thing about the all-inclusive resort that she was highly excited for was free sushi. Before CoCo Bongo, everyone had joined to eat at the sushi place called Bana. He and she ordered 4 rolls each with a few cups of sake to start their night of drinking.

He, she, and his younger brother headed to CoCo Bongo on the bus. She was unsure of their carbon copy slip of a ticket but he seemed confident, so she went with it. Upon arrival, the night was alive. People were dressed up as box office stars willing to be photographed as long as they received a couple bucks in return. There was music blaring from hidden speakers and a line down the street all waiting for a night of shows and booze. He scrambled around looking for someone who could give them their wristbands. A man came by connecting the yellow bracelets that indicated free drinks at any bar inside the club. The wait seemed a tad long until a different man came out offering drinks on a tray that were much stronger than they looked. After more waiting, the velvet link holding them back was released and the trio was set free into the night. They were led through several sets of bars and escalators before making their way into the main area where there were women already dancing on the bars.

“Let’s grab some beers before the show starts!” He yelled over the pumping music. Leaning into the bar he ordered them drinks though the bartender had already slid three shots of tequila toward them. She and his brother made eye contact, both not fans of the stuff but figuring they were there to drink, they all knocked them back. It was then that they were handed their beers. Once finding a nice place to stand, they watched as the show begun. There were shows based off of Phantom of the Opera, Moulin Rouge, Spiderman, Beetlejuice, and a variety of musical numbers by famous pop icons like Michael Jackson. The amount of confetti at this event was more than they had seen in all three of their lives combined. They had to remember every time they went off to cover their drinks or else they would later be surprised by the papery texture with a swig of beer.

The night ran into the early hours of the morning as they danced and drank. He and his brother complained of aches in their feet and insisted they call it a night. Just as they were leaving, the cast of the show got up onto the middle bar. For lack of a better word, a midget, who was part of the cast, began pouring tequila shots in people’s mouths. He scooped up all her hair in his hand and nudged her toward the man on the bar who gladly poured the shot straight into her mouth. “I hate tequila, but that was pretty awesome!” She claimed as they stammered out of the club. They grabbed a cab back to the hotel, and she was happily united with the leftover sushi waiting for them in the room.

The next couple days they took it easy, lounging at the pool, again visiting the swim-up bar. He wanted to take her to La Isla de Mujeres and spend the day while his brother and mother went to swim with sharks in a tank. He and she took a ferry ride and rented a golf cart to drive around the island. It was a beautiful and romantic getaway for them as they stopped at major tourist points. They grabbed a beer at a local restaurant as she felt the sunburns draped across her shoulders. They had begun to blister. When he noticed her attempting to pop them, he swatted her hand away warning that it would make it worse. The heat was a reason they kept close to the golf cart as well as the fact that a few vendors tried dealing them drugs when all she was in search of was a souvenir. Jail time in Mexico wasn’t quite the “something special” she was looking for. It felt free out there, almost like they had the funds to do stuff like this on their own as a couple. Before heading back, they stopped and had enchiladas at a local restaurant.

The trip was coming to an end far too soon. For their final days, they all rode jet skis. She wanted to ride with him though he went wild almost losing her several times. They eventually switched places, but they learned that from then on separate jet skis was the way to go. When they got back to the pool, a man was there holding a small brown monkey. She had always liked monkeys though she was somewhat terrified of them. He encouraged her to hold it and get her picture taken, pushing her into an already growing line. When she walked up to the man, the monkey got on her shoulder, wrapping its tiny hand across her face and smiling at a cameraman. He and his brother also got pictures taken. The man asked he and she for images together. Even though they would have loved the pictures, $17 for a single tiny print didn’t seem worth it. They decided to capture the memory in their mind instead.

He and she made a final reservation for two at Bana for more sushi (no one else was a fan of sushi). They felt a tad sick from all the food and alcohol they had consumed over the eight-day period. Heading to the airport was a sad venture that was inevitable. He and she boarded two more planes and endured two, two-hour car rides before finally making it back to their apartment and their cats. They spent the rest of the weekend lounging around and catching back up with reality before fully starting back up on Monday.

Tiny Houses and Pipe Dreams

He and she had watched a documentary on Netflix about Tiny Houses and the movement surrounding it. They had decided long ago that they would rather have a smaller house that was really nice while having extra money to travel and go out to dinner on occasion. This was, however, a very tiny light at the end of a long tunnel since they still had plans to further their education. He had recently traded his motorcycle for a boat that resided at the apartment until they decided whether to fix the old thing or make another trade. The documentary had inspired their need to live simply and to create their own environment.

He had found a beat up trailer that held half of a camper at the front on craigslist that a man two hours from them agreed to a trade for the boat. The problem was that his tiny $700 beat up Ford Ranger could barely pull the weight of the boat let alone a large gooseneck trailer. He willed it to work, installing the proper gooseneck hitch in his truck bed. They made a few trips to the local habitat REstore, finding around 20 square feet of Maple wood that they wanted to put in the kitchen of their tiny house. The excitement was mutual as they thought of what it would be like to completely uproot their lifestyle and mold it into something new.

The day came for the trade, a frightening time for he and she that would be followed by excitement for their Mexico trip with his family (That is if they made it to his parents house). Early that morning they made sure their cats were taken care of for the duration of their trip, hiring someone from her work at the school to make visits while carrying all of their luggage down the steps of their apartment. The boat was heavy for its size as he began to attach it to the one hitch he had attached to his bumper. As he released the weight onto the rear of his truck, there was a noticeable dip as the bumper lost more and more space from the pavement. It wasn’t too bad, except for the fact that the wheel of the boat trailer was stuck in contact with the ground, unable to be turned up for driving. He was able to prop up the back end of his truck to remedy  the issue though the small prop wheel had to be placed at a 90-degree angle or it would collide with the road if they bottomed out.

They took it easy, only going around 45mph in a 55mph area to ensure their safety. The boat was making a violent dent in his gas gage as they drove the allotted amount of miles toward the trailer. Sadly enough, this half of the trip wouldn’t be nearly as stressful as what was to come. When they reached the man’s house, she understood why MapQuest couldn’t find it. The tiny farmhouse was nearly covered in overgrown weeds that felt like a page out of ISpy as she caught glimpses of tiny trinkets and tools splayed across the lawn. The man also had a few other boats parked in front that looked as though they had found their permanent resting place. He jumped out of the truck to greet the man as she stayed put in the passenger seat. With the windows rolled down she could hear him exchange facts about the boat as well as, “Do you have a bathroom?” He ended up just going in the man’s back yard instead of a nearby rundown camper that the man initially offered up. She, too, had to go but with no running water and outside this strange man’s house, she decided to just hold it. The sooner this exchange was over the sooner they could finish up their treacherous journey.

Attaching the beast of a trailer to the back of his tiny truck was a feat. His tires looked ready to burst as the weight was lowered down onto the gooseneck hitch. “Well, I hope we make it to my parent’s house.” He said with a nervous look in his eyes. For three hours, they listened to the burps and hiccups of his truck in agony. Stopping to get gas, they bottomed out causing a simultaneous gasp. Luckily, they got back on the highway safely, going 45mph again.

After an hour and a half of driving to his hometown, the beast bouncing on the trucks rear tires, the engine began to heat up. “If it gets to a certain point I’ll have to pull over for an hour at least.” She sighed, hoping they didn’t have to live through the fear and torture of this journey anymore than they had to. He slowed his speed even more, which fixed the heat issue. When they finally reached a close point to his house, the tension grew. There was smoke flying from the back of the truck. The source was unidentifiable with the massive trailer hitching a ride. Pulling into the driveway of his parent’s house, she noticed how she hadn’t been breathing as deeply as normal, the stress must have clutched on her lungs, holding a firm grip until they arrived safely.

The journey was long but they survived with the promise of Mexico right around the corner.

The End of a Partnership

He and T had been friends for a little over a year until a cavalcade of events that led to their demise. They had begun a business, renting a studio to be able to build their artistic product. T had eventually moved out of he and she’s apartment because it hadn’t been running smoothly. The studio was T’s new apartment and described it as the ideal situation, which made he and she wonder why T had ever lived at their place. After a month of saying he would move out, T still had all of his stuff at he and she’s apartment.

He had gone to the studio one morning to continue the countless hours he had spent building a loft, an office, and storage space in the studio (while T did anything else elsewhere). To his surprise, he saw all of his stuff piled into the middle of the shop floor (stuff T had said could stay there while it was listed on Craigslist to be sold). He was obviously shocked and upset, going back to the apartment to begin packing T’s things up and putting them out in the hallway.

She had been organizing her own stuff, sitting cooly by as he packed with ferocity. He explained the circumstance and she became equally as upset. At this point T had stayed with them two months and hadn’t paid a dime of rent. When he went back to the studio, he and T somehow made up as he asked T to kindly pick up the stuff that now riddled the hallway of the apartment.

After that incident, things seemed to be going fine though T still had the tendency to act as though the business was solely his, never mentioning he in any business related conversation, even when he was standing right next to T. He was getting very frustrated after working on the studio for over 60 hours, building and developing with little help from T, who was busy collecting new friends and giving them all keys to the studio. Their roles were like that of Blaire’s mignons in Gossip Girl (which he and she are not ashamed to say they had watched).

He was beginning to feel pushed out of the business and the friendship, getting irritated by the negative feedback he was hearing from people in their inner circle about himself. He had been spending the past week recruiting cliental for their business, successful on three accounts. These work orders were what was going to get them the laser they needed to make their products. He and T were on okay terms at this point, progressing in their business venture.

T’s fiancé came down from Seattle. After that, he and she didn’t hear from T in a week. He had gotten frustrated, not wanting to intrude on the reunion that was going on at the studio, but also not happy that he couldn’t work because of it. Finally, he got a text from T. The text stated that T felt he was the only one doing anything for the business.

T expressed that he thought that He wasn’t bringing anything to the table. This made he irate, thinking on all the times during the protest where he supported T, thinking on all the hours spent building, all the stress from gathering clients to be eligible to lease-to-own the laser for their company…or as it always seemed, T’s company.

They decided to meet for a final beer. She thought they would work it out during the interaction, but when he walked back through the door of the apartment, his face said the opposite. It was over.

T had said all the people in their inner circle, including their artist professor, had said it would be stupid of T to go into business with he (which he found later that night was a fabrication of T’s imagination). She was severely upset at this news, knowing just how much time, energy, and money he had spent on the rise of the company, the one where he had no chance of making a name from. T had painted he as the bad guy, which couldn’t be more wrong. He and T signed handwritten documents stating that he must have all his stuff out of the studio in 30 days.

She had no idea what to do or say, as she spotted the heartbreak on his face that night. He jumped right into the shower as she moved to the bedroom to give him some space before he fully explained the outing. After a long 15 minutes, he seemed to be in better spirits. “I don’t need him. Everything will work out and hey, now you and I can move in a year and do our own thing. This is for the best.”

“You make me want to cry right now.” She could feel her eyes twinge, knowing his hurt but proud of his resilience.

“Don’t cry, sweetie. Everything will be fine.” They spent the weekend taking all his stuff (even the stuff T thought he could hide from him, though there were a lot of things of his that T had thrown away without asking) to a two car garage he rented through their apartment complex. As he began to organize his stuff at his own personal studio, she could truly see just how okay everything would be.

Catching Up!

Over the past month, he and she had been the most busy they had ever been. They had moved from separate apartments to one apartment. T had moved in with them for the first month, but recently moved out due to living conflicts. He and she had realized they had tried to live together for four years and another person moving with them caused them to nit pick often. Anyone that moved in with them would have had to deal with that. He and she were a team who liked their own personal space with each other. It was difficult, but he and T remained friends and business partners. She had gotten a job at a private Pre-6 school as the office assistant manager after graduating. Her family had come down to visit her, which was fun and helped him better connect with them. A couple weeks later, he and she made a trip to her hometown to visit her parents. There were several morel mushroom excursions along with some kayaking as well to kick off the summer.

Now, he and she are currently going through the summer awaiting their trip to Mexico in a few weeks. He will begin his last year at the University in the fall, while also building the studio and selling products as he and T had begun already. She will continue to work at the school until they decide to leave the place they have resided for the past four years.

The Protest

He had been stressing about it since the night before, expressing concern about his own collegiate status and whether he, too, would be reprimanded by association to T and the expulsion. She had work during the first few hours as he and T rose early that morning to make signs. Their world-renowned artist-professor had stayed closely tied with them through the duration of meetings and the final act of expulsion. Once the protest was up and running, their professor decided to come outside the art building to give them water and ask how the process was going. Though only out there with them for ten-fifteen minutes, the professor received a phone call that ultimately lead to a suspension, followed by an investigation of safety precautions the woman had supposedly mis-taught in the classroom. It seemed like another act of retaliation with the association to T and his cause.

“Leave Your Free Speech at the Door.” One of the signs read, signifying that the art building had become a place where freedom of speech was unwelcome. When she arrived it was one of the first one’s she saw. She pulled in to the parking lot and walked over to the protest that was only five people strong three hours in. They stayed out there holding signs as the yearly art fest was going on to attract to most attention. Several cars passed asking what the protest was for. Some even walked over to obtain more information, to which T handed them all the evidence of the events leading to this point. There was the initial faux sign-up sheet that T had put in the bathroom to call out the several numbers of sign-up sheets that riddled the art classrooms, some almost as pointless as a sign-up sheet for the bathroom at the collegiate level. T also had the open letter he had sent out across the art department calling out the director of art and art history after he had threatened him behind closed doors, as well as the expulsion letter that removed T from the school for reasons that seemed to be made up in order to get T out of the University.

She wasn’t sure if she wanted to associate herself with the protest. After all, she was graduating that month and wanted to be able to get her diploma after coming this far in her education. Luckily, no cops were called and he and she were able to leave at the end without any further retribution. She went for him. He knew that she was there to support him because she loved him and stood by him when he needed her. After the protest ended, he, she, T, and one of T’s students from the class he could no longer teach, went to eat. The conversations over dinner were much more relaxed than those the night prior and the morning before the protest. From the evidence, T and the professor spoke with a lawyer who wants to help them push forward with a class-action lawsuit against the University.

 

Long Road Trip

T had suggested they go see a famous artist that would be only a 2-hour jaunt away. Going into it, this is all she thought they would be doing. After getting in the truck, he and T explained that they would be going 2 more hours on top of that in the opposite direction to pick up T’s new motor cycle. The majority of the ride was spent discussing T’s expulsion from the University. It began with a mere act of free speech against policy and turned into a whirlwind of meetings involving the director of art history. The expulsion was said to be about T not following policy though the expulsion seemed more so like an act of retaliation to an open letter T had dispersed across campus addressing the issue.

He was vibrating with stress over a planned protest they would hold the next day at the art building. She complained about being hungry since she had forgotten to eat earlier. They stopped at a Maid-Rite for dinner as she searched for the number of local news stations that may be interested in covering the protest. He and T got Maid-Rites while she insisted on a chicken sandwich, not knowing what a Maid-Rite was. He made her try his, attempting to pull her from her pickiness and try something new.

She took a few bites of her sandwich when he asked to see the inside. “Babe that’s undercooked.” He said, already surveying the tiny restaurant for a staff member to remedy the problem. “Sir? Can she get another chicken sandwich? This is raw.” The man looked dissatisfied with the observation and began to cook another.

“Great. Now I’ll have a spit sandwich instead of a raw one.” It was done the second round, though she had lost her taste for chicken.

Once back on the road, the same strenuous conversation continued, including what kind of posters they would use, who would come, and what their chances were of being arrested. They pulled into the parking lot that appeared to be relatively barren for a show to be going on. Walking in, they didn’t hear the echo of a lecture or the muffled sounds of a listening audience. All that was there was a woman, older, with the stature of a librarian. “Is this where the artist lecture is?” He asked the woman who looked back with regret to say it was over and that they had just missed it.

The disappointment was only a lingering feeling that dissipated quickly. He, she, and T decided to see the artist’s work that was displayed outside down the street. He and she decided that they would go to the Apple store, since it was the closest one to them and possibly fix the issues with their phones.

The mall the store was in was very large as they walked in with wonder. T went off to do his own thing while he and she waited for the geniuses to help them. A man attempted but both scenarios would have cost them each $200. Upon that news, they got up and left, deciding to deal with their personal degree of phone misfortune.

Back in the truck, T and he talked more about the situation, rehashing every detail. The final two hours to T’s motorcycle drug by until they finally reached a house in a cul de sac. He spent several minutes questioning the sellers as a group of four or five put the bike into the truck bed. The sellers had been mechanics and had refurbished the bike themselves.

She and he knew they wouldn’t be home until one but accepted it as she laid her head on his shoulder, falling asleep, only to wake minutes from home. He walked her inside and they both gathering in each other’s arms to rest up for the big protest.

Motorcycle Lesson

He had currently purchased a motorcycle (a Yamaha FZR 600 for only $400!) that needed some work done, more than he knew. When he and she had just begun their relationship four years prior, he coaxed her on to the bike he had at the time. She was very wary of accepting his offer due to the fact that she had never road on one before. He handed her a helmet and showed her how to hang on to him. At this point, they weren’t yet dating, so the idea of having her arms around him was mystical. She leaned against his back, pressing her chest into it firmly. Her arms traced the outside of his waist until they met and clasped in front of him. When he took off, she would accidentally head butt him, not yet getting a feel for the touch and go of the throttle. He brought a hand down on her leg, comforting her fears and she hugged him in closer, taking in the smells of the air enveloping them as they drove at high speeds. He had to teach her how to lean with the turns, something that was very frightening to a newbie, since she felt like she would either tip them, fall off, or scrape their legs on the pavement. He enjoyed her adventurous side, the one that got her on the bike in the first place. She was always intrigued a the way motorcyclists always raised a friendly hand at other motorcyclists. It felt as though they were part of some big club where everyone was friendly. After seeing scary biker dudes on TV, it was almost difficult to believe.

He later sold the bike because the payment for the insurance was a cost he didn’t have the money to keep up with. About a year or so after they had been together, he bought another one. This was during their rough period but was a way for them to take break from the constant anguish of their relational state. He soon sold that one as well, again needed all the extra money he could scrounge for rent and food.

The new bike, though not yet running, was his next attempt to ride again. Each time they would see one pass them, they would say, “Man I wish we had a motorcycle.” One of his newer friends from the university, J, had just gotten a motorcycle he found for a good price, though he still had yet to get a license. He, being the helpful man that he is, offered to teach him one weekend. T was also in the market for a motorcycle, also not knowing how to ride yet. J and T both were planning to have him teach them all he knew about passing the test and how to ride. She decided to just be a tag along.

The four of them found a late parking lot at the local community college. There was luckily a random orange cone in the lot that he used for exercises he created on the spot. At first, he began showing them how to use the clutch and find the “sweet spot” where they would switch from clutch to gas. J was learning quickly while T seemed to catch on a bit later in the game. Moving on, he showed them how to swerve and turn and drive until they noticed a morphing in the clouds above. It was going to rain.

He and she had an experience a couple years prior where they got caught in the rain without helmets (which is ill-advised). The droplets felt like bullets as they collided with their exposed skin. They took refuge at a local grocery store, waiting over a half hour until they decided to suck it up and get back to his apartment. The experience, though painful and dangerous, was a moment they had that connected them briefly in the midst of difficult times. It was a moment she clung to.

He and J rode back to J’s house on the motorcycle while she and T went back in her tiny silver car. The rain had begun only slightly as they reached J’s house. He burrowed the motorcycle near the side of the house as J covered it before a down pour.”I want to get a bike so bad. I think I am going to get a loan for it.” T stated before he and she went back to his place. Later that week, T was able to sell a piece of art for enough money to buy one but that’s another story.

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