“Left or Right?” I say, realizing it sounds like it will define my life.
“I don’t know you choose…” Peter says like its just another pathway in another direction.
Standing there wide-eyed, energized, and immovable at the top of the mountain trail after a long hard strenuous hike, I look out into the vast valley and I’m surprised at how far we have come; we did start today at six o’clock in the morning and it was now closer to ten. This is our last day of our journey. Even though I was dying because of the lack of coffee, I felt more alive today in the wilderness than I had these last few months in the city.
Peter on the other hand was a mindless zombie; he stood behind me, but only barely. If someone were to come bump into him he would probably topple over and roll down the hill. His eyes were closed at every point we weren’t moving; he would occasionally mumble something under his breath, usually about coffee; he looked like a lonesome tree, who just wanted to be left alone until Spring.
This trip wasn’t either of our ideas; our friends set it for us as a way to work on our problems. “We don’t have problems!” I remember saying this in unison once six months ago, to our loving and caring friends. “We just like to work, and it works for us.”
We have been married for almost two years; I wouldn’t say it has been easy, but it hasn’t been so awful we needed to go on a hiking trip to figure ourselves out. But still we went on this trip, just so that our friends would leave us alone.
The first couple days were terrible; we both hiked through bushes, branches, dirt, dust, muck. With every step we hated being here and we just wanted to run back home; but, if we did that then we would never hear then end of it.
Besides, I am now happy we did come on this trip. I have discovered something about myself, I love hiking. I love being away from the city; I love hearing the wind intertwine with its surrounds creating the wilderness’ song. Standing on top of this mountain I can see anything and everything. The journey upwards was hard, bitter, long, but the fact that we are standing here shows me, at least, that we can survive anything.
“Peter…” I say to the sky. No response. “Peter!” I turn and there he is sitting on a rock sleeping soundly. “Oh, Peter…” smiling to myself, because trying to arose him is pointless, once he is dreaming he won’t wake up.
Instead, I put my pack down and sit down beside him; I can hear his breathing. We haven’t been this close in months. I realize why our friends said we had problems; our jobs became our loves. I think I saw him once this last week, and until this moment I hadn’t thought anything of it. His breathing hum added a soft melody to the wilderness song; changing it into a lullaby. I rested my head upon his knee and dream my own dreams, but they all consisted of him.
I awoke to the rubbing of my head. I opened my eyes and the sky was a soft orange with the clouds still soaring through the sky. I lift my head up and there sits Peter staring off into the sky. The colors dance across his face making him more handsome than ever.
“Hey,” I say quiet enough to not spoil the moment.
“Hey,” he says with a smile, still looking off into the distance.
The wind danced, the birds sang, and my heart fluttered…
“Shouldn’t we be going?” Peter asked as his body spread stretching out his spine; with every moment some bone or joint popped or cracked.
He must be a bit sore from sleeping hunched over on the rock. I didn’t want to move from this spot, but he was right. “Yeah, we should.” I started to move and he jumped up and helped me rise. His hand on mine, made me feel like a teenager again.
“So, Left or Right,” Peter said now standing tall, refreshed, and strong.
My heart was beating so fast, I now remember this feeling; the feeling of happiness from another person. I love him…I haven’t thought this in a long time. Remembering this feeling made my body surge to life, but also fall into the place beside him. I realized I had been to quiet and hadn’t given him an answer. “I…” I start as I turn towards him.
His eyes are staring into mine; his features calm and loving. I haven’t seen him like this since our wedding day. “I don’t know. You choose. I’ll go where ever you go” only squeaky voice came out; I’m surprised anything came out of my mouth at all. His stare left me speechless.
“Okay then,” Peter said looking both ways, “Let’s go this way.”
Our bodies turned together, and we moved as one. We are following the Right path, hopefully to a different branch of our lives.
…But also, hopefully, this path leads us to a nice, warm Cup of Joe…