“Thank you. It was a gift.”
Frank looked at him from the backseat of the truck, “He must have been a
lot funnier in high school.” He turned and looked at Jess “You and this guy
are the only ones I’ve known to be so happy and healthy.”
“We are doing well. He’s good about treating Mom and Dad too.”
“I’m the same. And I’m not like the other guys. He’s the best.” Emil turned
around to Frank “Hey, when I get out of here, you and I are going to go
over to that place and get married.”
“You got a plan or am I gonna have to drive you?” Frank said jokingly. He
turned back to the engine, turned the heat up in the driver’s seat so he could
wear only the undershirt, and put his arm over his eyes to block the glare of
the sun from his tired face.
The group sat at night as though they were sitting in church, singing
Hallelujah and praising God. The music seemed to come from within them as
they moved freely, in sync with the song. Bo’s hand rested on his knee. “Wow,
that’s pretty special. I never had a church experience like this.”
“Well, it’s not like anyone in my family really lives by the bible so I
really didn’t have those experiences growing up. Maybe I should make a list
of them.” Quincy said happily.
The radio’s voice came through the speakers “Hey, that music is really
nice.” Frank said. He looked up and smiled at his sister. “I like that one
too, it’s really pretty.” He said in a voice so low he wouldn’t have been
heard if it had been whispered. She looked over at him and looked
disappointed that he would be embarrassed to admit that he enjoyed the music
“It’s a pretty good one.”
The radio’s voice told them “The best music in the world is being created in
the dark.” The lights went out and the song played. A voice in the chorus
sang “I love how your eyes feel all gooey in the middle of the night.”
“I love how your heart feels like it can barely take the pressure.”
The lights went on and the music blared. The voices in the chorus sang, “I
love, I love…, I love feeling like I don’t care anymore.”
“I love how you feel like your soul is floating.”
“I love how you can stand out in this world.”
“I love how you are in this world.”
“I love how I am in this world.”
The lights went out and the song played. The voices in the chorus sang, “My
baby, my baby, my baby…, I’m so sorry I didn’t see before I left.”
“My baby, my baby, my baby…, I’m so sorry I didn’t make it before I left.”
The group stayed as long as they could before they left. It had been too
long since they had been together. They had talked about it, about how things
were going, but they had always gotten caught up in the day to day life of
being a family. Their mom often called them “kids at church” but it wasn’t
their favorite word anymore.
Frank and Emil were sitting by the windows, their heads rested on each other’s
shoulders. “I got this headache. Is there any aspirin for it?”
“I know, I just thought it was a bad one. I hate when it’s like this, it
makes me sick to my stomach.”
“Well, I’ll be right back.” He kissed her forehead, leaving a wet mark, “Go
ahead and take care of the headache in the bathroom.”
Emil ran to the bathroom and returned with an aspirin and two Tums. He handed
her the aspirin. “Thanks, that will really help me.” With that, he left to
the bathroom to take care of his headache. The tension released from his leg
and he was able to walk around the room without any discomfort.
“Emil!” Jess called out.
Emil looked up from the pills he was packing. He stood up and walked towards
the bathroom. As he passed, he winked at her. She laughed, and that made him
smile. When Emil returned, he sat on the bed next to her and put the pills
in the medicine cabinet “Are you ready to go?”
“Yes, just let me put some extra clothes on. We’ll be back in a few minutes.”
She smiled and pulled his shirt over his head.
The group drove back to the cabin, and Frank put up the sign outside the doors
“Private Party Only” and left the music blaring in the background.
“Did you know about this?” She asked as they pulled up to the cabin.
“Not really. When did you agree to go?”
“In the shower. I was in there for ten minutes before the song started. He has a
very fine voice.”
“We talked about it, you know. We talked about how we would be together all the
time. I don’t know how we’ve never done this before but after spending the
last few months together, it seemed like a good idea to do so.” He put his
arms around her.
“So you did tell him.”
Emil grinned and pulled her closer to him. “I didn’t want to tell him until I
said I would, but he convinced me that this is the right thing to do.”
“You’re the only one I’ve ever met who made being happy so easy for him.” She
“So, are you sure you want to?”
“I have to, don’t I?” She said with a smile, and leaned into his chest.
“You mean this is what you wanted all this time?”
“I’ve wanted to for a long time, as you know, but there’s something I’ve been
feeling for a long time, you know?”