The next day after work, Joslyn invited me on a date. I agreed- I knew that I needed some sort of a distraction from my mother’s death outside of work hours.
“You won’t believe how much I needed this,” I said to her when we arrived at the lounge.
“I know,” she replied quietly, and I knew that she really did. She knows this feeling from when she lost her first husband shortly after Nawwaf was born.
It was early enough in the evening that the normal chaos of Oasis Springs’ nightlife hadn’t settled in yet. The desert air was calming, especially when combined with Henry David’s violin music. For the first time, I know the emotion and the passion that fuels his playing. He’s lost both of his parents as well, and I know that it’s the feelings of sadness and mourning that fuel the beginning of his song. Then Myra Leavitt jogs by. Let’s see if I can get this right… she’s Duke’s wife, right? Yes, that’s right. She has two kids- Darren and Shari. Darren’s married to Shelly, and they have a daughter named Shantel. No wonder why I’m always getting their names confused. Myra and Duke have a son together named Will. Duke also has a daughter named Martha that he had with Shari. There’s a reason why they say that the Leavitt’s are cursed.
Myra recognized me and jogged over to say hi. I introduced her to Joslyn, and when I said that we were engaged, Myra asked when the wedding was going to be. Then I glanced over at Joslyn. We hadn’t really planned anything yet, and I knew that I wasn’t healed enough to be able to be happy at my wedding.
We ended up chatting outside for so long that by the time we got into the lounge, it was already packed. I wouldn’t have minded if I didn’t know anyone- strangers would just see us as a couple out for a date and wouldn’t disturb us. On this particular night, Mary Anne was there, and I knew that she would’ve heard about the news from Mindy and would act super sad about it when she saw me. That would only make everyone else there feel bad, and I didn’t want to ruin anyone else’s night out, so I suggested to Joslyn that we go somewhere else.
Joslyn was confused when we started driving up the winding mountain road, but I knew where we were going. I kept an eye on the sun as we drove, hoping that we would reach our destination before started to dip under the horizon, but luckily we got there just in time.
I could sense Joslyn’s nervousness as I stepped onto the abandoned bridge, but I knew that it was strong enough to hold the two of us. I held my hand out for anyways and she took it gratefully as we started walking to the center of the bridge. She was attracted to the waterfall that rushed steadily downwards, spraying mist in her face, but I tapped her shoulder and pointed towards the sun that had just reached the horizon. Her eyes found it, then followed its rays over the valley that made up the inhabited area of Oasis Springs. The setting sun turned the rocks golden, which made her gasp at how beautiful this view was. I silently agreed with her. This had to be the best view in the world.
Once the sun had erased its rays from the valley, I tugged her arm so that we could sit down at the edge of the bridge that faced the waterfall. There, she pointed out the one last gift that the sun had given us before night would take over: a rainbow. I took it as a good luck sign. Then she turned to me, and I took her had in my hands for a kiss. Before we headed home, she leaned her head on my shoulder, and I petted her hair. That was when I realized that love really could heal my wounds.