I just get off the phone with Giles, when I head upstairs to find Faith to let her know. Let her know. God.
"Hey Babe. Just told Giles about Terry. How we think she's the prophesized child. That kid who's supposed to be Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Princess Di and She-Rah all rolled into one? Yeah, that one. Giles thought Spike was a Slayer, but I think he's going to figure it out. He's a smart man, that Giles."
The stairs creak as I walk on each step with a weighed march, trying hard not to make a sound. It's funny, but since Terry's been born, almost a year now, some of my Slayer powers have weakened. I didn't let Giles know and I haven't officially told Faith, but she's figured out that my stamina has worn down a little bit.
Anyway, I find Faith in Terry's room, silently watching over our daughter from her seat in the rocking chair, by the crib. She does this every night after she comes home from work. Just sits there, rocking back and forth with some soft Paul Simon playing in the background, engulfed by Terry's stillness. I've joined her on occasion, and it's very soothing, just listening to her breathe and watching her sleep.
But there's no Paul Simon playing tonight. Instead, there's some really slow Bruce Springsteen song softly blaring from the sound system.
Once I dreamed we were together again baby you and me / Back home in those old clubs the way we used to be / We were standin' at the bar it was hard to hear / The band was playin' loud and you were shoutin' somethin' in my ear / You pulled my jacket off and as the drummer counted four / You grabbed my hand and pulled me out on the floor / You just stood there and held me, then you started dancin' slow / And as I pulled you tighter I swore I'd never let you go.
I softly walk in, and sit on the floor, by the chair, in between her legs. She's dressed all in black, her work attire, but tonight I notice that her left pant leg is ripped and that her blouse is more than a little wrinkled. She smells strongly of beer and stale smoke, and my nose crinkles up involuntarily. You've been out again, have you?
"Did you patrol after work?" I ask, barely a whisper over the gentle music.
"Yeah." Something about her voice tells me that something is wrong, and it hits me that it's been like this for a good while now, and I haven't bothered to notice until tonight.
There's an odd silence that settles between us as I gather whatever I need to let her know about my long distance conversation with Giles, and thankfully, it lasts long enough for me to get my bearings in order, and for her to keep staring at Terry's sleeping form. Then Terry moans a little in her sleep, breaking the calm, and giving me an excuse to start talking.
"I called Giles."
She doesn't answer; just keeps rocking softly.
"About Terry." I explain, as if she didn't understand. "He was… He's going to look into it."
"Did you tell him about Drew's DNA test?" She finally says, her voice tired and scratchy.
I don't answer and she knows that I didn't. She sighs, probably disappointed and it makes me cringe.
"I will." I manage, hoping that it's good enough for her. "I'll tell him."
Two weeks after Teresa was born, Faith took me aside and gave me a stern glare and a broken smile.
"Those eyes, Buffy. Those eyes. Who do they belong to?" She asked, hands in her pockets and feet jittery.
I didn't hesitate when I answered, and I was rather proud of myself.
"You." I said, closing the gap between us and roughly plunging my hand into the front of her jeans. "They're yours."
Her eyes narrowed and she kissed me hard and long. My hand was still in her jeans when she pulled back and said, "Prove it."
Faith's voice brings me back to the present as she painfully exhales my name.
The chair stops rocking and I can hear the gears in her head turning.
"I quit." She starts, and I don't interrupt. "I quit Riciollis."
Riciollis. You quit? You quit the bartending manager position at the best restaurant in town?
"Tonight was my last night. I gave my two weeks notice, well," She says, "Well, two weeks ago. Tonight was my last shift." She repeats.
"Why didn't you tell me?"
She ignores my question and the chair starts rocking again as her leg twitches up and down.
"I'm going back. I talked to Rob and Willow. I'm going back." She says, her voice getting stronger by each word that escapes her lips.
"I'm going back to the Council." She explains slowly, as if I was a child.
"But… but we quit." I can barely understand where this is coming from. Barely. Barely, 'cause I know that this has been coming. For quite some time now. I've just been to blind and stupid to pay any attention to it.
"I need it Buffy. I need to go back. It makes me who I am." She says. "It makes you who you are too, but I guess it's stronger for me. It's a thirst I need to quench."
It's like I've built a castle and I can't even live in it. I used to feel like that. Before Terry. Before Faith.
"But we go patrolling. Almost every night."
She starts to laugh, but softly, still aware and careful not to wake Teresa up.
"Yeah. Patrolling in Lenwood." She says between chuckles. "Where we're lucky if we get two vamps in a week."
I think my eyes are crying and they haven't told my brain just yet, 'cause my cheeks are feeling wet, but the sting isn't present.
"But I don't want to move." Man, I probably sound like twelve year old. "I want to stay here." Pathetic.
I hear Faith inhale sharply and I know what she's going to say before she does. Then stay. Is this really happening? Is she really breaking my heart? Are we really… becoming that family?
Time stops as she says this. Then stay. Then stay. Then stay. It sounds like a broken record as it echoes in brain.
"Vi was attacked by a demon who demanded to see her. So Vi tells him that she's her, and he laughs and says "Not you, Slayer. Your child." It's started, B. It's started." She explains. "Terry'll be safer if I'm there, in the fold, getting my hands on whatever comes along."
I feel my head shake as I'm trying desperately to understand everything she's saying. But it's a battle I'm losing. I just can't grasp the idea that Teresa would be safer with her away, in an other continent.
"She's safer with both of us here. To protect her. Both of us. Here." I stress the last part, hoping that Faith'll understand that I can't lose her, but a small part of me knows it's hopeless and that she's right. We'd be so fucking vulnerable B. Terry would be so damn… helpless. All three of us would be.
Well I saw you last night down on the avenue / Your face was in the shadows but I knew that it was you / You were standin' in the doorway out of the rain / You didn't answer when I called out your name / You just turned, and then you looked away like just another stranger waitin' to get blown away.
We both stay silent for a while, as there's something consistent hitting the window before I realize that it's raining outside. Pathetic fallacy is something that I can't do. The song ends and I'm on Fire picks up where Point Blank left off, and I realize that I'm so fucking angry.
Angry at the rain, angry with The Boss, angry with Giles… angry with Faith and angry with myself. For not having seen this coming. For being so… blinded.
"But…" So many things that I could say to try to make her stay. "Don't you want me?" Don't you love me?
Faith gets up, walks over me, and turns around to face me. Her eyes are unreadable, but somewhere in the murk, there's a flicker of desire and need. Her lips, usually full, are painfully thin and set in a line of hopelessness.
At night, I wake up with the sheets soaking wet and a freight train running through the middle of my head / Only you / You cool my desire / Oh, oh, oh, I'm on fire.
She reaches down and pulls me up by my arms, and when my eyes are level with hers, we just stay there, staring into each other's eyes as she begs me to let her go. To understand. Why can't you understand, Buff? This should be so easy to… comprehend. Why are you making this so fucking hard? And I finally come to the realization that I will never fully understand that, despite the similarities, Faith and I are completely different.
"More than…" She starts, and ends up kissing me savagely on the mouth. There's passion there, but it's… fervor less. I can taste the alcohol on her tongue and it makes me drunk with desire.
She pulls away and leans her forehead against mine as I close my eyes.
"More than anything." She manages, and she sinks to her knees and starts to cry. Her arms lace around my thighs and she buries her face in my lap, drenching my pants with her tears.
We stay like that for a long time before she snaps out of it, gets back to her feet, and leads me to our bedroom.
My eyes open slowly as I wake up, feeling like one big raw nerve, aching everywhere, with an overwhelming feeling of emptiness covering me from head to toe. The bed is empty save for her scent and me. She's gone. She just left me with an empty reminder that she was here last night. Take care of her for me.
I slowly manage to get up, and I notice that she forgot her pack of cigarettes on the bed table. Tears come to my eyes as my hands grab the carton and as my fingers open it up, the tears stream down my cheeks. And suddenly, I've got a Lucky Strike propped in my mouth and a lit match right in front of it.
As if on cue, Teresa starts to cry in the next room, and the match makes contact with the end of the cigarette, inaugurating my days as a smoker and as a single mom.
Two weeks to the day after she left, I got a note in the mail. Addressed to a B. Summers, I knew it was from her without even opening it. It read like this:
Dunno if you noticed, but I stole one of your checks before I left. Don't worry, I made sure it was void. Got me a new cell number that I want you to call if ever something happens. Tell Baby T someone loves her.
-- F. 555-6113
Needless to say that that was a shock. After spending two weeks filled with pain, Chinese take out, Spanish coffees, more pain, Ben & Jerry's, Joni Mitchell and a few cases of two fours, a letter from her was the last thing I was expecting. I must have read it over a thousand times. Sometimes alone, sometimes to Terry, sometimes to the ceiling…
"Tell Baby T someone loves her." What was she saying? That I had an option to let Teresa know about Faith? And that thing about her stealing a check? That became clear two weeks later when "someone" direct deposited three hundred dollars into my account. I know fuck all about child support, but that three hundred dollars appeared there every month. Like fucking clockwork.
Not surprisingly, the only thing that kept me sane through it all was Teresa. I'd get lost in those big brown eyes and somehow know that everything would eventually work itself out. That we, Terry and I, could get through this.
When I read the letter enough times, I neatly folded it and made sure to always have it on me. I programmed her number in my phone and swore to myself that I'd call if things ever got hairy in Lenwood. But they never did, so I never called.
From what I've read in baby books and on the internet, Teresa was labeled a quiet toddler. She kept mostly to herself, and almost never cried. She was good with the other kids at her daycare: she shared her toys and lead by example by never throwing any tantrums.
As every day went by, she became more and more like Faith's spitting image. She has my nose and my pouty lips, but that's it: everything else is Faith. Hair, dimples, eyes, smile… By the time she was three, she could carry good conversation, tie her shoes and give me a few gray hairs by getting lost at the grocery store.
Every year for her birthday, Faith would send her a card and a few pictures. They were always photos of beautiful scenery taken from places she'd been for the Council. In one of them, there's a silhouette in a Savannah sunset, and just by the way the person's standing, I know it's her. I got those pictures framed and hung them up in Teresa's room.
When Terry turned three, there was a teddy bear waiting for her in the mail. It was a small bear, with dark brown fur, dark green eyes and soft brown velvet under padding. Just gorgeous. I laid eyes on that thing and promised myself to never keep Faith a secret form Terry.
I explained it as I thought a three year old would understand, and when I was done, Ter just looked at me with her little brow furrowed. But she accepted it like it was normal to have two mothers. The only thing she asked me after that was "But where's Daddy?" A question I never knew how to answer and a question that she would never stop asking.
That bear had made me so happy. Teresa carried that thing everywhere. Little did I know my heart would break only a year later.
"Terry! Come say goodbye! Aunt Dawn and Uncle Andy are leaving!"
Teresa had just discovered the joys and wonders of wool socks on hardwood floors, and had been slip and sliding everywhere in the house since dinner.
"You know, if she gets hurt, I'll never forgive you for teaching her that." I told Andrew with a smile.
Andy smirked and nodded.
"Sure." He said, shrugging into the sleeves of his coat.
Dawn did the eye roll thing and zipped up her hoody.
"For God's sakes, Buffy. She was gonna learn that eventually. It's like a rite of passage or something."
Ter slid into the hall and jumped into my sister's arms.
"Bye Aunt Dawn!" She squealed, wrapping her little arms around Dawn's neck in a hug.
"Bye Honey. I'll see you soon." Dawn released her and Ter repeated the same little exchange with Andrew.
"How long are you staying in Bath?" I asked.
"Dunno. Probably a month or so. Andy's only staying a week though. We'll see what Giles needs us to do once we get there."
"I'll stop by once I'm back." He said. "Are Spike and Xander staying till tomorrow?"
I smiled in acknowledgement and nodded. "Tell Giles I said Hi."
I gave them both a quick hug and they were out the door. Terry went back to sliding on the floors and Xander came out from the kitchen with a dishtowel on his shoulder.
"Hot Blooded wants to know where you keep your dish soap."
I chuckled and walked into the kitchen. Spike was at the sink with the hot water tap turned on and a pile of dirty supper plates to wash.
"Under the sink, Spike." I said.
He nodded gratefully, made a comment about it being "unthinkable to not have a dishwasher", and started to wash while Xander and I dried. When we were just about done, Terry came sliding into the kitchen, and I checked the clock.
"Teresa, guess what time it is?"
Terry gave me the pouty lip and her eyes beamed.
"Bedtime?" She whined softly. "But Mommy…"
Ah, four year olds. Way too smart for their age.
The pouty lip was just about to work its magic when Spike scooped her up, making her squeal.
"Let's go Sweet Pea. It seems your Uncle Spike is the only one immune to that bloody lip."
"Spike! Language!" I scolded.
He stopped in the middle of the staircase, placed Terry on his hip and gave me a full-blown smile.
"Right." He said. "Sorry."
"Sweet dreams, Pumpkin!" Xander called out from his spot at the kitchen table.
"G'night Uncle Al!"
"I'll be up in a few minutes, Ter." I said, taking the seat next to Xander.
"You know, I'm never going to forgive Spike for teaching her that. "Uncle Al", good god."
I rolled my eyes and a sigh escaped my lips.
"Hey. You okay?" He asked, gently laying a hand on my shoulder.
"Yeah. Just tired."
He gave me a smile and squeezed my shoulder a bit.
"You need to get out more, Buff." He started, never looking me in the eye. "Get back into the dating pool."
My eyes narrowed and I studied him for a few seconds. Africa had done wonders to Xander. He had toned down considerably, had a permanent tan, and had a smile painted on his face most of the time. But now, he seemed nervously calm as he started to play with an errant napkin.
"Xander," I started. "Just because I'm a single mother doesn't mean I need… I mean, I have needs but…" I trailed off in my babble as realization hit me square in the face.
"She's found someone hasn't she?" My voice was low and soft. I barely even recognized it.
He gave me a pained half smile before giving his head a nod.
I was sitting outside, on the back porch, smoking my last cigarette for the night when the screen door behind me opened and soft footsteps hit the newly made deck.
"Couldn't sleep, Baby?" I asked, exhaling a thread of smoke in the air.
Terry made her way over to me, and nestled herself into my arms. She was wearing her Millennium Falcon pj's, courtesy of Andrew. They were her favourites, even over the nice pink ones that I had gotten her. I guess flannel will do that.
I stubbed the Lucky Strike out in the ashtray and cradled her into my arms. We stayed like that for a long time before Terry broke the silence.
"I didn't like him." She said finally.
I gently laid my chin on the top of her head as we looked onto our backyard.
"Who? Dave?" I said.
"He's boring." She added.
I couldn't help but smile. Leave it to Baby T to say what's on her mind.
"When's Daddy coming home?" She asked suddenly.
You don't have one, Babe. What do you answer to that? Especially to a five year old? I stayed silent, letting her make up her own conclusions. Teresa shuffled in my arms, and turned her face to look at me.
Her eyes were moist with unshed tears and I caught my breath. She reached out with her arm and trailed her fingers over my eyes.
"When's Mommy coming home?" She asked, and I gasped.
I gasped. It was the first time she had asked me anything about Faith. Well apart from the "Who gave me Gaspar again, Mommy? I can't remember." and the "Is that Mommy? I look just like her." when she'd look at the picture of Faith and I on the mantle.
Teresa studied me for a few seconds before wrapping her arms around my neck in an embrace.
"Daisy said that her Daddy is coming home soon."
"She did, did she?" I said.
"Yep." She said, popping her "p". "And she said that their car is better than ours."
I chuckled and ruffled her hair. Anything is better than a rusty Dodge Neon, Babe.
"Well you can tell Daisy that our car is a nicer colour than theirs."
Teresa giggled and it made me smile.
"Okay. You go on up to bed. I'll be up in a few seconds."
Terry gave me a serious look, one that I had never seen before, before nodding and kissing me on the cheek.
"I love you, Mommy."
"Love you too, Babe."
And she scurried off inside, leaving me alone outside. I sighed and stared up at the sky. It was a nice warm night, and the sky was almost white with sparkling stars. Gingerly, I got up, and locked the door, and just bee lined for the cemetery. I didn't stop running until I got there, and then I stopped. I looked around and suddenly got irritated when I saw it was deserted. In a moment of repented rage and frustration, I kicked ina tombstone making it shatter into a million pieces, then slumped to the ground and succumbed to a crying fit.
"Buffy? Is that really you?"
"Fuck, I've missed you so much."
"Me too, Baby."
"Terry misses you too. Come home."
"Tell Terry I'll be there soon."
Right. So, no chance in hell that would ever happen or ever win the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar. Let's just face the music, shall we? I have no imagination what so ever, and I'm the queen of procrastination. I've been sitting on the hood of the car for the past half hour, just staring at the screen of my mobile.
What are you afraid of, Buff? Afraid? Who said anything about being afraid? Fear has nothing to do with this. It's just a silly phone call. So why haven't you called yet? Well, that's one good question. And I blame nerves. Fuck, I haven't spoken nor seen her for five years. A simple phone call doesn't seem so simple anymore.
Well, that tire ain't gonna fix itself, darlin'. My thumb hovers over the little green phone button thingy for what seems like hours now. Realistically, it's only been a few minutes, but being in the desert with a scorching sun doesn't help time go faster, somehow. And then, in a fit of delusion and insanity, my thumb, by some means, presses down upon that little green phone, and my hand brings the phone over to my right ear.
Both my legs have straightened out onto the hood of the car, paralysed in fear. My left arm braced on the left side, near the headlight; my fingers drumming restlessly onto a patch of rust near the tire… oh yeah: Nerves. It rings once, twice and another half before someone picks up. The voice is tired and somewhat slurred.
"Faith's phone, Page speaking." The voice says.
It's a manly voice, and my stomach does the flip thing it does so well when I'm nervous. Page? How many men do you know named Page? Says the woman named Buffy. And then I'm hit with a tidal wave of guilt. I'm intruding. On her personal life. On this guy's personal life. Who do you think you are? Guilty as… But I haven't been charged with anything… yet.
I have a problem, don't I? I have a right to try to fix it.
I manage a sound that sounds like something Animal from the Muppets would say. Smooth.
"Hello?" Page says, a little uncertainty laced in his voice.
Deep breath, Buffy.
"Sorry, is uh, Faith around?" That's better! I'm sure he understood that one. Less Animal and more Fozzie Bear.
"Uh, yeah, she's just in the shower, though. Can I take a message?" He says in smooth, cool voice. He sounds like he belongs on the high tides of Maui. Kinda like Keanu, but more coherent and… flowy? And no, that wasn't a Point Break reference. Well… Okay, so it was.
"Huh, could you just—" I start, but Neo cuts me off.
"Hold on, she just came out. Here she is." He says.
There's a pause as I hear him muffle the receiver with his hand and some muttering makes its way to my ear. I can just picture Mnemonic handing her the phone, and her staring at the caller id on her mobile screen. Yeah, it's me. Who else could it be? Suddenly my heart starts racing, as if it's ready to attack or pounce or… something.
I hear a sigh on the other end and I swallow the lump that's been forming in the back of my throat. My phone slowly slides from my hand and I struggle to keep it flush to my ear. Sweaty palms, indeed.
"What's wrong?" She says finally, and I catch my breath.
That voice. Like melted dark chocolate. And indulging is like a sin or something. Sinfully good. I wish I could listen to her and not say a word. Wish she could read my mind from where she is and do all the talking. Whoever said 'wishful thinking will make it so' must have been drinking. Fucker.
"Buffy? Is Terry alright?" She says, and I realize that I didn't answer her first question. Oh. Right. It's called talking, Brainiac.
"Huh? Oh, Teresa's fine." I say, and I never imagined those would be the first words. In my unlikely scenarios, it was always "Faith? Fuck I've missed you so much."
Another perpetual silence. Another one of those, and I swear, my quota for my lifetime will be achieved.
"So." She says.
"So." I repeat pathetically.
"Is there a reas—problem?" She asks in a cool tone. Is there a reason why you're calling? A problem? She must know that I would never call if there wasn't.
"Um, yeah. I'm sort of stuck and I don't have a spare." Way to skip over the important details. Thankfully, she does the mind reading thing that she was –is- so good at.
"You got a flat or something?" I can tell she's being patient with me, and I hate that. Hate that she's being level headed about this. Hate that I still love her. Wait. You what? Oh, for Pete's sake, just fuck off.
"Yeah." On both counts.
"Where are you and what kind of car do you have? Year and make."
Huh? Did she suddenly transfer me to a garage or something?
"Um, it's a Dodge Neon, '01, and I, uh, have no idea on what highway I am." That's me. Buffy Summers. The Duchess of Sense of Orientation.
"That hunk o'junk still running?" She asks, and I realize we're about to have a conversation. Like a real one.
"If it gets me to point A to—,"
"—To point B, then it's okay for you." She says softly, remembering. Yeah, it hurts. A memory is just like heartburn, Babe.
We both stay silent for a while until she starts being professional again.
"Where are you? Landmarks would help."
I get up from the hood and walk about 50 feet from the car. There's a sign, maybe 200 feet out.
"There's a sign that says Tessa's homemade lemon meringue pie, 18 miles."
There's a slight chuckle on the other end of the line and her voice inadvertently chills me as she finishes the call.
"Hang tight. Lucky for you I know a mechanic." She chuckles again, as if it's a joke I'm supposed to understand. Of course, I have no clue what she's talking about. "Gravis'll be there in 'bout a half hour."
Teresa's been running along the highway, staying near the car, of course, for the past ten minutes. She's the kind of kid who just has tons of energy to spend after waking up. It's insane and inhuman. I swear. I don't remember Dawn ever being like this.
"Teresa! How many times do I have to tell you? No running on the highway!" I shout.
Okay, so the road's been deserted for the past forty five minutes and we'd hear a car coming from miles away, but that's not the point. The principal of the thing is that running on a highway is just plain dangerous. Am I right? Hell, I don't know anymore.
Terry suddenly stops scampering, and jumps onto the hood of the car to sit next to me. Her chocolate coloured hair is in a loose ponytail and free strands of hair fall into her eyes. Kids have the most beautiful hair. Crazy highlights that my hairdresser, Karlos, would kill for. Scary thought. Terry's got these wild blonde streaks, all natural, that tame her fierce dark chocolate locks. It's unreal.
She gives me this strange look and cocks her head as her eyes drift to the right.
"Do you hear the truck? It'll be here soon." She says, handing me her hair elastic, and turning her back to me. "Can you fix my hair, Mommy?"
I can't hear the truck. Maybe I will when it'll be in Slayer hearing range. Give or take ten minutes or so. I try my best to ignore her comment, but it gets to me that she can do that. Hear things from afar.
"How far is the ocean?" She asks as I finish fixing her ponytail.
"Not that far. Maybe a few hours." Can you hear it?
She nods and stands up on the hood, making a little dent in the metal. Her little hand goes above her eyes as she scans the horizon, and I can't help but smile. It's the Captain Jack pose that Andrew taught her.
"Can you see the truck, Babe?" I ask, humouring her as best I can.
"Yep." She says, and she jumps down to the ground, ignoring my "careful!"
She kneels down to undo her shoelaces and does them up again. Then she dusts her jeans off as best she can with her hands and tries to remove the wrinkles from her tee shirt. I guess she wants to look presentable for the mechanic. Sometimes she's just so cute.
Unconsciously, my hand roams my coat pocket for another cigarette and my eyes light up when I find the pack. I usually don't like to smoke in front of people, but somehow, I don't think the mechanic Faith called will mind. I light up the Lucky Strike as Terry finishes cleaning herself up and hops back onto the hood next to me. She rests her head on my shoulder and waits.
I can finally hear the truck. Sounds like an old beat up thing, reminding me of the sound Spike's old DeSoto used to make. Probably Diesel. After a few seconds, I finally see it. A simple dot in the horizon that grows bigger with every passing second. Kinda like those sponges you throw in the bath and then watch as they grow into blue dinosaurs and pink elephants.
The truck stops about 20 feet in front of the Neon and Terry and I jump off the hood. The passenger side door opens revealing a white poster on the side with red lettering. Page's Garage.
My heartbeat quickens as I finally understand Faith's little joke. Lucky for you I know a mechanic. Fuck.
A man steps down from the truck and gives us a little wave. My mouth is dry and my tongue feels like cement. He starts walking towards us and the nearer he gets, the more I find myself involuntarily scrutinizing him. This is my replacement? I take a long drag from the cigarette and stream the smoke out from my nostrils. Nerves.
This guy is tall and built like a hockey player. He's got JB Goodhues on his feet and he's wearing faded blue Dickie's workpants. He's got a torn jean jacket on over a grey work shirt. Page's Garage is written over the left side of his chest. He's got short strawberry blond hair, a pinch under his lower lip, a barbell in his left eyebrow and wraparound Ray-bans. He's probably in his late twenties, maybe a bit younger than Faith. Gravis Page is hot. And he doesn't look a thing like Keanu.
He stops in front of Terry and me and gives us a little smile. Perfect white teeth. God. What is up with this guy and perfection? I look down and notice Terry. She's staring at him, wide eyed, clearly in awe. Her little mouth is hanging open as she frantically tries to understand who this guy is. He's not just the mechanic, Babe.
It's not until he starts to speak that I realize he's the one who answered the phone.
"You lovely ladies wouldn't happen to be Buffy and Teresa, now would you?" He says, looking very much like a biker, but sounding very much like a surfer.
I don't give him a real answer as something else has drawn my attention. Behind Gravis, the driver's side door to the truck opens up. Boots land softly on the dusty asphalt and as my eyes travel north, my breath catches in my throat and I can feel Terry wrap her little arms around my left leg tightly.
Aviator glasses stare back at me, hiding the eyes, but it doesn't matter. I see those eyes every day. But right now, it feels like the first time. Like the first time in five years.