An Unexpected Getaway

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Mike heads off on a business trip, leaving Bri to tend the house. As Bri prepares to work on a few pieces of art, Mike comes back to whisk her off on an unexpected getaway. What follows is the best, and worst, weekend of her life.

Submitted: June 07, 2013

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Submitted: June 07, 2013



An Unexpected Getaway


Mike left for his business trip Thursday evening. Bri knew that he would be gone until Tuesday, and she knew that she would miss him, but this would give her a chance to catch up on some of her artwork that she had been neglecting recently. She took the first hour after he left to work around the house and get everything straightened out so she could focus on her art for the weekend. She liked to do this while wearing her ear-buds and jamming out to her music. Bri liked to get lost in the music while cleaning, so that by the time she took a break from dancing around, her house seemed to have cleaned itself. She didn’t even keep her phone on her while cleaning, as it had a tendency to break the spell at the most inopportune times. She happened to glance at the clock and notice that his flight had been in the air for ten minutes now, or at least, it was supposed to be. With airports, you never really knew anymore.

Ten minutes after she glanced at the clock, Bri had finished cleaning and was preparing a new canvas when she heard the front door open. If she had kept her music playing like she normally did, she would have screamed when Mike came around the corner, instead of just asking why he wasn’t on his flight. He just said that he would rather spend the time with her. He told her to get a bag together because they were going to spend the weekend at the old cabin that his father had left him. At first, she didn’t know what to say, but he quickly convinced her with a few suggestions of what they could do out in the seclusion surrounding the cabin. He helped her pack, but told her to leave her phone at home. This was going to be their weekend, and no one else was going to intrude. He didn’t even let her check the missed calls that had come up while she was cleaning.

Within half an hour of Mike coming home, they were walking out the door. When Bri locked the door behind her and turned to go to his car, she realized that it wasn’t in the driveway. He said that it had started giving him problems on the way to the airport, so he dropped it at the garage to be looked at and had taken a cab back home. Yet another reason that she was glad that they each had their own vehicle. She let him drive, since she had only been to the cabin twice before, and both times they had made the trip in daylight. By now it was getting dark, and he would know the way much better than she would, so why risk starting off this unexpected getaway by getting lost?

The trip to the cabin took two and a half hours, and by the time they got there and had taken their bags inside, Bri was too tired to do much more than to collapse into the king-sized bed with Mike curled up next to her. When they awoke, there was sun shining through the windows, along with accompanied birdsong. Laying there looking at the ceiling, Bri strained to hear the sound of anything manmade, but couldn’t. She couldn’t remember the last time that she had had that experience. This lasted until Mike flushed the toilet.

Bri burst out in laughter, and when Mike poked his head into the bedroom, she couldn’t explain what was so funny, so she just smiled at him instead. After they had fixed, and consumed, a massive breakfast, they went out and spent most of Friday getting reacquainted with the surrounding woods and the little lake that was on the property. The lake was larger than a pond, but not by much. They took the little boat that was tied to the dock out to the middle of the lake and had their lunch while enjoying the calm of the water. Afterwards, she carefully made her way across the little boat in order to curl up into his arms. He held her that way for the better part of an hour, until the bugs managed to find them.

With that, they paddled their way back to the dock and continued exploring the woods. Every now and then, she would take out the sketch pad that she kept with her, and do quick sketches of areas that struck her fancy. Most of these were areas in the woods where the sunlight coming through the canopy of leaves would make interesting patterns on the ground, while others were of the lake and the cabin, but a few of the sketches were just of Mike sitting here or there looking off into the distance. She knew that she would have to sketch these last ones quickly, because if he happened to look around and notice she was sketching him, he would get self-conscious and wander off.

By the time night fell on Friday, Bri felt that she had done some of the best sketches that she had done in a very long time, and she had ideas for a few larger works, as well. After the two enjoyed a late supper, they curled up under a blanket on the front porch of the cabin and watched the stars come out. It struck her just how many stars she could see out away from the city. She thought that only thing that would make the view better would be to see a shooting star. She did not see one, however. She witnessed three. Each time she saw a shooting star, she made the same wish: that the next two days be as perfect as this day had been.

When they had had enough of the front porch, they retired to the bedroom for the night to enjoy the pleasures of each other. When Saturday morning rolled around, they awoke to the sound of rain. Bri opened her eyes and thought that that’s what she gets for wishing on stars, shooting or otherwise. However, Saturday turned out to be her favorite day. After Mike fixed her breakfast in bed, they stayed in the bedroom talking until well into the afternoon. They talked about her dreams, her fears, and her hopes. They discussed their future, their past, and where they currently were in life. They chatted about everything, except the reason for the trip in the first place. Bri didn’t notice. By the time they left the bedroom, Bri felt like their relationship had never been stronger, and she believed that she had gotten unbelievably lucky to find someone that meshed with her as well as Mike did.

The rest of Saturday was spent listening to the rain on the roof and playing the variety of board games that Mike had pulled from the closet. He won some, she won some, but they both had a great time. As night fell on the cabin, the rain finally stopped. Bri was kind of sorry to see it go, because it had afforded them the time to get to know one another better. Saturday night was spent cuddling in front of the fireplace wrapped in a massive comforter pulled from the same closet that had held the games.

Sunday saw the end of their little getaway, and Bri was sad to see it. After breakfast, they spent the morning making sure that everything was back where it started so that they could easily find things the next time they were up here. After everything had been set to rights, they took one last stroll through the woods while staying hand-in-hand. Bri thought that it was both the most romantic thing they had done all weekend, while also being the most innocent. The thought made her smile. Finally the time came to load up the car and head back home. She could tell that Mike didn’t really want to go, but she couldn’t really blame him, since she didn’t want to leave this weekend behind either.

On the way back, they stopped at a little dairy bar just off the highway, and had their lunch sitting at a picnic table under an old maple tree. They took their time getting home after that. The trip that had taken two and a half hours going to the cabin ended up taking nearly five hours to get back.

When they pulled into the driveway, Bri noticed flowers sitting on the front stoop. She smiled at Mike, thinking that only he would cap off a perfect weekend with flowers waiting for her at home. She got out of the car, picked up the flowers not looking at the little card buried among the stems, and took them inside. While she was looking for the perfect place to display them, she picked up her phone and wondered why she had so many missed calls. As she pushed the button to retrieve the voicemail that had been left for her, she finally noticed the card in the flowers.

She was puzzled by the words upon the card: We are so sorry for your loss. It was at this time that the first voicemail began to play. Mike said into her ear that he was at the airport and that they were about to start boarding the plane. He said that he would call her when they landed. Then the next voicemail came on. This one was from the airline saying that there had been an accident with her husband’s flight. The strength ran out of her legs and she found herself sitting in the floor with her phone lying beside her. She could still hear the tiny voice coming from the earpiece, but she couldn’t make out the words, not that she really wanted to. She called out for Mike, wanting him to come in and tell her that they had it wrong. That they just hadn’t realized that he didn’t get on that flight. But no matter how many times she called for him, he didn’t respond.

Bri pulled herself to her feet, and leaving the phone where it lay, went over to turn the television on. She found one of the news networks and was somehow not surprised to see the burning wreckage of two small planes on the screen. The pilot of one of the planes had had a seizure and ran into the other. 15 total dead, but the names were not being released until all of the families had been notified. There was more, but she didn’t care to hear it. She turned off the television and slowly walked into the front room, feeling like her entire body had turned into thin glass. All it would take is one small tap and she would just shatter. By the time she got to the couch, she begun to wonder why she wasn’t crying. Was this what it felt like to be in shock? Was she losing her mind? How would she know if she were losing her mind? She was sitting with her head in her hands when she realized that she heard movement outside. She slowly got to her feet and opened the door. And she looked out, the first tears started to fall.

© Copyright 2018 CharlesLeeMcCabe. All rights reserved.

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