We Just Disagree

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reconnecting with an ex after a long period of time can be a unique experience.

Submitted: April 23, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: April 23, 2018



We Just Disagree

I flew back into Boise on a nice Thursday in June. The weather was starting to hit the peak of the brutal heat. Three months of consistent amounts of sweat pouring off of your body as you stepped outside for hardly any significant length of time. I loved Boise in the summer though. It was a city designed for this time of the year. Outdoor activities and events always going on. You never had to stay inside when you were here. It was a guarantee that there was always something to do.

That was one of the reasons why I always looked forward to coming back to Boise. Just the sheer fun that could be had. In a group setting or even if you were wanting to go solo for an adventure, that was more than encouraged. I loved Boise. If I could have, I would settle down here and just stay permanently. 

Of course, that would depend on the person that I came back here to see.

Claudia Colton was at one time, the person that I was going to spend my life with. She ran a successful bookstore over on Cole Rd. 'Turn The Page' was a success in the community. An independent bookstore run by a woman who personified independence. Brown hair and green eyes, she had a curvy body that made every person stop in their tracks. Claudia was a pillar in the community, especially when it came to civic events. The city council had awarded her with numerous certifications for all she had done in the community. The one thing that you could say about Claudia was that she was a woman that had it all. At least from the public perspective.

I had known Claudia for almost 15 years. We met one day when I came into buy books for a road trip that I had planned on taking. I was wanting something to take up my time while I was stuck in hotels and she had picked out a couple of great authors. Instead of buying two books, I ended up with four series of books that had at least ten books in each series. The best investment I had ever made.

From then on, we developed a friendship that involved book trading at first. She would recommend titles and then I would show her a few that I had found and was very proud of them. After a year of trading titles we would trade nights in one person's place and vice versa. We became as close as a man and woman could have been without exchanging rings. That was where our relationship turned sour. She wanted to stay in Boise and I was OK with flying and driving from Portland every other weekend. It got to where we were just going through the motions of our visits. 

I moved across the country to Florida and became a pilot for a company that offered tours of the Florida coast. It was fun and it had the adventure that I was craving but it didn't have Claudia. I would always think of her and those nights exchanging worlds that we would have loved to have stepped into. I was living the life of an adventurer, almost like that of a 1930's soldier of fortune pilot. Claudia had what she always wanted, a place of belonging and a sense of community. 

Deciding that a long time had passed enough, I booked a flight to Boise from Ft. Myers and wanted to pay her a visit. I had to get the feelings I had off my chest and let her know, in person, what I should have said years ago. That I was wrong and that I was a fool. Perhaps that we could have given it another try. I would do anything. 

As I made it to the airport and got the rental car, my mind kept flashing back to moments in the relationship. Happier times. Simpler times. If I had the ability to, I would have tried to write our story. It was that great of a tale to tell. 

I was driving on that particular stretch of the highway, taking exit 88 to the right which lead to Cole Rd. Nothing really changed. Same set of stores only with different names. Various restaurants and business stretched the two miles I was driving before I made it to Claudia's store. When I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed that there was a sign that said "Author Event". Finding a parking spot, I got out of my rental and made my way into the store. 

The store was incredible. Displays were set up with titles that were highly recommended by the staff. Posters of quotes by famous authors were on display all over the walls. There was a line from the front door that looked like it went to the back of the store. I asked a lady in the line what this event was.

"Oh, it is great," She said. "The owner of the store wrote a novel and it is gonna be a great success."

I thanked her and stood in line. A young employee was handing books out and I snagged a copy. 

The novel was called "Turn Away and Fly". On the cover was a woman standing in the doorway of a house while a man dressed like a pilot had a bag on his shoulder leaving. I raised an eyebrow and turned to the back cover and started to read the description. My eyes widened as I read the description. 

Basically, the book was about a single woman who fell in love with a pilot that never wanted to stay home with her. He always had to seek a fortune or adventure somewhere else. She would be at home waiting for when he came back. In the mean time she fell in love with a guy that was more normal than her dream man. The book boiled down to if she wanted to be in reality or stick with the fantasy. I shook my head as I read that and waited in line. 

After 30 minutes, I finally got to third in line. Having a clear sight of her was something that I would never have forgotten. She was wearing a black pant suit with a blue shirt underneath. Her brown hair had blonde highlights in it. She was so beautiful and professional. I couldn't help but smile. Claudia still enjoyed being around people 
and this setting was perfect for her.

Finally making it to her table, I sat the book down and she opened it to the title page. As she picked up the pen I decided to do something I didn't think I would have been able to do.

"Hello, Claudia." I said.

Claudia looked up from the book. It took about maybe less than five seconds to recognize me.

"Oh my," Claudia said. "Hello John."

Claudia got up from around the table and gave me a hug. She still had that sweet intoxicating scent of lavender. When we pulled apart, she gave me the once over and had to smile.

"Even on a day as hot as today, you still rock the leather jacket." Claudia said.

I laughed. I was wearing my leather bomber jacket with khakis and boots. I was wearing a blue button up shirt and had my silver Casio watch on my right hand. My brown was a little longer than I normally would have kept it. 

"I always knew you were gonna be an author," I said. "Can I get an autograph?"

"Of course," Claudia said.

She signed the book and handed back to me. She smiled. 

"Stay here for a little bit." Claudia said.

"I can do that." I said.

I found a chair and sat down. I started to thumb through the book. It was an interesting story. She made her main characters, Alison and Roy, an exact replica of Claudia and myself. Every moment of our relationship was described with an alarming amount of detail. The book was labeled as fiction but the more I read it, the more it became non fiction. As a pilot, you are in control. You know the best way to control your aircraft, sometimes you know more about your aircraft more than certain people in your life. In this case, Claudia knew more about us and our relationship than I did. For a half hour I read each page slowly so I could absorb every detail. It finally dawned on me that Claudia had moved on. This book was her way of saying that it was fun and we would always have the memories, she found someone else. Tears slowly formed as I let that realization sink in. 

Claudia found me after she finished her signing. I felt her hand on my shoulder. I looked up to see her.

"So, do you like the book?" Claudia asked.

"It is pretty good. Almost based on a true story," I said.

"That is pretty accurate to say," Claudia said.

I got up from my chair. "I got to pay for this," I said.

"Don't worry," Claudia said. "I know the owner and used a favor that I had."

I smiled. 

"You always had the connections," I said.

"It is really good to see you, John," Claudia said. "What brings you back to Boise?"

"An old buddy from Florida moved up here. I thought that since I was here that I might as well look you up as well. Your just as beautiful as always, Claudia. The book is really good." I said.

"Thank you John," Claudia said. "How long are you here in Boise?"

My plan was to be here for as long as I could to try and convince her that this time, it was real. That I was planning on staying this time and giving her the life that she had deserved. You could read a lot in a person and their facial expressions. Claudia had everything going for her. 

"I think for at least a couple of days. I am not sure yet." I said.

"We should get a burger and catch up," Claudia said. "There is a place two doors down. Let's catch up."

I nodded my head yes and we left to go to the burger place. I had to laugh cause the name was actually called "The Burger Place". We placed our order and found a table near the window. Getting ourselves situated, I decided to start the conversation.

"It is really good to see you," I said.

"You as well," Claudia said. "Florida is treating you very well." 

"Fort Myers is a nice place. I have a business of flying tourists from Myers to Cuba and all over the Gulf. We do alright. My partner Kent Porter handles the business end and occasionally takes a flight or two. We like to switch it up but it is OK." I said.

Reaching into my coat pocket to get my wallet, I pulled out my card and handed it to Claudia. Claudia read it and laughed.

"You really wanted to be that old school adventurer," Claudia said. 

I smiled and laughed politely.

"How about you?" I asked. "How have you been?"

"I've been alright, I suppose." Claudia said. "Spent the last three years writing the book while running the store. We have had the best four years in the history of the store. Always getting involved in the community trying to make the difference. Life has been really great."

"Have you met anyone special?" I asked.

Claudia raised an eyebrow.

"You sure just get to the point rather quickly," Claudia said.

"What? I am just curious," I said.

"Yes. As a matter of fact, I have met someone special. A man that works with me in the store. His name is Levi. We've been together for a couple of years. He is a good man. Treats me right." Claudia said.

"That's good," I said. "That is really good."

"How about you?" Claudia asked. "Do you have a special lady?"

"No," I said. "Not for the longest time."

"How come?" Claudia asked.

"Always preferred the solitary life." I said.

"Oh come on," Claudia said. 

"Well, I guess I'll have to be honest I guess. Always had my heart on one woman." I said.

Claudia shook her head. This was the one chance I had. It was now or never.

"I'm getting out of my business. I'm selling it to Kent and taking what I get from it so I can move to Boise. This is it, Claudia. I'm coming back to you. I want you. I never stopped wanting you and loving you. I need you Claudia." I said.

"That is funny, John. That is hilarious. Especially coming from the likes of you. The professional wanderer. The guy that never realized what he had when it was right in front of him. I still remember what you used to call yourself. Fortune hunter, that was it I believe. Well John, I have to admit that you are still the same wanderer that you were all those years ago. You had your fortune. You just didn't realize it at the time." Claudia said.

She was right. Claudia was always right. I didn't know what I had until I was gone. What I had was a decent business and a few friends that I cared about, but I didn't have the best kind of fortune a man could have. I didn't have the love of a good woman. 

From the conversation we were having, it was obvious that Claudia and I were gonna be nothing more than distant friends. This was a hard fact to accept, but I was gonna have to learn to deal with it. 

Claudia and I finished our meal and we walked back to her bookstore. We stopped at the doorway. I went for a hug and we wrapped our arms around each other. Pulling apart, Claudia kissed me on the cheek. I smiled at her. Sometimes the best goodbye is a silent one. I watched as she went back into her store. As she interacted with the customers, I couldn't help but smile as a few tears came down my cheek. As much as I didn't want to believe it, it did dawn on me in that instant moment that she did move on. The way she was interacting with the customers. The familiarity with the movements and the words and just the overall way of that little world looked told me all that I needed to know. 

She finally moved on.

I felt a couple of people move around me to get into the store and it was in that moment that I decided that it was time for me to move on. No sense in holding back anything. 

I got in my car and headed for the airport. I had to go home.

© Copyright 2018 Robert Logan. All rights reserved.

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