Spring Zephyr
Homepage Introduction About the Authors Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3   Journeys  


One winter night, an undetected spring breeze blew softly and ignited elements that usually lay dormant in all environments. My heart beat slowly as I savored the comfort that flowed so easily between my boyfriend, Joe, and I. Yet, it was as though my soul knew that the night held surprises unanticipated and life-changing because every breath I inhaled from that spring breeze excited the sleeping butterflies in my stomach. I didn’t know that a 20 minute drive to an apartment complex in Bridgewater, New Jersey, would upset the balance I’d struggled so long to achieve.

Joe and I went to dinner and spent a few blissful hours together. The time spent with him left me feeling clean and comforted. When he dropped me home around 1:00 a.m., we said goodnight with fate-telling stars burning above our heads. Walking up the driveway in my development, the recognizable engine of my best friend Sara’s car resounded from blocks away. Shortly, Sara pulled up near me with a smile and told me to hop in. As I seated myself, she told me her friend Dove was coming to meet us with some of his friends.

We drove for about 15 seconds down the street until she parked her Honda Civic two blocks away. We got out and walked up to a parked car containing three men whose bright eyes appeared smoke-hazed but distinguished. The light-skinned brother in the passenger seat got out of the car and pulled the seat forward for us. Sara and I slid into the back, the light-skinned brother sat back down, and introductions were brief as the driver, Dove, sped out of Piscataway via Route 287, to Somewhere, USA. I felt liberated, like I was being pulled out of a comfort zone at break-neck speed, as Dove sped around corners and ran yellow-to-red lights with reckless abandon. At the time, I didn’t know that the outside zone would become a new source of comfort in my life. We drove for miles on the highway, until we reached an exit that Dove took as though it was a last-minute decision. After driving a few blocks, we arrived in the parking lot of a large apartment complex, and Dove dropped us at the entrance. Dice, the light-skinned brother, kept looking at me as we waited outside for Dove. Finally, we walked to Dice and Dove’s apartment at the end of the hallway. The door opened easily, and their apartment smelled like clean air tinged with a scent of McDonald’s cheeseburgers. Dice led Sara and me to a room at the rear of the apartment where we would watch “Big Daddy”.

Sara sat down on the loveseat and immediately fell asleep. Dove came into the room a few minutes later, sat down next to Sara, and then fell asleep, as well. Dive and I started laughing at their harmonic snoring, but eventually our proximity and a lack of lighting led to more personal discussions. In the darkness and sleepy atmosphere of the bedroom, we found an incredibly strong connection between us that transcended time, location, and etiquette. Dice and I communed for hours until we fell asleep around 8:00 a.m.

At 5:30 a.m., Sara woke me up from my dreamless slumber. She didn’t even know the name of the town we were in, but I knew without a doubt where I was and why I might never find my back to where I had been less than 12 hours before. Dice slept like a baby while Sara and I noisily tried to wake Dove up. I kissed Dice’s cheek before leaving, and he asked me to call him later. As we walked down the hallway and eventually drove out of Bridgewater, New Jersey, in Dove’s car, I knew that a big part of me had been born in an apartment. I also knew that a piece of my heart resided with a man who lay sleeping soundly in that apartment. We arrived at Sara’s parked car 20 minutes later, where Dove said goodbye and gave me his phone number. Sara dropped me off outside my house. I went inside and climbed the stairs to my bedroom with uncertainty regarding the foundations of my life and beliefs that supported the weight of my existence.

That morning, I fell asleep wondering if the piece of me that now belonged to Dice had somehow been stolen from Joe. Since the morning I met Dice, I haven’t woken from my dream of heaven with someone whose beautiful face reminds me of smooth ice cream, and whose are unbelievably distinguished. My immense love for Joe counters feelings for Dice, though, because I know that Joe loves me like no other man ever has. Joe and Dice are two objects on the multi-tiered scale that I continue to struggle balancing. However, a feeling grows inside me telling me that sometimes, balance for my life may be found with a short car-ride away to Bridgewater, New Jersey.

Maryann Flanigan

Maryann Flanigan