Author: Teresa Mummert
"It's called Remember Me, and I heard it is amazing." Shane held out our ticket stubs to be checked and ripped in half.
"Down the hall to your right. Enjoy the show," the man said and pointed us in the direction of the theater.
"Where do you want to sit?" Shane asked as he opened the door and waited for me to walk through.
"I like sitting in the front." I slid in the third row from the screen and made my way to the center. The commercials before the previews were already running. "How have you not heard of this movie?" I asked as I took a few pieces of popcorn and shoved them in my mouth.
"Been busy at work." Shane shoved his hand in the popcorn.
"Well, it is important to take time for the little things." I grabbed the soda from his hand and took a sip.
"Like manners?" he asked with a raised eyebrow as he snatched my licorice from my hand.
"Hey!" I scolded him as the lights dimmed and the real previews began.
"Shhh!" he joked, putting his finger over my lips to quiet me. The sudden touch sent a chill through me and I sat back in my seat, eyes glued on the screen for the rest of the movie.
March 19, 2010
"If I tell you, will you stop bugging me?" Jenn asked, rolling her eyes.
"Scouts honor." I held up my fingers and laughed.
"I took off two weeks for my birthday because I had plans. I was supposed to go on a cruise with my ex-boyfriend."
"A cruise." I leaned back on the couch and laced my fingers behind my head. Jenn grabbed a throw pillow and placed it on her lap as she tugged at the fringes along the edge.
"Yup." She sighed as she watched her fingers. I knew it was a touchy subject for her. "It would have been our honeymoon."
That was a lot of information to take in. I hadn't known Jenn very long, but the time I had spent with her I wouldn't have traded for anything. I didn't like the idea that she had come so close to marrying some guy who didn't treat her right.
"Well, I can't find a cruise with such short notice, but maybe I can swing something."
She looked up at me through her lashes and smiled, revealing her dimples.
"Swing something?" she asked as she tucked her hair behind her ear.
"Let me see what I can do." I pushed up from the couch and went to the kitchen. I grabbed my cell from my pocket and called May.
"You're not in trouble are you?" she asked, and I could tell she was smiling from the tone of her voice.
"Not yet. Remember when you told me about the camp you sent the boys to? The one with the big lake?"
"Yeah, but it's not camp season, Shane."
"I know that, May. I wanted to see if I could take Jenn on a paddle boat ride."
"You like this girl, don't you? I never saw you jump through so many hoops for Chelsea."
"Please spare me the lecture about how stupid I am and just give me the address."
"I don't think your stupid, Shane. I think this girl is good for you. It's nice to see you happy. I'll text you the address."
"Thanks, May." I hung up the phone. As I walked back into the living room, my phone vibrated with the address and simple directions.
"I have a plan." I held out my hand for Jenn, who looked at me quizzically before slipping her fingers into mine and letting me pull her from the couch.
"What's the plan?" she asked as she folded her arms over her chest.
"It's a surprise."
"I hate surprises."
I always thought I hated surprises too, but they usually weren't the good kind. Jenn was the kind of surprise that had turned my world upside down.
"Not all surprises are bad," I said as her lip began to twitch, revealing that she was suppressing a grin. "Come on. I'll let you drive."
She squealed and grabbed her sweater and purse before making her way to the front door. I placed my hand on the small of her back and followed her down the flight of stairs out into the daylight. It was amazing how that simple act of human contact changed my mood. I was as excited as she was. She had no idea where I was taking her, but she trusted me and she trusted I wanted to make her happy. I did. I wanted to see that smile every day. I had become addicted to it, like a drug. Soon I would be off on the other side of the world and it would only be a matter of time before the memories began to fade and after a while, she wouldn't even be able to picture my face. She would move on and find someone else who wanted to make her smile.
I opened the driver-side door for her and waited for her to get inside before closing it and making my way to the passenger side. I needed to push the thoughts of me leaving out of my head. I wanted to continue to make Jenn happy for as long as I could. She needed that from me and no matter how much it killed me to know it was going to end, I couldn't stop. She was doing something to me, changing my outlook and for that, I knew I could never forget her, even if I wanted to, and I knew that day would come. The day she forgot about me and moved on. It would kill me, but she would be engrained on my memory forever. I felt like I owed it to her to make sure she was happy.
"Which way?" she asked with excitement in her voice.
"This way." I pointed ahead of us as I cleared my throat.
"What's wrong?" she asked as she turned the ignition.
"Nothing." I forced a smile. "I just hope you like the surprise."
"Shane, how could I not? You're so sweet."
"Take a right on Whitaker Way."
"You know…we have been doing all this stuff that I want to do. We could go do something that you want."
"This is what I want."
We approached the small log cabin at the edge of Lake Bryan
"What can I do for ya? Looking for a campsite?" the man asked as we stepped inside.
"Actually, I was looking to rent a paddle boat for a few hours."
"I can help you with that. Let me just pull up the information on my computer."
I glanced over to Jenn smiling from ear to ear.
"A paddle boat?" she whispered.
"That sound fun? If not we can do something else. It was just an idea."
"No! That is perfect. As long as we aren't going in the water."
I handed my credit card to the man behind the counter as I kept my eyes on Jenn.
"You're scared of the water?"
"Not scared." She rolled her eyes. "Just not much of a swimmer."
"And you hang out on a bridge to read? I won't let anything happen to you." I took my card back and we followed the worker outside the building.
"The lake is just on the other side of those trees. There are boats lined up on the shore. Here is the key to unlock your boat. Have fun."
"Thank you." I took the key from his hand and Jenn and I made our way to the path that led through the woods.
As we reached the clearing, a massive lake came into view. Boats lined the shore, and there was virtually no one else around.
"This is nice." She walked past me to the edge of the water.
I placed my key into the lock and pulled our boat from the others. I pushed it toward the edge of the water and waited for Jenn to take her seat before slipping in beside her. We began to paddle our way out into the open water.
"Shane," she looked toward me as her feet stilled, "I feel like we should talk about the other day."
I didn't need her to explain. I hadn't stopped thinking about our kiss in the photo booth since the moment it happened. I knew I was being impulsive, but having her body against mine caused all rational thought to cease.
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have kissed you. I just got caught up in the moment."
Jenn looked off at the trees on the other side of the lake.
"You forgive me?" I asked as I ran my palm over my face. I hated apologizing when I didn't regret what I did.
"Of course." Her eyes met mine and she smiled as she began to paddle again. "It's forgotten."
March 20, 2010
"Not interested!" I yelled and pulled my comforter over my face. The knocking at the door came again. I sighed and pushed the covers down. "Fine! I'm coming!"
I slipped out of bed and pushed my feet into my slippers. I trudged across the living room and down the narrow hallway to the front door.
"You must have a death wish," I said angrily as I turned the lock and pulled open the door. Shane was on the other side holding two coffee cups and a huge smile.
"It's early." I took one of the cups from his hands and inhaled the scent of the coffee.
"I like to catch you in your pajamas, and it's practically noon. You have another bad dream?"
I twisted around and glanced at the clock that hung in the kitchen.
"It's ten in the morning and I don't have work. No dreams last night." I shrugged, for once feeling like I had gotten a decent night's sleep.
"Good. We need to run an errand. Get dressed."
I looked at him quizzically for a moment before setting my coffee down on the kitchen table.
"Surely you know a more polite way to ask me to go with you. Where are we going?" I began to walk back down the hall and across the living room to my bedroom. He grabbed my coffee and followed, stopping outside my door. I smiled and closed the door in his face. He laughed and turned back around, sitting down on the couch.
"Jenn, would you please join me on a mission? I need to go get my dog." He called out to me as he flipped through the stack of magazines on the coffee table.
"You have a dog?" I opened my door as I finished pulling down my purple T-shirt. He grinned as he caught a glimpse at my midriff.
"Yeah. Roxy. She's sweet. You will like her." He stood and held out my cup of coffee. I smiled and took it, sipping it.
I followed Shane down the steps and out to the sidewalk in front of my apartment building. I glanced both ways up and down the street before turning back to him. He pulled a set of keys from his pocket with a big smile as he hit a button on the key fob and the sleek black Chrysler 300 in front of him beeped as it unlocked.
"You bought a car?" I stepped closer to the curb and tried to look through the tinted windows.
Shane shrugged as he stepped around me and pulled open the driver-side door.
"I had some money saved. I figured I should have something to my name."
"It's really nice!"
"Get in. Let's take it for a drive."
I hurried around to the passenger side and slipped in on to the black leather seat as my eyes danced over the LCD display in the dash.
"That's the radio and navigation system." He hit a few buttons on the display and typed in his old address in North Carolina.
"We are going to North Carolina? That thing says it's a thousand miles away!" I put my hand on the handle like I was going to leap from the car.
"Road trips are fun. Come on. I'll let you control the music. I give you permission to put your hand on my knob." He laughed and I playfully hit him on the arm.
"There is no knob."
"Well, you are pretty good at pushing my buttons too."
I rolled my eyes as I pulled my seatbelt over my shoulder and buckled it in place. Shane put the car in drive and pulled out onto the road.
"This is crazy."
"No. This is spontaneous. It's fun." He smiled as he stepped on the gas.
I rolled my eyes as I pressed the touchscreen.
"I might let you drive it." He glanced over at me.