The morning is quiet, just the way I like it. I get up early enough to have a cup of tea and a quick workout before the usual bangs and thumps preceed the morning’s yell: “Mommy!” From here on out, I know, there would be little rest with a restless active toddler drinking out of the dog bowl and putting pencils in the kitty’s ear.
In my quiet moments my mind always wanders back to my “two roads diverged,” a time of sunshine and reckless abandon and the story of my life. It started like any good story should: full moon over the SoCal mountains, a Harley, and a hottie in leather.
A knock at my apartment door stirs me from my tedious task of cleaning out my desk. Answering, I am at once embarrassed by the mess of paperwork strewn about the living room and surprised to see him at my door.
“We rented them for the weekend,” he gestured casually. “Want to go for a ride?”
He knew I loved Harleys. Hell yes I wanted to ride.
The sun was already setting on the warm September night when we revved up and roared out. As we flew down the back roads – me urging them faster – I felt alive for the first time in my life. Faster . . . faster . . . seems to be the way I live my life, and that night it felt so right.
Now, however, my days are slower due to a small hand in mine that likes to pull me to the side of the path to pick the flowers. Afternoon walks to the mailbox, feeding the chickens and goats, and sweeping the floor are all done with an extra pair of hands and a contagious laugh – or a furious tantrum, depending on the mood. Long rides and bar nights are not in my weekly lineup anymore, but I do get bath times and bedtime stories.
I do miss the time we headed off to anywhere and everywhere, without a clue or a care. Somehow along the way we realized that the dreams we each harbored were thriving in the soul of the other, and a bittersweet poignancy came to guide the road. There was more than chemistry in this soul-meshing, world-clashing collision of humans. There was hope, something we had both been living without.
I knew that night would lead to a question, but I wasn’t prepared to face it. My heart was pulling me to this guy, to the life I knew we could have; my mind was reminding me of unfinished business that was out of my hands. Should I stay or should I go . . . when it comes to relationships, there’s never an easy answer. So I settled for an innocent ride of innocence lost through the Wild West where freedom and possibility reign. Tomorrow – tomorrow –
That night I rode.
This night, I’ll kiss my daughter and say a prayer. The bad ass biker that stays out till dawn has put her chaps away, for now, and although some scars linger I still smile to myself because it’s clear that taking the other road would not have led me here, to this.