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You, Me and the Elephants

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Brad and Cassie go off to the zoo while he is recovering from surgery. The animals at the zoo have a great time. Then, Brad tells Cassie something about his past. Will she understand? Will their love survive?

Photo by Eric Heininger on Unsplash

Submitted: May 21, 2019

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Submitted: May 21, 2019

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You, Me And The Elephants 

By Brian  Lee Clements 

 

“Bzz, bzz, bzz, bzz” as the sound of the alarm started permeating his dream when he woke from a good sleep.  Brad tried to reach out to his alarm clock with his left arm, but hits the wrong button and the radio then started blaring,

 

 “That was Bobby Goldsboro and his 1968 hit, ‘Honey.’ Believe or not, this song spent five weeks in the number one position and is now considered the worst song ever recorded.  Go figure. Coming up next, an oldie from 1975 by Conway Twitty and a country hit from Tom Jones when we come back on Country Classic, K….”

 

“Blah, blah, blah,blah,  Wonder how did it get on country?”   Brad said to himself as he tried to turn off the radio.  He kept forgetting that he couldn’t move his right arm much yet since it's only been two weeks since his rotator cuff surgery.  Embarrassed to say but he hurt it when he rolled over and fell out of bed.

 

Brad continued as he turned off the radio, “Well, that's enough of that Big R commercial.”

 

As he started moving, he heard a voice yelling from the shower.

 

“Hey babe, get that lazy butt of yours out of bed.  Don't you remember? We're going to the zoo today.”

 

Cassie didn’t sound like she was kidding.  She's been wanting to get out since Brad had his surgery. They were both getting stir crazy because he wasn’t able to do much.  Surgery sure does suck.

 

After Cassie got out of the shower, it was Brad’s turn.  Trying to bathe with one good arm can be difficult especially when you try to do everything with your left hand.  Even though it took him ten extra minutes to shower, Brad did good. But, he still needed help getting his clothes on and Cassie was very patient plus she didn’t mind helping him.

 

The two of them have been living together for the last three years in Colorado Springs and Cassie was still hoping for a proposal from Brad. She still doesn’t understand why it hasn’t happened yet, but, as stated earlier, she was very patient.

 

Since it was a beautiful spring day in Colorado, they decided to have breakfast on the back deck.  Blue skies and cool temperatures helped them start the day off right. Brad is hopeful he can get the arm out of the sling soon so he can start using it.  It’s been hard to do things with just one prime arm.

 

About an hour later, they jumped in the car and headed off to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.  Since Brad only has one good arm and Cassie’s car is a stick shift, guess who had the honors of driving.  It wasn’t Brad. They both didn’t mind since she liked to drive. But Brad was a little leary of her driving sometimes.  That invisible brake that he used one the passenger side never really worked for for some reason.

 

While they were heading towards the zoo, Brad commented, “The zoo is considered one of the best zoos in the country.  Did you know that?”

“No, I didn’t.  Do you want to go up to the Will Rogers Shrine also?”

“Not, really.  It’s a steep walk.”

“You know that we can drive.  My brother worked on the brakes.  Remember?

“And that’s why.  Wasn’t this the first time he worked on brakes.”

“Yea. and?”

“Didn’t he put grease on the wrong side of the brake pad?  Plus, he even had a part left over”

“Okay.  What’s your point?”

“No point, really.  Don’t know if we should risk it?

“Umm.  I see what you’re getting at.  No Will Rogers.”

 

The drive to the zoo was very nice; past the Broadmoor, the gorgeous homes and all of the wildlife roaming the area; deer, moose and an occasional skunk and rabbit.  They eventually found a parking space not too far from the entrance. When they got out of the car, Brad slipped on a pebble and almost fell.

 

Beth Anne sees him and lets out a little squeal.

 

 “Oh, my god. Now, don’t you dare hurt yourself.  I have no idea how I’m going to explain it to our friends if something happens to you..”

“Nobody else saw it, so I’m fine.”

‘I’ll give a 9.2”

“That good, uh?

“If you fell, it would have been a 9.9.

 

They got their tickets and started walking around the zoo.  The first place they stopped to see was the giraffes. The giraffes knew who would feed them and they got really close to Cassie.  Brad bought some food and gave it to Cassie to give to the long necked beasts.

“Try this, Beth.” 

“What is it?”

“Kale or something like that.  Or maybe Giraffe Chow”

“Oh, really.” She says with a smile.

 

The Giraffe’s black tongue stuck out to get the food and Cassie stepped back not wanting to be licked.

 

“That must be the male.  Always wanting to kiss the female.” Cassie said.

“You’re probably right.  Let’s call him George. What do you think?”

“George the Giraffe.  Kind of corny but I like it. One of the females we can call Gertrude.  Which one do you think fits the name?”

“Which ones are female?”

“I have no idea.  Can’t tell the difference.  Can you?

“Nope and I’m not going to look.”

 

The two of them then went to the Rocky Mountain exhibit to see what kind of bears are in the area.

“Wow, aren’t they cute?  Can we take one home?”

“We could but we don’t have enough room for the rug.”

“That’s mean.  Besides, I want one of the cubs so I can show it off to our neighbors.”

“Carrie, which bear do you think is the male and which is female?”

“Not really sure. What do you think?”

“I bet that the one walking around looking for food is the male.  The one sitting and watching acting like a queen is the female”

“Do you think females are lazy?”

“Uh...no, I like to think that the males in the wild are dominant and try to take care of their mates.”

“Ok. You’re on. Let’s find someone and ask. Whoever loses cooks dinner tonight.”

“Deal.”

 

They walked around looking for an attendant and eventually found one.

 

“Ma’am,” Brad asked, “The bear sitting on the perch.  Is that the female or male?”

“You’re kidding me?” The attendant said, “That’s Butch and he is the laziest bear that we have in the zoo.  In fact, none of the female bears want anything to do with him”

“Really?  Thank you.”

 

Cassie started laughing and then said, “Um... I would like a steak...medium well with green beans and baked potato.  How does that sound?”

“Good.  Would you like some grapes too?” Brad asked sarcastically.

 

There were so many exhibits that they had to stop on a bench and rest their legs for a few minutes.  After 10 minutes, they stopped by to see the elephants. It was a great exhibit and the elephants were friendly to both Brad and Cassie.

 

“Whoa.  That one grabbed me in the groan.”

Cassie laughs until one of the other elephants wraps his trunk around her breast.

“Ok, stop.  I think we better move on.  They seem to be getting a little bit too frisky here.

 

On their way out of the exhibit, there were some statutes of the elephants and Cassie wanted some pictures of herself with them.  She then starts hanging on the tusks while Brad takes her pictures.

“How did pictures come out?”

“They turned out very good.  Your mom would be very proud.”

“Maybe you need to wear a tarzan outfit and I can get a Jane costume and we can look the part and ride the elephants.”

“I would do it in a heartbeat but I don’t think the zoo would like it.”

 

Then it was time for a late lunch to eat.  Brad and Cassie were hoping the lines would be a little thinned out so they could get the food faster. They eventually got their food and started eating.  While eating they started talking about their future together.

 

“Brad, where do you see us in five years?”

“Umm… I see us married. With two kids living in a nice house on the east side of town.

“That sounds nice.”

“It does. Doesn’t it?”

 

There is some awkward silence for a few seconds and Cassie decides to speak.

 

Cassie asked, “Why won’t you ask me to marry you?”

Brad responded, “I don’t think you’ll understand.

“Try me.  Whatever it is, I would like to know.  Is it something I’ve done?”

“No, You’ve been wonderful…...You know that I’ve been married before, right?”

“Yes, I do.  You haven’t really talked about your previous marriage to….you never told me her name.”

“Her name was Heather.”

“Heather, that sure is an 80’s name.  How long were you married?”

“About nine years.”

“What happened?”

“She was very abusive.”

Cassie is surprised “What? How?”

“Both Physically and emotionally.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I also heard that she had an affair with her boss.  But, she denied it and accused me of doing the same thing. Which, of course, was false.

 

Tears start running down Cassie’s face.

 

“I didn’t know.  I wish you would had told me earlier and then we could have worked it out together.  Did you talk to anybody about it?”

“I had a mentor from church that I got to know.  His name was Paul. It was kind of a weird story how we got together.”

“In what way”

“This may take a few minutes.”

“I’m not going anywhere.”

“OK...A coworker of mine knew what was going on and urged me to talk to my pastor.  I told her that I would think about it and didn’t do anything with it. Well, a few weeks later, she asked again. She was upset that I didn’t do that. 

“Where is this going?”

 “Hold on. I’m getting to it...The following week, the pastor came up to me after church and asked me to join him for lunch the following week.  I said sure and called his office up and we had lunch a few days later. I told him the story of Heather and he asked how he could help. I said, prayer, for one.  He then got me hooked up with a ministry at the church called the Stephens Ministry and they set me up with Paul. We met at Wendy's for the first time and we had a good relationship after that for quite a few years.  A year later, the roles were reversed and I helped him when he went through a divorce. Seemed like God put us together for a reason.”

“Sounds like a great guy.

 “He is. One day he saw some of the bruises on my arm and he urged me to call the police.

“Bruises?  Did you call?”

“A couple of weeks later.  I got a cut on my forehead after she pushed me into some furniture and that was when it figured it was time to take responsibility and quit enabling her..

 

Brad’s eyes were a little misty but he was being so of matter of fact about all that happened to him. Cassie couldn’t figure out how he could be  so calm.

 

Brad continued, “This happened many years ago and I’ve gone through my head so many times how to tell you.  Every Time I did, the tears just started flooding. I can’t figure out why the tears are not happening now. That’s one of the reasons why I go to a Co-Dependency class.”

“I knew you were going to a class but I wasn’t sure what type.  I figured you would tell me when you were ready.”

“I know it’s a lot to spring on you.  I’m sorry I never told you.”

“That’s ok.  However, it bothers me a little for you not to trust me enough to tell me.”

“I almost told you last week.  But I just didn’t have the courage.”

“Where is she now?”

“Heather?...Last time I heard she was in Maine. That was two years ago.   What’s in Maine? I have no idea.”

“Let me freshen up before my mascara runs and look like an evangelist’s wife.”

 

She heads to the bathroom and gets back about five minute later.

 

“Ready to continue our safari?” Cassie asked.

“Sure, where to next?”

“How about the monkeys?”
“Don’t they pee on people and throw their poop?”

“I hope not.  You’re going first.”

 

As they’re walking, Cassie walked behind Brad, just in case.

 

After being at the zoo for six hours, they decided to call it a day.  They only thought they would be there for only two hours but they had so much fun.

 

The next day, Cassie headed to work the next day at Oracle.  She assisted people who had computer problems with the new programs that were always coming out.  She was quite good at it. Brad was still out due to his shoulder surgery. He was an officer with the Colorado Springs Police Department but he kept in touch with everyone there.

 

When Cassie got home that night she had something on her mind and wanted to talk to Brad about it. 

 

“I’ve been offered a job in Kansas City.  They need an extra person there to set up a new division.

Brad was dumbfounded.  “You’re leaving? What about us?

“...I need some time to think. So it might be a good thing for us to be apart for a little while.  I sense we both need some time to sort things out.

“How much time?”

“I don’t know.  That’s up to you. I know there are some things holding you back.  I will be here when you need me.”

“I don’t want to lose you.  But, if this is what you want.  I will support you.”

 

So, Cassie went to Kansas City in January and did not really talk to Brad that much.  In fact, they went a full month without talking to each other. In the meantime, Brad got cleared for light duty so he was assigned a desk job looking over reports.  He wasn’t exactly thrilled about that but was happy he was back at work.

 

While the months went by, Brad kept thinking about Cassie and wanted to call her.  But knowing what she said he kept his word.

 

Spring time came around and Brad was wondering what to do to occupy his time, Since it was a gorgeous May day and he was off, so he thought it might be a good day to go to the zoo.  It had been quite a few months since he and Cassie were there and he just wanted to do some reminiscing.

 

He got his ticket and started walking around.  As he walked, he started watching couples and families walking, laughing and talking about the animals.  Everybody was joking and taking pictures while Brad was thinking what his life would had been with Cassie.

 

All of a sudden, while Brad was feeding the giraffes, he heard a familiar voice behind him.

 

“Don’t feed George and Gertrude too much.  I think they’re on a diet.”

 

Brad turns around and sees Cassie with a big smile on her face.  This causes Brad to get a big grin.

 

“They are?”  Brad responds, “I haven’t heard that.  They’re doing pretty good. In fact, I think Gertrude is with child.”

“Really?  That’s great ...I thought I'd find you here at the zoo.  We had a nice time when we were here.”

“I came to see all my friends.  The elephants are the only ones that seem to remember us.”

“Let’s go find them and say hi.

 

They head to the elephant exhibit.  As they travel past the monkeys, they miss the monkey pee and poop. They start talking about her job in Kansas City, which she didn't enjoy too much.  She stated that she was miserable and lonely.

 

“I wish you would had come with me.  I missed you very much. It sucked more than I thought it would.”

“You said that you wanted to be alone.”

“That was my mistake.  I was so wrong.”

 

While they were talking, Cassie, knowing that he was too afraid to propose to her, got that look on her face and in her eyes and said,” What the hell?  What do I have to lose?”

Brad said, “What the hell does that mean?”

 

Cassie then got on her knees, looked him in the eyes and said, “I’ve loved you since the day our eyes met and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.  So, I'm asking you. Would you marry me?”

Brad stared into her eyes, and said.“Why of course, I will.”

 

They both smile while Brad helped Cassie up.  Then Brad got on his knees.

 

“What in the world are you doing?”

“Just listen and give me a chance.  Our love has grown close over the years and I want us to grow old together and I want to breathe my last breath with you.  Would you marry me?”

 

“Yes, I will.  Let me help you up.”

 

When he got up, they gave each other a passionate kiss while everyone around them applauded their dual marriage proposal. 

 

“I didn’t know we had an audience.” Cassie whispered.

“Looks like we had a really big audience.  Even the animals are clapping.”

“Look at the peacock.”

“And the elephants are calling us over.”

 

They sat down on a bench overlooking the city 

 

“What about your job in Kansas?”

“I forgot to tell you. That was only temporary.  They were short handed there, so I volunteered to relocate so I could clear my head and to get you to start thinking about us.

“Really.  Well, it worked.  Thought about you everyday.”

 

They then headed towards the elephants and started to feed them.

 

“Do you think they thought about us, Brad?”

“Oh, I think they remember us, one of them is starting to grab my groin again.”

“The other one is wrapping its trunk around my breast again. Stop it..”

 

As they laughed and fed the elephants, they hoped their future together will be a lifetime and that the animals will remember them when they come back.  The elephants, for sure, will have no problems remembering.

 

 

 

 


© Copyright 2020 Brian Lee Clements. All rights reserved.

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