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The Road to Baton Rouge - Part Three

Issue Date: Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2005

She got into her little green car and headed towards Baton Rouge. She had her cd case with her with all of her favorites, but she kept coming back to that Toni Braxton cd that she had loved so much just a few weeks before. She was so mad at her husband about so many things and on so many levels. She wanted to lose herself in the music, Bonnie Raitt wouldn’t do, too much pain in that woman’s voice. She couldn’t listen to country, no crying, cheatin and drivin songs would do. She couldn’t listen to Metallica, she would likely get a ticket for speeding. So, she popped in the cd Secrets.

Before she knew it she was crossing the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway and the sun had long since set.

She was nervous about seeing CC. What was she going to say? What the hell was she doing anyway? Driving across Texas and into Louisiana just because she was hardheaded? Showing up on an old friend’s doorstep at 10 pm on a Friday night?

Oh Lord, she was going to hurl.

This was a mistake.

No.

Wait.

It wasn’t a mistake. CC wanted her here. She was wanted here. He said everything was going to be ok and she believed him. He had never lied to her.

She made the turn into his subdivision, parked on the street and quietly walked up to the door and knocked.

She took a deep breath.

CC answered the door with the largest smile she had ever seen; he enveloped her in a hug and said, “Wow, girl. Are you ever a sight for sore eyes.” She fit into his hug and after a few moments noticed a small excited puppy dancing around their feet. CC introduced her to Lucy and then asked her inside. She scooped Lucy up as she stepped inside the door and laughed as Lucy gave her little wet kisses on the nose.

CC and Lucy gave her the grand tour of the house and then CC perched her on a bar stool in the kitchen. He then put a turkey sandwich, some chips and a cold beer in front of her and asked for her keys. She handed them over and watched him as he went to unpack her things with a warning not to feed Lucy any chips, “No matter how cute she is.”

She sat on the barstool with Lucy sniffing around her feet. She nibbled at her sandwich and sipped on her beer amazed that she was even in CC’s kitchen. She felt so drained. The trip was refreshing, sure. Driving always allowed her to collect her thoughts and put her priorities in order. She was just drained emotionally. Not being upfront with her husband about where she was going and the fight from that morning was bearing down on her.

CC came in from getting her stuff out of the car, put everything in his room and then grabbed a cold beer from the icebox. He leaned a hip on the counter, and crossing his long legs he took a pull of his beer. He asked her, “So, how was your drive?”

She looked at this kind man standing in front of her, a man who she’s known for over a decade. And she broke down into her sandwich. Twice in one day a simple kind word from him had brought her to tears.

He gathered her up into his arms, smoothing her unruly hair away from her face and wiping the tears away from her eyes with the rough pads of his thumbs and rocked her. He rocked her and shushed her in soothing tones, rubbing her back and squeezing her when her sobs broke. She wept until she had nothing left and then he offered her the hem of his t-shirt and wiped her nose.

She gave a small weak laugh and he led her quietly into the bathroom and sat her on the closed toilet lid.

He ran her a bath and then undressed her as if she were a child, with such care and tenderness. He helped her into the bath and then he gently washed her face and her hair and then left her to soak and relax. He came back in a little while and heated up the water for her so she wouldn’t get cold. And when she was done with her bath, CC carefully dried her off and combed out her hair. He dressed her in his t-shirt and a pair of shorts and they sat on the bed together and he, occasionally touching her damp hair to move it out of her face, waited for her to say something, anything.

Her: Thank you so much for taking care of me tonight.
CC: You’re welcome, is there anything you need?
Her: I’m not sure, I’m just sorry for being such a mess.
CC: It is ok, and you don’t have to talk about it… know that ok?
Her: Really?
CC: Really… I just want to take care of you.
Her: It is just so nice to be here…
CC: I’m glad that you are.

They watched movies and caught up on his family and hers. Since they had known each other for so long, their lives were intertwined like grapevines… that is, until a few years ago when his parents left Texas. She missed him so badly. The hour long conversations at all hours of the night didn’t make up for the face time that they once had.

In the subtle shift of the hours past midnight and dawn, finally relaxed and happy to be near her friend she decided to tell CC what happened with her husband. But he stopped her. With a kiss.

“I’ve wanted you for fourteen years, let me love you.”

And she did.

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To understand this dear reward (above) at all, you must hie thee on and read gatsby’s grape ape entry and my comments.

And because of said comments he sent me my very own dream turtle in an email titled wee gift with these words attached, “my purple monkey is booked solid so i ordered you a tangerine turtle. hope he proves helpful.”

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