Misty gazed at the open road ahead of her thinking how it may well be very different for her now she was out of work. It’ll remain to be seen how much of an “open road” lay ahead for her. She still felt irritated by that man. But for better or for for worse, it was all over. She drove along, finding a little joy in the empty road. It was Thanksgiving weekend and so everyone who had some place to go was no doubt already there. She shifted a little, getting a little more comfortable in her seat.
Misty was sure most of the people at the office where she worked probably thought she was mad. Although, no one could say he didn’t have it coming. The writing was on the wall. Anyone with eyes to see would know she and her boss were not on the same page, as it were. They weren’t even in the same book, never mind the page.
So, her actions weren’t so surprising. Misty smiled when she thought of what she’d called him—a stuck up loudmouth with more money than sense. She’d explained in detail why he was being such a fool and before he could sack her, she’d quit. She was livid. It was the first time in her life she’d ever said anything like that. Misty thought, it may be the first time she’d really ever stood up for herself. And boy, did she do a good job. Sure, she hadn’t a clue what she was going to do now that she was out of work. But there was no sense worrying about it now.
Misty had tended to be quiet and unobtrusive. Everyone had always called her the little mouse in the corner. That’s where her little spot was located, all of them with their own space separated by a sea of dividers in a windowless room. The place had no heart. Besides, folks had always told her she was wasted there. Well, enough of it all.
Spotting a gravel road going off to the left, Misty thought, why not explore a little. There were little spots of grass here and there on the edge and so she knew it wasn’t a well-travelled road. It was beautiful, the trees were fairly dense, some spruce, some larch and bits and bobs of everything else.
She was lost amidst the beauty of the woods with its motley shades of green, stumps of trees partially shrouded with a mantle of moss. Through the trees she could see the sun shining on what must be a lovely meadow.
Just up ahead, she spotted a car off to the side. Seemed strange that anyone should be stopped along the road. Misty hadn’t expected to see anyone. Pulling in behind the car, she could see there was a driver. Guessing at the hat, it was likely an older gentleman. “Hello, sir?” The man was just staring ahead and only after she repeated her words, did he notice her.
“Oh, sorry, my dear. I didn’t quite catch what you were saying.”
“That’s all right. I just wanted to make sure everything was okay. You’re stopped and so I just wasn’t sure.” He smiled at her, his eyes red and glazed.
“Not to worry, my dear.” She looked into the woods, but she wasn’t quite sure why he was there.
“I don’t mean to pry, but is there anything with which I could help you? I there something wrong with your car. I might be able to help you.”
“O, no dear.” He paused for a moment and then looked up at her. “It’s no matter. I’d planned to go to the meadow … you can probably see it just on the other side of the trees.” he said, point towards it. “There used to be more of a pathway there, years ago. More people used to use it before.”
“Yeah, so it’s kinda grown in more,” she said, looking at the woods.
“I was going to take these,” he said, showing her the bouquet of flowers.
“O, they’re beautiful. May I ask what’s the occasion?” she said, smiling at him. He looked at her and then quickly glanced away, like he was somehow ashamed or embarrassed about something.
“Well, it’s nothing. I was going to lay then at the big rock.” He looked towards the meadow. “There it is,” he said, pointing. “It’s not easy to maybe see from here, but that’s where I used to always meet Abigail.” His eyes sparkled as he told Misty.
“Who’s Abigail?” Misty said, even though, with heavy heart, she was fairly sure she knew who she was. “Is she your wife?” He nodded and smiled, his eyes moistened.
“Yes. Yes. Well, was.” He looked down for a moment, wiping his eyes. “When we were first courting, that was always a favourite place. She passed away just this past August.”
‘O, I’m so sorry for your loss.,” Misty said, her eyes meeting his. “So, you were going to take the flowers and place them near the rock where you used to meet the love of your life.” He nodded, looking away. “Hey, it may not be as meaningful, but why don’t you let me take the flowers to the rock in the meadow?” He looked at Misty and then turned to look at the meadow. “I can at least place them there in Abigail’s memory.” He looked again at Misty. She could see he was giving it some thought.
“Well, okay, if you don’t mind. It’d be most kind of you.”
“It’d entirely be my pleasure. I even have my hiking stick in my car and that should help me get through any tangles I might find. She went back to her car and grabbed her hiking stick. Coming back, he’d gotten out of his car. He was a tall fellow, but he’d clearly dressed for the occasion. “My, don’t you look smart. Abigail would be most pleased.” He smiled, bashfully lowering his head with a touch of a smile.
“Here are the flowers. You take care going in there.”
“Not to worry. I’m a volunteer with the Wilderness Rescue Team and so I know more than enough about being careful,” she said, smiling at him.
“Just so you do.” She took the flowers, wading into the brush. Walking, Misty realised she could actually make out where the path to the meadow had once been. So, that made things a little easier. At one point, she turned around and waved to him, realising she hadn’t even introduced herself and asked his name. Then she thought how names aren’t always as important as many might think. Making it to the meadow, it opened into an expanse of wildflowers interspersed with an array of bushes, some floral, others not.
After the day she’s had, being in the meadow was like a moment in heaven. She raised her head to the sky and twirled around. She could see what drew everyone to this place. Giggling, she made her way to the rock where budding love had blossomed however many decades ago. There was a little overhang on the rock where she placed the flowers. She took out her phone and took a photograph so she could show him. He’d be pleased.
When she made it back to the road, he was waiting. She smiled at him.
“O, that’s a beautiful spot,” she said.
“Yes indeed. It was a very popular spot decades ago,” he said.
“And here,” Misty said, taking out her phone. “I took a photograph for you,” she said showing it to him. He took the phone, smiling, eyes glazing over.
“Thank you so very, very much. My Abigail will be so very pleased. We loved this place,” he said squinting as he looked up into the sky, sunshine cascading down. “Thank you.”
“Come here,” she said, opening her arms to give him a hug. “You can’t believe what a horrible day this was before I met you. But y’know, if it hadn’t been so horrible, I wouldn’t have been here to meet you and give you a hand. So, thank you for all you’ve done for me. Funny the way the world works.”
“That’s why we never do know in the end. Sometimes it’s just a matter of waiting and the most unpleasant of days will yet transform.”