I was startled awake this morning to constent pounding on my front door. If I didn’t live in a gated community and had an alarm on my personal gate, I would have freaked out. When the morning fog cleared from my mind, instant calm took over. The only person to dare pound on my door so early in the morning is the one person I could never say no to. Kame knows he has me wrapped around his finger. No shame here, but he uses it to his advantage a little too much.
Even answering the door half-awake didn’t dissuade his excitement for this surprise road trip. I didn’t have to pack anything, thank goodness. He told me to “wear something comfy, cute, and no heels.” Music to my ears. I ran upstairs brushed my hair, teeth, and threw on a sundress. I wanted to feel a little extra pretty for him and the surprise. Pink lip gloss it is.
“So, no hints?”
“Hmmm,” is the only noise he makes while never taking his eyes off the road.
“Really? That’s all you will give me? You promised, while I was getting ready, to give me a hint in the car. We are in the car and still no hint.” I try to sound annoyed. My excitement is squashing that tone.
“Babe, relax and enjoy the scenery,” he rumbles out. At one time he was a man of few words and more grumbly sounds. A year later I get more words and still the same grumbly sounds. I wouldn’t change him for the world.
The scenery has been amazing. We are experiencing some unexpected warm weather and the foliage is breath-taking. All the different browns, oranges and reds creates a perfect fall picture. Bonus I get to wear one of my comfy sun dresses one more time without leggings or a jacket. I try to be extra girly from time to time.
I think we will have a picnic where ever we end up. Getting into his truck I noticed bags of snacks and what looked like a picnic basket. He yelled “Don’t look in the back woman,” as he was locking up. I didn’t admit or deny if I was or not. He should know by now my natural nosiness.
Watching him drive is my favorite scenery to watch. His strong, sturdy frame commands attention and is always in control. He stands at my back strong, watches me fall and then picks me back up. The picking up is the best part because then his words flow from his heart. I fall a little more in love.
Little girls dream of their princes showing up one day, sweeping them off their feet. I dreamt of my knight coming to my rescue. Instead of slaying my demons himself, he let us slay them together. I imagine he would look like sin in armor, too.
Kame won’t even let me snuggle up to him this morning. He is trying hard to keep this a surprise. My touch usually can get me a little further if my words don’t work. When I went to move the center console, he put his meaty forearm down and shook his head no. Then the meanie told me “pouting will get you nowhere.”
It seems we are approaching our destination. He took a left seconds ago and we are now on s back road. Fields of trees, brush, and flowers cover both sides of us. Haven’t seen a land mark in a while. Hopefully he knows where we are because I don’t. Though, us getting lost for the day, isn’t a bad idea either.
“Kame?” He grabs my hand and kisses each knuckle, again not acknowledging me. I was never into hand kissing. Love stories always have some kind hand kissing during a dramatic exchange. The cynical person I am couldn’t understand why this was a must. Then Kame came along and now my fingers miss the soft touch of his lips on them. The itch of his touch is always near the surface of everyday life. “I can feel you hiding your smile without looking at your face babe. Give up the pouty act and smile like I know you want to,” he says still kissing me fingers.
“You are full of yourself today, aren’t you?”
“I think our destination will prove why and give me some brownie points,” he says while chuckling and squeezing my hand.
“Oh, this better be awesome!” Then our destination comes into view. My jaw instantly drops at the beauty in front of me. I turn to look at my beautiful man and I’m on the receiving end of his smug smile. He knows I’m in love with this land already and knew I would be.
“So? What do you think?” He seems very proud of himself, but I can still detect a hint of nervousness in his body language. His shoulders are a little tense. To anyone else he would seem like an excited boyfriend, but I know better. Reading people is one of my talents in life. The lack of love and appreciation growing up seems to make him always on the edge of self-doubt.
“It’s, it’s breathtaking. I can’t believe I’ve never been here before. Do you come here a lot without me?” the thought of him coming here without me makes my stomach twist a tad.
“No, don’t even go there,” he says rolling his eyes at me. “This used to be my get away from my old life. The last time I was here was when I was on my way back to you. Realized that I wanted this to be our happy place.”
“I know I drive you crazy, but I hope I make you happy. You make me happy and this, in front of us, makes me happy,” I say to him. If all we could do was sit here, admire the view for a while and then leave, I would be down for that. This sight before us would make a gorgeous picture. Too bad I don’t have an artistic bone in my body. Painting pictures and putting flower arrangements together are two different things. One I can do with no guidance, the other I can’t stay in the lines.
Kame leans across to put his gorgeous face right in front of mine. “I’ve never been happier in my entire life.” With that he presses his lips to mine. “Now get out of the truck and soak up the land and all the wildflowers.” How can I say no to that?
“Babe come on over, lunch is ready,” he yells. I didn’t wonder too far away from him, but didn’t want to seem super nosy either. He put so much effort into this afternoon, didn’t want to ruin it.
Walking towards my man I notice all the finger foods and snacks laid out on my favorite blanket. I still feel like I need to pinch myself that Kame is my man. Women of all ages check him out everywhere we go and some are not so subtle about it. He never gives them a second glance and denies when I give him a hard time later about it.
Kame is a mechanic and when his relationship status moved to “taken forever,” the crazies came out of the wood work. One woman asked if he would go car shopping with her since he works on cars. When he told me the story at first, I thought it was fine, as long as it was during business hours. I can be rational when I want to be. What brought the crazy out was the car was in another state and she asked if he wanted to share a room. Leave Friday evening, coming back on Sunday.
I was told later on that as soon as his coworkers heard this crazy request, they got her out of the garage. I did not want to ask what she was wearing, either. How some people justify their actions is beyond me.
While driving out here, I wondered if this surprise had anything to do with that day. It was just a few weeks ago and I know he felt dirty and guilty over it. I want to ring her neck for making him feel that way. People are crazy.
“This looks amazing. When did you have time to put all of this together? I’m not sure I deserve all of this.”
“Sometimes, probably not, but most of the time I want to shower you with gifts. Since, you know, we live in separate places and all.” He has been bringing up our living situation increasingly more lately. Little jabs here and there about lonely nights and not seeing enough of each other. Absents makes the heart grow fonder, right?
I was not about to go from my parents’ house, to college, back to my parents’ house, and then to my man’s house. I wanted to live on my own for a while. Prove to everyone and myself that I could do it.
“This place is amazing and so are these grapes. I love when grapes are sweet on the inside and crunchy on the outside.” In season fruit is one of my weaknesses, can’t stop once I start. Lame, I know.
“I know babe, I tested all the food out before packing them up.” He knows me so well. “I’ve been here a few times when I was younger. It was a place to get away from all the turmoil. I want it to be a place we run to together with happiness and quiet times.”
“Sounds good. You know loving nature is ingrained in me. Lying around with you is one of my favorite past times, too,” I say snuggling up under his arm. At any moment when his arms wrap around me, my world rights itself. I can do anything I want with Kame at my side. Not independent woman sounding, but I can’t help it.
“I could take a nap after eating all the food you brought. Did you bring anymore blankets?”
“No, because we are not sleeping here. I picked this huge tree to sit under so we can climb it. Sit out over the water on that huge limb.” While pointing to the exact location he is talking about.
“You are kidding right?” I ask as he stands up pulling me with him. “Wait. Seriously? I don’t think that’s a good idea. What if it won’t hold us?” The limb looks sturdy, but come on. “You know heights and I never get along. Is this necessary?” I can already feel my heart rate picking up and my hands are clammy.
“Don’t you trust me?” he asks with a gleam in his eye. Knowing this is out of my comfort zone, but I can’t say no to him.
“You know I trust you,” I say rolling my eyes. “It’s not fair to use that. How am I getting up there? A ladder?” I have him now. He might climb the couple feet, but I sure can’t. Kame has a handful of inches on me and his legs are way longer than mine.
“Now don’t laugh,” he says leaning up against the tree.
This should be interesting.
“I figured you could climb on my back and I would do all the work. I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but once we get up there, it won’t be so bad. I’ve climbed this tree many times. I know where to put my feet and I wouldn’t let anything happen to you.”
The reassurance and the begging coming from his eyes does me in. “Fine, we’ll do it your way. Only once though and if something happens, we are never trying this again. Do you understand?”
“Hop on, close your eyes, and we’ll be there in seconds. No backing out now.” he adds winking at me. He knows if we wait any longer, I’ll try more excuses to not let this little scenario happen. He kneels down in front of me and I wrap all my limbs around him tightly. “It’s okay sweetheart, no need to choke me.”
“Choking is the only way this is happening. Get up there quick, so I don’t choke you out.” No shame here. If this is what he wants, choking him is happening. Death grip all the way.
Somehow in seconds he is tapping my hand “We are here. I need you to let go,” he chokes out. All I felt was some jostling around. When I open my eyes, I realize that we are only a handful of feet up in the air.
“So, this isn’t so bad, but do not let go of me. Understand?”
“Yes baby, I’m never letting go. Not now or ever, promise,” he says with both hands on my waist, fingers hooked around my belt loops. If we fall, my plan is to fall on him. I hope he knows this.
“If we were on the ground, I would kiss the heck out of you, but we aren’t so that’s not happening. I never want you to let go either.”
“Once you get your bearings, you’ll be able to sit down. It makes my heart race a little, too.”
“Don’t make me feel better, I want to be mad at you. Don’t hope for a next time either. What are we going to do now?”
“Figured we could walk down to where we can sit and dangle our legs out over the water.”
He must have thought he brought his other girlfriend or something because that is not happening. Not sure I could move my feet an inch even if I wanted to. The view is pretty. Up until now, I thought he was adorable when he would try to get me out of my comfort zone. Not so much now.
“We might have to break-up after this. I am sorry.”
“Not funny,” and with that he lifts me off my feet and walks us forward. I’ve never had my life flash before my eyes, but this is coming close to it. Should’ve called my parents today and told them I loved them. “Now we are going to sit down together. Don’t worry there is plenty of room for me to sit behind you and next to you.”
“Right, you are sitting behind me. If we fall, I’m falling on you. Sorry, not sorry and don’t laugh at me.”
“I can see it in your eyes. I know all your smirks and what they mean.”
“You are so irrational when you are nervous,” he says shaking his head. “Look at the view and tell me it’s not gorgeous. Well, not as gorgeous as my view.” There is not one person on this planet that has made me feel half as important as this man sitting right in front of me.
“Don’t butter me up with your sweet words. My nervous stomach doesn’t want to hear it, either.” The gorgeous, calm water below us, is doing that. Calming my nerves down. There are slight waves that dance across the water and little bubbles popping from wildlife we can’t see.
“See.” Is all he says before lightly kissing the back of my neck. As easily as I can read him, he can read me even easier. Most of the time I love it, right now I want to be annoyed. Stubborn like that. “Tell me you don’t love this spot as much as I do.”
“You know I love it when you kiss me there, makes me all tingly,” I say all breathy like. The first time I used the word tingly he laughed at me like he never heard such a thing. It’s not the greatest word to describe how he makes me feel, but I used it. Now it’s our thing. I love having our things. They form the foundation of our relationship. The more we have, the stronger we become.
Humorous laugh hits the same spot he was kissing, bringing me back to present day. I don’t get embarrassed anymore when I make a fool of myself in front of him. I know this is one of those times. “Not the spot I was talking about.” Now he is laughing hard.
“I bet you could see all the stars in the sky at night. Not from this tree limb, but I would love to come here at night. Laying on a blanket and watching for shooting stars.” Change of subject. Not get hot and bothered on this small limb.
“Do you even know one constellation?” Once Kame learned I could take a hard time as good as I give a hard time, he hasn’t stopped. He never would say anything out of place when we first dated. Never could take my ribbing either. After a long talk about my personality and what he could get away with, a monster was created.
“I could point out the big dipper. If you gave me a minute or two. Everyone knows the big dipper.”
“Don’t give me any crap. I am sitting up here with you. Remember that.”
“I know, relax. I’ve never been out here at night. I’m sure you could see all kinds of stars. No pollution or buildings blocking your view. I’ll keep that in mind.”
On the way in I didn’t see any signs saying private property, nor have I seen a single building either. Land wild and free with a lake would be where my dream home stood. I’m always one to like a picture on Facebook when asked if you would give up everything to live here. Here is a beautiful log cabin in the middle of the woods. Bare minimum electronics for functioning daily life, but the rest of the time social free world.
That’s the way we both kind of live now. Daily life is busy. Running the family business with my parents is a full-time job and then some. Kame being one of the best mechanics in the area leaves very few dull moments for him. We do try to keep our nights stress free and for each other.
This whole day is so far off course for us. Days off mean a list of chores to be done, grocery shopping, and more chores. Never hopping into the car and taking off to nowhere. I’ve never really led a normal girl’s life. There’s always been a lot of work and little down time. Worry always creeps in that he’ll get bored with the hours I put in at the shop. That he’ll get tired of his free time being smothered with my family’s store.
“What are you thinking now? You are sporting the serious, the world is falling apart, look.”
Didn’t take him long to figure out all my different faces. Love that he pays attention and is attentive to me, but I wish I could hide some of my turmoil. I need to work on schooling my face when I start to drift off.
“Being up here, dangling our feet over this water, is making me think of how lucky I am.”
“So… you thinking of how lucky you are is making that pensive face show. Doesn’t make sense Gwen.”
“You know my biggest worry,” I say to him.
“Oh, right the business. One day I’m going to get so tired of dealing with you and your work that I’m going to up and leave. Find some other girl with no obligations and we will ride off into the sunset together,” he says rolling his eyes.
“See the worry?” I am half kidding, half serious. Kame really is my first long-term boyfriend. Doubts pop up from time to time. Completely normal, right?
“Some guys would think you were fishing for gifts or compliments. I know this isn’t true, but you need to have a little faith sweetheart. I know what makes you feel better.” He then proceeds to wrap both of his arms around me for a bear hug. “My hugs always make you smile.”
“Yes, but all this hug is doing right now is making me nervous. I really don’t want us falling. Maybe we could get down now?”
“Sure thing, sweetheart.”
Love is a sacrifice at times. Kame could have sat on this branch for hours and it’s going to take a handful of times for me to be able to sit here and be comfortable. Surprisingly getting down wasn’t as hard as getting up the tree. I was able to even do it by myself with Kame going down ahead of me.
“This sure is a lovely place. I hope we can come back here often.” It would be so nice to come here and relax after the hustle and bustle of the work week.
“Well that’s one of the reasons why I brought you here. I found out recently that the company who owns a chunk of this property wants to sell.”
“It includes a bunch of acres and this pond. I was telling your dad about it and even showed him the grounds on Google Maps.”
“What are you saying?” Grabbing onto his hand with nervous excitement. I don’t want to assume what I think he is trying to tell me.
“Well long story short. I couldn’t get a loan for the whole amount, so your dad co-signed with me.”
“Yeah, I was embarrassed, having to ask. I didn’t want this land to be torn apart, but wanted to make sure you liked it first. My dream is for us to build a home here. A getaway home, maybe a log cabin with a dock. It’s not too far away, so we could come whenever we like. One day our kids will join us. Maybe we’ll live here when we are old and retired.”
“Yes, yes, yes,” is all I get out while jumping up and down. Who would have thought we had the same dreams? Quiet mornings on our wrap-around porch. Sipping coffee, watching the ripples dance across the lake, while swinging in our oversized porch swing. That is paradise.
“So, you like the idea? This won’t happen overnight or anything, but Monday your dad and I will go in to sign the final paperwork.” The beaming smile on his face makes my soul happily content. Nothing could ever change the way I feel about this man.
Walking towards him I need a hug and I need it now. He knows what I need by wrapping his arms around me first as soon as I am in range. “You always make me happy. Thank you for asking my opinion in all of this and making it happen. There is one thing I hope you realize though?”
He turns his head towards my ear as it’s buried in my neck. “What’s that sweetheart?”
“My parents are going to want to be here all the time, too.” All he does is squeeze me harder into his body.
“That’s the whole plan, sweetheart. All the family having an escape house to enjoy. I’ll make sure they don’t take over the place. If that is what you are worried about.”
“And that is why I love you so much. I can’t wait to grow old with you.” He is my everything.
As he takes my hand and leads me back to the truck, I know I’m leaving a little of myself right here on this gorgeous land. The ideas are endless and I can’t wait to start putting them into action. These wildflowers belong to us now.