sliced through the black fabric of the sky. Lee looked at
Bobbie and wondered if she saw the magic. They had been here
for three hours already and she hadn't said a word. This shower
was brilliant from their spot on the country hill.
"Have you made any wishes?" Lee
"Not yet," she replied. "I
don't know exactly what to wish, and I don't want to waste it."
knew what he wanted. He wanted more than anything to get out of
the city. He wanted clean air, like the air they were breathing
now, and he wanted Bobbie to share it with him. She loved the city,
wanted to be an actress. She was still a kid.
"I wish we could just build a house
right here," he said.
"You always have the wrong dreams."
She looked at him and smiled. Pulling out another cigarette,
she motioned for a light. He obliged.
He lit a cigarette for himself. He ought
to quit smoking some time soon. He'd planned to stop a month ago,
but he didn't have the will power to stop while Bobbie kept on smoking.
"Which dream is wrong?" he asked,
"The house here or sharing it with you?" Maybe he should have thought
of a more romantic way of telling her that he wanted to spend his
life with her. The setting was perfect -- the blanket on the hill,
late summer, the first meteor shower of the century.
He lay back on the blanket and stared
up at the sky, waiting for the next meteor. He figured that it would
probably move from right to left. Shooting stars, falling stars,
he loved the randomness of their brief streak. The spaces between
them were as intense as their appearance. "Bobbie," he said, "you
don't seem to be enjoying this very much. Why did you agree to come
out here with me tonight?"
"You think too much," she said.
She took a long drag on her cigarette and flicked the ashes into
the grass. "You always read into everything. Don't you ever
stop to just enjoy things?"
He watched her crush the cigarette into
the small mound of damp grass next to the blanket. Her hand was
delicate and slender. Her fingers looked like ruby tipped wands.
She was magical in her own right.
"Yeah," he said, "I do think too
much. But I'm on a mission here. Work with me."
"What do you want?"
"I want to marry you," he said.
He could see a slow trickle of a tear slip from the corner of her
eye. "What's wrong?"
"I don't know," she said, "I thought
this would be different."
Lee reached out to trace the path of
the tear on Bobbie's face. At least she had thought about what she
was calling "this." And if she thinks something's wrong because
she had thought it would be different, that means that she had thought
about being his wife and had been happy about it. And so he wasn't
a complete jerk in thinking that she might have said yes. She really
was right. He does think too much. "How?" he asked.
He wasn't sure he would get an answer.
He half expected her to shrug as she sometimes did when she
wanted to evade him, or say, "I dont really know," which is
what she said other times, or even to kiss him, which was her evasion
of last resort. If she were going to evade his question, he hoped
for the kiss.
"I thought I would be happier,"
she said. "I've waited a long time for you to say that." Lee dropped
his cigarette in the grass. He was confused. "I've waited a long
time to say it, but what's wrong about the dream, then? Is it the
city/country thing? We can work that out."
She shook her head no.
Lee lay back again. "Let's watch the
show," he said, In a few hours the shower would be over and the
sky would be getting light.
"The show's over, Lee," she said,
"and I wasn't in it."
"You're only twenty," he said.
"You'll have plenty of chances to hit your spot."
"That's not it."
"What is it, then?"
"Think about it," she said. She
put her arms behind her head and looked at the sky.
Think about it, he thought. He would.