His return to us in that moment together in his truck became noticeable when he began to stroke my arm with his thumb. His grip loosened, but didn’t release. I leaned back against the seat, sitting next to him, our arms joined in front of me. I listened to him breathe deeply, reminding me of my attempts at listening to him breathe after he made love to me. Now I wished that’s what would happen next. I closed my eyes for a moment and remembered the beautiful scene of the starry sky from inside his tent.
“Maybe we should get going,” he finally suggested and let go of my arm, reaching for the keys. I agreed. We walked away from the edge of his fear and vulnerability towards a place of comfort and trust.
“Maybe you should let me drive.” I doubted he would let me, but I suggested it anyway.
“Okay,” he agreed with only a short delay in his reply.
Really? Surprised, I hopped out of the truck, scurried around the front, watching him through the window as he slid across the seat. Before I climbed in, I looked back at the perfect rows of wood behind us, still secure and ready to be driven downhill. This would be a first for me, hauling a load downhill, but in a weekend of firsts, this added one more to the pile. I climbed in, adjusted the seat, and buckled my seat belt. I grabbed the keys and his hat off the dash, and handed it to him. I expected him to hide his curls under it and buckle himself, but instead, he stared at the hat in his hands, then leaned over and rested his head on my leg.
His beautiful, blond curls filled my lap and his body awkwardly scrunched across the seat of the cab, but I managed to start the engine and shift into gear without hitting him with my elbow. I glanced over my shoulder, checked the mirrors, and merged into the lane, which remained surprisingly and thankfully empty, as if the universe knew I needed all the help I could get. I downshifted into low gear for the descent, grasped the steering wheel tightly with my left hand, and with my right hand, gently stroked his hair, massaging his scalp. By the time I exited the mountains and the twists and curves subsided, falling asleep would be easy, if he wasn’t already gone. I kept touching his hair though, because I wanted to enjoy it as long as I could. The weekend passed.
It may not fix everything, but the pie finally kicked in.
NEXT: The Cabin – Part 74