Raubine enjoyed the dance lesson and the hour of free dancing afterward but she wanted to keep going, Monday nights her time to have fun before diving into the rest of the week managing a farm and a construction business.
Raubine read text messges on her phone and boogie stepped over to Lee. “Will you join me when this is over?”
Lee had switched from night shift to day shift duties and was feeling groggy. “I want to but I’ve got to get up at 5:30 a.m.”
Raubine wagged a finger at him. “You sure? You don’t know what you’re missing.” She solo danced in front of him. “There’s a great karaoke bar nearby.”
Lee thought about it. Raubine was not only a lot of fun to dance with but also a great conversationalist, able to discuss controversial topics objectively without imposing a set of hardline opinions; in other words, a confident person.
Raubine flashed her eyes at Lee. “I don’t usually go to sleep until 5:30! Even then, the dog wakes me up to go outside.”
Lee hugged Raubine. “That is an invitation I can’t resist but I’m really tired.”
Raubine looked from Lee’s right eye to his left, gauging his honesty. She smiled, seeing he was telling the truth.
“Okay, but next week you can’t use this excuse!”
The remaining dancers hugged each other goodbye, paid their tab at the bar and left.
Lee divided his time between dancing and the laboratory, carefully keeping his schedule filled but flexible. He wanted to sleep, if not dance, when he had work to do in the lab.
He drove home in the fog, weaving across lanes, clear indications he was tired.
He thought he saw the eyes of a deer heading straight toward him and was ready to swerve just as he realised it was a minivan that had crossed the median and was driving the wrong way.
He avoided the minivan, looking in his rearview mirror to see it meander back and forth, shaking his head that he wasn’t the only one half out of it.
He also realised he was driving on the road back to his old house and his old life.
He was definitely tired.
He turned around at the next intersection and headed back to his new life, where he temporarily lived in a cottage, a staging location for something much bigger, but not too big, a comfortable place for kids to play, friends to visit and a laboratory to run.
On his way home he passed the minivan, in which he thought he saw Delymo and her kids, wild, crazed looks in their eyes, screaming and shouting in delirious delight.
He was definitely tired.
To stay awake, he wrote a poem, creating and memorising it line by line in his thoughts…
I wish you were joining me on this new adventure,
For without you I cannot exist,
But I would never ask you to give up the luxuries you have —
Large suburban house,
Secure career path,
A place to pour passion into your hobbies —
For a future
Charting new, treacherous territory
Which others will follow safely.
The risks are too great,
Little room for missteps;
Question when we make little progress.
I will never ask you to do that.
I have fallen many times and will fall again,
Getting back up because I could.
The next time I fall I’ll get back up
Because I’ll believe you might stand beside me this time.