Chris was happy to keep the good times rolling, even if this visit wasn’t the same as the toy football games he’d played with Tim Bean and Lewis while Becky or Michele or some other near-paramour tagged along. The only ruckus on aisle nine today was the obnoxious, if cute, French kissing that ensnarled Gina and Lewis, who virtually made love with their mouths as if there was nothing else in the world. It’s not that they did this for show, or to be intentionally off-putting.
There was simply no one else there in the center of the universe.
The next day, the rest of the world seemed to spin around that center, as they hit a patch of ice on the steepest curve of Riverside Drive.
Gina was at the wheel of her Topaz, with Lewis next to her on the passenger side. The deep cold of the morning had captured the precipitation before dawn, right where it lay, in sheets. She was doing the speed limit, driving normally, when suddenly the back end of the car began to fishtail around the curve. Her mind instantly registered what was happening. Skidding on the ice.
Early in the frosted shadows, no one else was coming in the other lane. Rather than brake, Gina began to steer her wheel into the motion. Lewis lightly squeezed her thigh as the entire car turned on the road. “You’ve got this, baby,” he said, calmly. He had no fear. His life and hers was in Gina’s hands. He knew she could be trusted.
The car spun around a complete three hundred sixty degrees along the curve at full speed. As the Topaz lost a bit of its velocity to centrifugal force, Gina held steady while momentum slung the car around another half turn through an empty intersection. One hundred and eighty degrees later, they pointed back the way they came, their speed now imparted over the full spin and a half. The car rested.
The frozen morning had kept more than a few travelers inside, bundled up.
They drove into the next gravel parking lot they saw. Invigorated by their razor’s glance with death, they leaned in for a passionate kiss.
“Feel okay?” Lewis asked.
“Feel great! You?”
“Oh. Yeah! If we would have had to go out, at least we were together!”
“I knew we were in danger,” she said, “but somehow I wasn’t worried at all.”
“Yes. Good thinking, honey. You handled it like a pro.” He smiled widely. “As you can see, I’m not the only one who can handle a precious life with care. The whole time we went through it, I just knew I trusted you.”
What could’ve been a bad accident just turned into one more instance to show how well they could flow together---and how fortunate Lewis was to have found such a cool, level-headed woman.