Make sure to read Episode 1 if you haven’t already. Enjoy!
That Tuesday morning was like any other until that song played.
My alarm went off at six, and I hit snooze three times, cherishing each nine-minute interval of added sleep. I dragged myself out of the warm bed into my cold bedroom and even colder bathroom.
I didn’t want to go to work, but I didn’t want to go less than the day before, so I consider that a win. Although the sun wouldn’t start creeping above the horizon for another hour—if we were lucky—I felt the day brightening, I felt things starting to turn around.
Olivia had been on my mind a lot since Sunday morning. I saved her number in my phone as soon as I got home from church, and I think I even dreamt of her the night before—but my dreams usually abandon me shortly after waking except for the few clouded pieces that drift back to me throughout the day, so who’s to say.
I put a playlist on shuffle and smiled in the mirror. Things really were turning around. I turned the shower on and stepped in—thinking about Olivia and replaying our conversations in my head for what must have been the hundredth time. I could still hear her laugh over the water pelting my chest and the music filling the air.
I thought of her smile—that smile so familiar. My stomach started to drop again but I pushed the feeling away. It won’t happen again. It can’t. Every girl isn’t like her. I heard Olivia’s laugh again, and a relieved smile crept back to my face.
The song changed, and that smile disappeared. That song erased every thought, picture, and image of Olivia so suddenly. The first chord, the first string of notes, poof—gone.
The lobby of that old church, cold and drab and gray, was replaced by sunshine, warmth, life.
We were in my car making loops around the lake with no plans of stopping any time soon. The windows were down and the radio was up. Her blonde hair whipped in the wind, and she reached over and held my hand. I looked at her—happy, content—and her smile communicated the same.
She sang along with the song—her right hand dancing out the window—and I kept driving.
The song ended and she turned the radio down.
“Gosh, I just love that song,” she said, turning to me with a big smile—that smile.
“Me too,” I replied.
She looked out the window for a little while, then turned back with a suddenly serious expression.
“And I just love you.”
“I love you too,” I replied.
She smiled again and that made me smile and we just sat there smiling and driving and soaking in the setting sun.
Lukewarm water pelted my back and shoulders and I was reminded of where I really was, where I didn’t want to be.
I wanted to be in that car again. I wanted that night again—that endless trip around the lake. I wanted whatever that was that we had again.
I turned off the faucet and stepped out of the shower, drying off. I grabbed my phone and scrolled through my contacts until I got to her name.
“Good morning!” it read.
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