The full moon filled the room's lone window. Its beam of light cutting through the filmy curtain wasn't to blame for her restlessness; her racing mind was.
She examined her mobile phone again. Four bars. Battery fully charged. No messages. Call already!
He probably just fell asleep on the couch, she told herself to calm the gnawing in pit of her stomach. She imagined him snoring softly as the TV flickered with Hollywood violence. She froze as she heard the click-click of her sister's dog on the floorboards as he patrolled the hallway outside the guest room.
Guilt, along with regret her constant companion, consumed her. What had she done to deserve a weekend away for no good reason? Just visit, sip iced tea, do crosswords. He had encouraged her to go away, sure, even slipped her some spending money. But she should have stayed home.
Can't stand not knowing if he's all right, her head screamed. She pushed his button.
His phone hummed in the pocket of his pants at his feet. He maneuvered to sit upright. His shoulder throbbed from its just-relinquished weight that had pinned it to the hard ground.
He answered on the fifth ring.
"Hi. I was worried about you. I thought you'd call."
"Sorry." He held the phone to his chest to muffle the sound of the tent zipper. "I must have fallen asleep."
"Rough day? I'm sorry. Miss you."
"Miss you, too. Damn." He stumbled over the two pairs of sneakers at the tent door.
"Yeah. Just stubbed my toe on the couch."
"It's fine. You having a nice visit?" He sat, bare-assed on the picnic table, hoping the full moon wouldn't reveal his. He swung his arm in wide circles to stretch his sore shoulder. He felt a splinter enter his exposed cheek.
"Yeah. It's o.k. Went for a bike ride. My tire doesn't hold air. I should buy a new one when I get home."
"I'll put air in it for you." He swatted at a mosquito on his arm before he remembered the day's sunburn. He winced.
"You don't have to. It tried that. Didn't work. Knew I was out of shape, but riding a bike with a flat tire? Whew! Barely make it back."
"So, what time you coming home tomorrow?"
"I'm planning to leave here about 9. Already put the bike back on the rack. Miss you."
"Miss you, too," he answered softly.
"Everything all right?"
"Sure. Why do you ask?"
"Don't know." She wasn't ready to let go. "Love you."
"Love you, too."
"Goodnight," she said, realizing the end was inevitable.
Causes Jodi Thompson Supports
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee