My life sucks, but my hair doesn’t
[Part one, Chapter 2]: First book club reading
“I guess I will drive, since Big Bertha and Trucky have taken us on numerous yet exciting adventures in the past two weeks, and my little car has yet to contribute,” says Natalie as we walk through the commuter parking lot to her car with no name.
I don’t know how many times Sarah and I have told her how important it is for her to come up with a nickname for her black, average-sized Hyundai.
It is one of those days where your body is easily confused by the weather. The sun is out, but a biting wind has formed somewhere in North Texas, easing its way through my thin coat and up my pant legs.
“Where in the HELL did you park … uh, your car??” I say as I duck in order to avoid being hit in the face by a dually’s side mirror. This has become a constant issue with the trio lately. Ask us to explain the meaning behind any assigned literary work and we will provide you with pages of notes, but ask us where we have parked, and you’ll embark on a 30-minute quest through numerous vehicles and passive aggressive student drivers.
“Ummm … I think I parked over … Oh wait! There she is!” As Natalie throws her bag into the back seat of the car, I climb into the opposite seat as Sarah settles into the front. Feet already on the dash, Sarah pulls out her phone and checks her Facebook. “You know what? I really don’t feel like doing homework today…” Agreed.
Thumping her fingers on the steering wheel to no music, Natalie turns to look at Sarah with a well-known glance of similarity. “Yea, me either. I am against anything school related right now.”
“Yea, all right. So what do three crazy, unpredictable English majors do on a Thursday evening?” I say as I examine my phone but fail to find anything of interest.
Only a special group of people could find joy and solace in the events that took place only one hour later.
As Sarah, Natalie and I make our way through the park in Hico with John Green in hand, the sun is beginning to fall slowly in the sky making it that much cooler. Halfway to our destination we turn to see the day’s immaculate sunset. Gold, red, orange and pink fill the sky in long and crafty wisps, like the sky is a canvas and its creator has a talented eye for color.
This sunset is just for us, I think to myself as the trio begins to take pictures that will help us to remember this time together in our distant, yet too close futures.
We are the only people in sight by the time we finally find the perfect reading nook surrounded by dark trees and soft grass.
“All right, the shoes are coming off,” says Sarah as we take a seat. I’m not surprised. I can’t recall how many times this girl has wished she could walk barefoot. She has a comical yet admirable distaste for shoes.
1, 2, 3. Three close friends whose knees don’t mind touching as they enjoy the smell of an open book and the quietness of an evening.
It was the still quietness that suggested we pull our heads out of our books and turn our heads to the woods behind us. My first thought was that someone big and scary has come to ruin our evening, or our lives. Looking at the all-too-familiar worry face of Sarah and the calm and collected face of Natalie, I know that mine is exercising an expression somewhere in between.
It didn’t take long for us to realize that our fears will not be recognized on this night, because it was not a person that popped out of the bushes, but instead three bouncing cardinals. Their colors matched the sky, resulting in the most calming thing I have seen all day.
As we all breathe a sigh of relief, Sarah turns to face the first set of stars forming in the distant sky and sets her book down. Following her action, Natalie marks her page and looks at me while I look at Sarah as she begins to tell the story of her late grandfather (Honey as she used to call him) who died, and how since then she has seen a cardinal every time she has found a place in time where she can relax. She believes that each cardinal is Honey, and that he is always watching over her.
This time there were three cardinals.
Sarah starts to form tears in her eyes as Natalie and I lay our heads on each of her shoulders and tell her that today is a good day for miracles.
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