There was the waiting. There was a lot of that. He wasn’t the most timely of people and working late nights didn’t help the problem. But come 2am my ears would be trained to detect the sound of his car pulling in so I could run out and hop in without him having to walk up to the door and wake up my family. But it wasn’t sneaking out.
Some nights we would just drive around. As we both lived with our parents there weren’t really too many options. The 24-hour truck stop a few miles from my house was always there and often we would meet our friends for fried food and photo hunt.
But some nights, those nights, we would just drive around. I usually had to work in the morning, sometimes as early as 5:30 am, but it didn’t matter. We owned those hours.
Living in the country, there was no shortage of dark, empty streets–most without even the luxury of being paved. And we would pull off onto them and turn off the lights. But instead of doing what you’d imagine most young couples to do in such locations and such times of night, we would laugh. We would talk and laugh and dare each other to do the most ridiculous things.
“I dare you to strip down to your underwear.”
“No, I dare YOU to strip down to YOUR underwear AND drive to town.”
And so we did. Both laughing and smiling and almost crying. Until the sun started to come up and we knew the night was starting to come to a close. Until the summer started to come to a close and I had to leave.
Sometimes now I’ll catch a wind of restlessness and want nothing more than something akin to those nights–driving around until the sun came up, wading through fields of lightning bugs, making forts out of mattresses in his parents’ basement. But the weight of more than just the morning and more than just the temporary nature of summer lulls me out of this state. But it doesn’t mean I’m ready to forget it completely.