The Long Way
Jordan embarks on a quest of memory and desire, which may be the longest journey of all. (This selection is also available in: Resurrection, Stories for the Living and Dead.) More
He could not help... recall the day he stopped his bike on the bridge intending only to look over the thin spreading creek beyond the falls to the gorge and the green water pooled below. It was then he found himself looking upon the private scene of a girl climbing the falls hand in hand with a young man—neither of whom, so entranced were they with one another, detected his presence. Continuing to look, he revised his opinion, and determined she was no mere unformed girl but rather a shapely and quite desirable young woman.
From Jordan’s elevated position, her contours seemed more revealed than hidden by the short cut-off jeans and long-tailed shirt which, partially unbuttoned, afforded a tantalizing glimpse into the descending cleft of her décolletage. Further, he remembered her demure smile from an all-too-brief encounter one night at a local bar. And so he waited, with whetted longing, hoping she might look up and smile again, until she disappeared, perhaps forever, underneath the bridge deck where he stood. After waiting a moment more in indecision, he rode off unseen, suddenly aware he was entirely unsure of his destination.
How many years ago would it be now? He told himself a dozen, wondering if the truth wasn’t closer to half again as many years as he imagined. And yet all this time later, he still entertained the possibility he might, one day, ride to the same place and look down to find the young woman—a little older, yes, but also still almost eagerly compliant—once more climbing the falls, this time alone.