She was the craziest woman he’d ever known. She could talk him into things he’d normally never consider. She pulled him through the mall and put a quarter in the merry-go-round, hands on hips she looked at him expectantly.
“It’s for children!”
“So? We were kids once.” She threw a leg over the miniature lion. It was a circus theme. She was far too large for the ride and looked a bit like Alice after drinking the potion. He laughed and looked around nervously. “Someone will see!”
She tossed her head back and giggled. “It’s a public mall. I expect someone will see. Are you gonna let every chance at pleasure pass you by?” The mechanical ride went around slowly, a soft clown song bubbling from the speakers. He felt skewered by her disappointed eyes. He yanked off his tie and set his briefcase down. The ride was almost over, so he dropped another quarter in the coin slot. He waited for the elephant to come around and pulled himself up by its tusks.
It was silly to do this, but he caught himself grinning. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been on a merry-go-round. He watched her move to the horse next to him. She leaned over and kissed him as they went round and round. She kissed him as if they were the only people in the world…instead of two crazies in mall courtyard.
They walked from the mall hand in hand. He opened the door to the passenger side for her and she dropped to the seat. He grinned like a loon as he climbed behind the wheel. He fired the engine and pulled out of the lot. Traffic in town was the worst. Congested with cars crammed together like rats in a flooded sewer, he deftly navigated the streets.
Finally the traffic eased up as he drove to the outskirts of the city. The long, black, country road wound ahead—a welcoming stretch of fresh pavement. He listened to her giggle as she went on and on about some crazy exhibit she’d seen in seventh grade. He smiled to himself as he pictured her at that awkward stage of female puberty.
He looked over at her pretty face and allowed himself a moment to admire the noticeable swell of her breasts. He was truly smitten, lost in thought and happy for the first time in years.
Then she screamed.
He turned back to the road.
A semi was hurling toward them. He’d veered into the wrong lane. He tried to correct the car and get back over, but it was too late. His face dripped sweat, his pulse raced, and her screams deafened him. The last thing he saw was a Breyers Ice Cream advert plastered across the trailer.
She stopped screaming.
Everything went black.
“I think it’s tragic--so sad. I mean, he was just starting to evolve…and now this.” She leaned in and whispered to her daughter—as if whispering somehow made gossip better—less sleazy. Her daughter shrugged and said simply, “I don’t think we should be talking about this, Mom. I mean, Uncle Ray has been through a lot. Let’s just let him be.”
Dea Carter sat back, aghast. “Augustine Carter, what did you just say to your mother?” Augustine sighed and set her coke on the kitchen table. “I told you to call me Auggie! I’m just saying that we shouldn’t be talking about Uncle Ray like this.” Dea clucked her tongue, “If Ray had been living appropriately this never would have happened. Honestly, taking up with a hippie like that.”
“Ahem,” Both ladies turned to see Ray standing there. Lord, he looked rough. He stumbled over to the liquor cabinet and unlocked it. He grabbed a bottle of red wine and turned to face them. “I’m drunk, not deaf. Don’t say that shit in my house.” He moved past his sister, Dea, and up the stairs to his room.
He sat on his bed and cracked open the bottle. He drank it straight out of the container. Ah…sweet, sweet alcohol. He smiled, setting the bottle on the floor and rolled over on the bed. He could still smell her scent on her pillow. Give it a sec, he thought, and the booze will leave me hazy enough to sleep.
“If I write you a love song, will you love me forever?” She smiled sweetly, her breasts crushed against his chest as they lay naked in bed. He kissed her neck and smiled at her giggle. She tweaked his nipple and kissed his mouth. “Well, will you?” He ran his hands down the length of her back and cupped her ass tightly under the blankets. He pulled her groin hard against his and moaned. “Mmmm…love is just a fleeting thing, Baby. It comes, it goes. But this? This moment is forever. No one can take it away.”
She pushed up away from him. “So you don’t love me? Or you just don’t love at all?” He sighed. “Don’t ruin a great moment, Babe. You have me here. I come back to you every night. I think about you all the time. Isn’t that enough?”
She frowned, her free spirit crumbling. “You’ll never say the words, will you?” He sat up and pushed her away. “I’m a man. I think with my cock. What more do you want?” Her face fell and she turned away. He looked at her, feeling inadequate and guilty, She mumbled into her chest, but he heard her. “I want you to love me.”
Ray awoke from the dream and looked at her side of the bed. He could see her there through bloodshot, drunken eyes. He saw her smile. “So if I write you a love song, will you love me forever?” Her apparition was as sexy as she’d been in life. Tears spilled over his cheeks. “Yes.” He reached for her. “Yes, Baby, I will.”