Monday, July 29, 2013

He & She

Flying down the darkened PCH, she is draped in the sultry heartache of Madeleine Payroux, her bare feet rest on the dashboard. She is counting the folks still on the beach when she sees a splotch skitter across her passenger's side window. As fast as her shriek is sharp, she is out of her seatbelt, diving into the backseat, her dressy dress snagging on the emergency break.

"Get it Bear!"

"Where? Where Bear?"

After 20 years they've settled on the same nickname for each other.

“Don't let him get in my shoe!” She presses herself into the back of his seat, her mouth dangerously near his ear. “You have to, you have to,” she implores.

He tries not to swerve, going 60-something in the southbound lane with the cement median within arm reach. Her pleading squeezes his heart.

Every time is like the First Time for her and he knows by now it is the Only Time for him.

He accelerates and miraculously maneuvers through speeding traffic to an open spot on the shoulder. Loose gravel sputters out-from-under and over-the-edge, where the road drastically ends.

With a precision that speaks of skills hard-earned, he is out of his seatbelt as quickly as she was. In one swift move, he flicks on the dome light, reaches across and rescues both shoes.

“I see him!” he assures.

“Don’t let him fall!”

He wonders for the first time ever why it always becomes a him in such situations but he knows he hasn’t a moment to spare.

Swoooosh. His hand is a flash.

“Did you? Did you get him?” she questions as he throws open his door and jumps out. He doesn't answer immediately and she knows he’s checking for success. She also knows he will tell her the truth, even if it means he’ll be combing the car in the dark, while she shivers in the ocean air.

Neither can stand the suspense. He peeks into his palm.

“One hundred percent,” he says, “We are in the clear!”

Her audible exhale is his prize.  

She climbs back into her seat while Madeleine Peyroux covers the last refrain of You Don't Know Me. She puts her feet back on dashboard and smiles at the contrast.


  1. Gorgeous. And here's to 20 years!

  2. I love the fact that we don't know exactly what skittered across the window...
    This piece is so wonderful Kimberlee.
    Thank you for sharing your gift with us.

  3. "After 20 years they've settled on the same nickname for each other." Absolutely love this! just keep getting better and f**king better!

  4. Any man who can rescue a girl (and her shoes) from (I'm assuming) spiders - with such deft maneuvering -and without a hint of hesitation -- is my absolute hero! And any woman who can write like this is a true inspiration! xo