The Meeting at the Bridge — Part One

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Glancing quickly at her watch, Candice frowned and then scurried forward. He was late. She had told him. He was late, probably for the tenth time in a row. Frustrated, she tightened her fingers over the car keys that were still clutched in her hand. He was always late. Always.

Shrugging, she walked forward. She heard the bridge squeak under her feet and she gave an involuntary shudder. This bridge was sturdy, wasn’t it? It wasn’t just going to collapse under her. She had to trust that it could support her wait. It had to. Today was a very important day.

A very important day. She was meeting him today. Only, he was late. As usual. She sighed. What could she do? Of course, the most logical thing to do was to call or text him. But he didn’t have a phone. What twenty-something man didn’t have a phone?

He didn’t. He was a man who constantly reminded her of the all-consuming power that technology had over her — and the world. He refused to be swallowed up by the incredible force of technology, no matter how shiny the gadgets were.

She sighed, rubbing her thumb over the latest Samsung Galaxy phone. She had just bought the latest one with her hard earned money and she was so proud of it. It was sleek and beautiful and glossy. It was safe to say that she was in love with her phone.

She took a few more step forward, and as she did so, she heard the floorboard creak beneath her feet. She tried to ignore it, focusing instead on the trees around her. The color of the trees signaled the near end of summer. But it was still hot, blisteringly hot. That thought reminded her of how hot it was. She wiped her glistening forehead with the ends of her sleeves, a habit that she had since childhood.

Oh, why did she have to live somewhere so hot? As soon as this thought crossed her mind, a light zephyr blew over the bridge. She paused to embrace this light wind, a bit of respite from the heat. But as quickly as it came, it was gone and all she was left with was the hot heat.

Sighing, she walked forward, much more quickly this time. She could see the end of the bridge from her position. She just had to go a few more steps and then she would wait. Wait for what? she thought.

Wait for him, she answered. She had to because he had the answers to everything. He was going to bring her something that, he said, would unlock the keys to her past. She was adopted so she didn’t know much about that. But after today, that would no longer be the case.

Finally, finally, she was the end of the bridge. She looked down and had to suppress a shudder. She really was so high up. It was just her, the bridge, the trees, and this godawful heat. She really hoped that he would hurry up.

And just as she thought this, she heard the sound of some footsteps on the bridge that could only mean one thing: it was him.

She slowly turned around, ready to greet him. She was ready to meet the thing that held the answers to everything.

She saw him wearing a huge cowboy hat, with a wide brim. She let her eyes wander down to the little basket he was carrying in his arms.

What on Earth was in that basket?

(to be continued)

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