Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Kimmydonn Week 41: Donovan


Picture 1

Picture 2

Kimmydon's Choice: Picture 1


Straight back, sun shining on red-brown curls, his head just reached the branch he examined. I rocked Sarah as I watched him. It seemed ages since I’d seen Donovan, but he was at my wedding just a year ago. He didn’t often come to the lake and I spent a lot of my maternal leave here, enjoying the lake and fresh air. Sarah was enjoying it to, wriggling on her back in the grass when I wasn’t holding her.

“What ya looking for?” I called loudly. The tree he hung onto was yards down the shore.

He turned, green eyes finding me and brightening. “Hey, Beth. Checking for a mark I left here.” His voice was half lost in the wind and the chop of the lake. He descended from his perch and strode toward me. “This is Sarah?” he asked, looking at the cherub in my arms.

Her blue eyes were closed in sleep, but she was very pink, tiny fingers wrapped tightly around one of mine. Nodding, my hair brushed her cheek, making her face scrunch up and lip quiver.

“She’s adorable.” He ran a gentle hand down Sarah’s cheek and the other hand popped out of her blankets to seize it. His she popped into her mouth, eyes opening a crack as her tiny mouth tried to tease milk from the digit. “Um... good luck there, kid.” His voice was light and nearly laughing.

I chuckled too, pulling her hand away from her mouth. She quieted and stilled again, asleep once more.
“What were you looking for?” I asked again, gesturing to the tree.

Donovan shrugged, ducking his head a little. “Remember the summer after you graduated?” he asked.
I tried to recall. Every summer was spent with days at the lake, if not full weeks. I tried to find a job after graduation, but had zero luck, instead, fishing with Uncle Terry most often. Jamie had gotten a job, her first of several in the service industry, so she wasn’t with us. It hadn’t been a warm summer, lots of rain.

“Yeah, I remember some.”

“Do you remember a girl with blonde hair and blue eyes?” My eyes narrowed, this wasn’t some strange connection to Sarah, was it? No, she was dead by then. I was seeing ghosts everywhere now.

“Nope,” I admitted.

“Well, her name was Cheryl and we used to meet at that tree, then run somewhere dry,” he said with grin.

“Ah, I see. You hoping to find her?”

He nodded sheepishly. “I leave notes there, my number. I keep hoping she’ll come back and see it. Give me a call. She... I miss her.”

He was so pink at this point I almost didn’t want to know what they’d done together eight or ten years ago. It must have been good.

“I’ll keep an eye out. If I see any blondes hanging around, I’ll make sure they know to call you.”

He laughed. “Thanks, Beth. You’re out here all the time, are you?”

I nodded. “This summer anyway. Have to go back to work come winter. I’m not really looking forward to that.” I kissed Sarah’s head and wished I could walk in the woods with her forever.

“Well, take care of yourself. I should head in. I didn’t bring anything out with me to eat.” He started to pass me to the front of the cabins where the cars were parked.

“Why don’t you come in, Don? Peter will be coming for supper after work. I can make for you, too.” I opened the door of my parents’ cabin with one hand.

“Thanks, Beth. I’d like that. Can I hold her?” he asked as soon as we were inside, and I passed the sleeping baby across, noticing how easily he held her.

“I remember when Jesse was this small,” he mused, smiling. “Thanks again. For supper and watching out.”

“Anytime, Don.”