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The Canyon

By: LucienMaier

Page 1, She had known the trip was coming, but accepting it was not easy Maybe because when he leaves this time, she is planning to make some major changes.

The Canyon

By Lucien Maier

Just about at the top of a mountain they were perched on a hundred and Eighty foot high boulder. Two figures sat atop the rock, the lights of Salt lake city sparkled back at them. His eyes were red rimmed from days of crying.

“Thanks for coming up here with me.” He said into the light wind.

She smiled gently back at him.

“Of course. You couldn’t keep me away.” She replied, her eyes still red as well.

“You know what I am going say don’t you?” He said more than asked.

“Yes, I think so. Its time for you to “Go on the road”. Can’t say I like it but I knew it was coming.” She replied. She had lost count of how many times she had heard him talk about it.

Hitting the road and getting lost for a while, He had a list of places he wanted to see. Now she had always thought that money would keep him close to her side. However, three weeks ago both his parents had been killed in a car accident.

He had pulled in so deep to himself she could tell he was having trouble seeing out. His parents had left him quite a bit of money, and being nineteen there was really nothing holding him back. Even though in her heart she wanted desperately to somehow prevent him from leaving. .

He looked at her and gave the closest thing to a smile that he had been able to muster since that day.

“You always understood me better than anyone else.”

“Yeah well somebody has to I guess.” She said, even though her insides screamed “AT LEAST A YEAR” On one occasion she asked how long this trip would take. And that is what he had answered “at least a year.” But last night when she had figured out his plan for sure she had sworn to herself to not hold him back from this.

Not that the hole in her heart was any smaller, Their family had moved in when she was eight. The moment he got out of the car she had known he was special. His smile was from his mom, warm and inviting. His eyes however, most definitely came from his father. They deified color and looked more like moving clouds under the pupil.

He looked out over the valley the twinkling lights dancing in front of them.

She had learned to find safety in that home over the years. She was the one of the younger of six kids, and his house had became the place where she could shine.

She had seen Marcus and Sharon her second set of parents. Alec thought of her like a sister, but She did not think of Alec like a brother at all. You see, that first meeting she had been drawn to him very deeply.

Of course the friendship had meant so much to her she had never dared give voice to her feelings. And now for At Least a year she would remain silent still. They sat on the rock overlooking the city for over an two hours talking about everything.

“I am sure Martin will be happy to see me go.” Alec said with a broad grin.

“Ugggghhhh I don’t even want to talk about him right now. “ She said slapping his arm. “But you’re right he is going to be very happy.” She replied. He would not be happy for long. She planned to break it off with him after Alec was out of town.

You see, she had a plan. Last night she had laid awake in her bed when she figured out that Alec was going leave, and she had made a decision. She had some changes to make.

“I am sure you will meet your share of girls out there.” She said sweeping her hand across the valley.

“I doubt it.” He said.

“Sure girls don't flirt with handsome guy on a motorcycle?” She said with a grin.

“Well maybe but they are not right for me.” He replied.

“So what is your perfect girl?” She asked.

Alec gulped, he paused for a moment and then began to speak.

“She would have to ride, as good or better than me. She would have to be smart. But I think most important is that she would have to believe in herself.” He looked as if he were thinking over what he just said. “She would have to be strong you know.” He tried to explain.

“Yeah I think I do.” She smiled and snuck in a smile for herself. They talked into the night and finally climbed down the rock and hiked down the trail until they reached the road.

Soon they were splitting off to their own houses.

Alec was up early, the house was buttoned up, and he knew Kailyn would check in out the house often. He also knew she would be at the door soon. Of course as he sat down to drink a cup of coffee her signature knock came to the door.
She walked in and came to the kitchen. She got a cup of coffee, and sat with him.

“I am going to miss this.” she said as she took a drink. Coffee would be harder to come by now.

“You can always come over and brew yourself a cup.” He said.
“I might have to do that here and there.” She said, they spoke for a while longer and drank a pot and half of coffee.
Alec finally stood up, it was time to go. She hesitated but followed him out to the garage. He got on the bike as the door rolled open.

“Safe Ride.” she told him and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Then hugged him.

He put on his helmet and kicked the bike into gear.

“Send me postcards.” she told him and he nodded. The bike pulled out of the driveway and down the street.

“At least a year.” she said as she listened to him leave the neighborhood. She had loved it when he got the bike, although she had been strictly forbidden from riding on the back of it. He seemed so comfortable on it, like it was an extension of his body.
And she could always hear when he was coming home from a few blocks out. He looked like he belonged on the bike, and she longed for the same acceptance from a machine.
She shut the garage and went back to her house.
She was done hoping for the things she wanted. She was done standing on the side. The time had come to take action.

It took two weeks to the day but the postcards started to flow in. Sent not to her house but his. He wrote quick blurbs about places and things. The words were not so important to her it was the the contact.
Every small picture letting her know he was still out there. Still thinking of her.
She had got the bike into the garage under the cover of night. And armed with a manual or two she set to work. The bike was not in horrible shape but it needed some love, and it certainly needed to become her bike.

That night when they were up on the rock Alec had described his perfect woman.

He had described who Kailyn had always wanted to be.

Not who Kailyn always knew she was. She would no longer sit on the side lines of her own life. She was dead set to live to the fullest.
As the months went by her father grew more and more upset with her. Her mother pleading her to come back to the fold, but Kailyns mind had been set. The risk had been taken and she would see it through.
She spent more and more time over at Alecs house.
The bike, her bike in the garage now all fixed up. She rode everyday mostly the Canyon loop. The Canyon loop was a loop through two canyons that takes you high into the Wasatch mountains and drops you back in the valley.
Emigration Canyon had a two lane road, that wound into one tight turn after another. The Second Canyon “Parleys” was the exact opposite, 8 lanes and broad turns turned the speed up to sometimes ridiculous levels.
You could go up either and down the other, but most choose to go through emigration first so you do the technical riding first and the burst of speed at the end to blow off the tension.

On the year anniversary of Alec leaving she took the bike to a storage unit. She didn’t ride as much after that.

She had thought through the plan many times.

She didn't have to wait too long, one day she was getting out of her car to go in the house when the sound came.

Her face erupted into a smile and sure enough two minutes later a weathered bike pulled into Alecs driveway.

She ran over to him, and waiting for him to get off his bike. She jumped into his arms into a deep hug.

“Kailyn I missed you so much!” Alec said, squeezing her. He finally let her go and they went into the house. Soon coffee was brewing and they took their spots at the table looking over the valley.

“I think I am going to sell the house. I am going to move downtown I think.” He said looking around the kitchen.

“Yeah well as long you stay in Utah, you can live wherever you want.” Kailyn said. She swelled to see him. She was sad when he had to take off to see the boys but he said he would be around later.

A couple hours later he came home and took a nap and a shower, He had gone to the bike shop where his buddies hung out. and They demanded they do the canyon loop. Even though Alec was tired he agreed.

He woke up and called Kailyn they ate some dinner and upon hearing about the canyon ride she made a hasty exit. Alec was a bit disappointed, but went to his bike and striped off the travel gear.he just finished when his two buddies pulled up.

He got on his bike and shut the garage behind him and the three bikes rode down the street. They headed through emigration canyon.

As they were about about half way the tight canyon, when a light appeared in his rear view. There was only one and it was gaining fast so he knew it was a bike.
He didn’t have to wait long around a tight turn the mystery bike started its pass. By the end of the turn the bike hung right on Alecs tail. With a twist of the throttle she was even with him.
She passed him her ponytail hanging out of the back of her helmet. And a giant smile spread on both of their faces. They left the other two far behind as they pushed each other up the canyon. The two bikes blasted back and forth up the canyon. They came over the top of the canyon and they rode down the back road to I-80 side by side the racing each other up the hill gave way to the comfort of riding with someone he felt he could trust. The other two caught up and it was only then that Alec realized how slow they had been going.
The feeling was Strong for both of them. He saw her helmet shake as if to clear the cobwebs as soon as they got onto I-80. The Speed came up and didn't let off. Although the other two hung on longer in the wide open canyon they were not able to keep up.
They pulled away into the dark and roared down the canyon. Now Alec made his move as they were getting closer to the mouth of the canyon. Just as he was about declared his victory he looked back and saw her switch two lanes and take an exit behind him to go on I-215 belt route heading south.
“NO!” Alec screamed in his helmet denied the chance to meet the girl that already was close to winning his heart. He was angry at himself for having to have the win, and now losing the chance to talk to this mystery girl. He swung off the freeway onto Foothill Drive still swearing at himself as his friends caught up with him.
They all pulled into his house and they had a beer talking, in the garage. They questioned Alec about the road and he told a story here and there but his eyes were always trained across the street waiting for her car to pull up.
They boys left with a chorus of slaps on the back and welcome homes. They tore off into the night and Alec sat down on a stool in the garage he turned off the light and waited.
After ten more minutes Kailyn’s white car pulled up. She opened the door and got out.
“Hey, what were you doing tonight?” Alec Asked.
“Uhhhhh, I was at a friends for while. Sorry we can still hang out.” She said.
They walked into the house and she worked on making coffee as he stared at her. She came and sat by him at the table.

“You look lost?” she asked.

“Something strange happened on the ride.” He said.
“Oh what's was that?” She asked trying her best to sound bewildered.
“Well we are cruising up the canyon went all of a sudden a girl on a bike, passed me” He started.
“A girl passed you?” she interrupted.
“Yeah she did. in fact we raced back and forth through the loop.” He said.
“Wow, did you chase her down?” She asked.
“No she split on the 215 ext behind me so I lost her.” He said.
“Oh that is too bad.” she replied with a slight smile on her lips.
“Well.” he said leaning back. “I think I will see her again. We rode together like we had been on bikes together for years. I have never meet anyone I rode so tight with. We rode to well together for her not to see that. We will find each other.”
“Oh sounds like someone has a crush.” She said chuckling.

“Not a crush, like a love I have harbored for years. Like someone who has always been in my life that finally saw how amazing she is.” He said with a smile.
She was thrown off, she had hoped for a good impression but this seemed to much, and very out of character for Alec.

“And what would you do if you saw her again?”
He pulled her up into his arms.

“I would find a place with a stunning view. and then I would get real close and wrap my arms around her shoulders. and then.” Alec had done everything he said to Kailyn.

“And then?” she asked stumbling over the simple words.
“I would say to her. I knew who you were the second you passed me. and the whole ride was a dream come true that I have thought about since I got my bike. And then I think I would kiss her.”
She leaned in and kissed him.

“I have loved you for an awful long time Alec.” she said after they broke.

“And I have loved you just as long Kailyn.” He smiled.
They stared out at the lights of the city knowing that their lives would never again be alone. Sometimes it takes a long time for love to work, but it will always work.


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