To Tell Me Something
By Doug Brown
It was mid July and the air felt like a hot wet blanket. The flying bugs zoomed around Dean’s head, trying to get a lick of salty sweat or a nip of his blood. The morning light filtered through the trees, splashing the ground with a mosaic of gold and green light. Despite the heat and humidity, Dean’s thoughts were far away. He was holding Linda’s hand as they climbed
The last bit of their climb was getting steep and rocky. “We’re almost there,” Dean reassured her as she started to breathe heavily. In a few steps they broke out of the trees and into the sunlight. Linda let go of Dean’s hand and walked out on the granite summit. Stretched out before her was the valley below.
“It’s so beautiful up here,” Linda said. “How come you haven’t brought me up here before?”
“I guess I never thought about it. How come you’ve never been up here before? You’ve lived here your whole life.”
“I guess I never thought about it,” she said with a laugh.
Dean only smiled. He admired how Linda, with her hair pulled back and sweating like a boxer, was so beautiful. She was smart, funny, and talked like an angel. Even though he was only seventeen, he felt he had found the girl of his dreams. That was why it was so hard for him to say what he felt he had to say. He didn’t know how she would take it.
Dean walked up to Linda and put his arms around her waist. She leaned back and rested her head on his shoulder. Neither one of them spoke as they stood admiring the view and enjoying each other’s touch.
After a while Dean felt a big drop fall on his arm. It could have been sweat, but he knew better.
“You brought me up here to tell me something, didn’t you?”
Dean opened his mouth, but the words were slow in coming.
“I’ve, . . . I’ve made a decision.” He felt Linda tremble as he said it. “I am going to go.”
Linda turned slowly in his arms and buried her face in his shoulder. She started sobbing. Dean held her tighter and whispered, “Don’t cry. Please don’t cry.”
His tears mingled with hers.
Dean’s dad had gotten a job in another state and the family would move at the end of the month. Dean had almost made up his mind to stay in town for his senior year and even started talking to friends about finding a place to stay. But something, something that Dean couldn’t describe, told him to go.
“It’s all right, Dean. It’s all right,” Linda said between sobs. “You need to be with your family.”
Dean let out a deep sigh and leaned his head on hers.
“Will you write me?”
“Every day,” he said.
In a few minutes they turned and started their trip down the mountain.
Copyright 2009 Douglas M. Brown: All rights retained by the author.