Come Ride With Me
Love is Eternal
Ride With Harley Short Story 9
I awakened with the feeling someone was calling me. It has been a long time since I had that sensation. Rising from my bed, my feet hit the cold floor. I glided across the terra cotta tile and over the rug to the window. I drew the drapes aside. He was coming. I could sense his presence as he drew near.
Was he standing beside the gates? I wondered as I watched the shadow drawing near. I could feel as much as
“Mari,” came the silken sigh of his voice as it drifted upward and through the windows.
How I missed hearing his voice! The times we talked late into the night, the dreams of a future we shared, and the music.
I withdrew from the drapes and leaned against the wall. My heart pounded in staccato rhythm. He was here, just as he came every night when I first arrived at the Condor Pass Resort. Back then, Harley haunted my dreams; my nights. Through the years his visits came less frequently, until they stopped, leaving me bereft of his comforting presence.
My breathing grew rapid as I listened to him whisper my name again. I sucked in my breath and pressed my hands to my chest as I looked out the window. Tears came to my eyes. Even after all this time I still missed him.
He was standing in the shadowy area beyond the lamplight. I could almost make out the outline of his bomber jacket and the helmet dangling from his hands.
I envisioned the lopsided goofy grin of his as he tilted his head up toward my room.
“Mari,” he sighed. His voice was a soft whisper drifting through the sultry summer night.
Hearing him call my name sent shivers dancing down my spine. It had been such a long time since he last appeared. Tears filled my eyes and sorrow resided in my heart.
What I wouldn’t give to have Harley next to me right now. To have his arms encircle me and hold me close, and feel his hands massage my back and shoulders. To smell the Irish Spring soap on his skin and sun-kissed hair, I gaze into his smoldering eyes, to feel the gentle caresses of his lips brushing mine. One more embrace to last a thousand lifetimes, one last time to feel the sweet agony of his love.
“I’m coming, my love.” I hurried to throw on jeans, shirt, and boots. I raced down the stairs and rushed outside.
He turned and faced me as I ran toward the lamplight. He pulled me into his arms and lightly kissed my lips.
“I’ve missed you so much. It’s been a long time since you last visited.”
“I’ve been here. I watched you raise our son with Grandpa Garrett’s help. I stood beside you when our son married. I was with you when our grandson was born. I saw your heartbreak when Grandpa Garrett passed away shortly after our grandson’s child was born. I’ve been here all along.”
“Why didn’t you let me know?” I cried.
“I wanted you to live your life.” He handed me a helmet. “For old times, Come ride with me.”
It was then I saw my motorcycle parked next to his. Although I had not ridden in years, I kept it maintained. It was my wedding present from Harley.
I put on the helmet and then took the jacket from his hands. “Where are we going?”
“Over by the Rainbow Bridge.” He straddled his bike.
We spent the next ten minutes checking the motorcycles. The loud roar and the drumming of the engine was a long forgotten delight. Harley made certain I was fully capable of riding safely before he let me take my Hog on the road.
As we left town, traffic died down until we were the only two souls on the road. It was me, Harley, the open road and the breeze whistling around us. How exhilarating! With only the moonlight and our headlamps to guide us the miles fell away. Cacti along side the two lane asphalt appeared ghostly.
Harley turned off the road onto a little known path. He was headed toward a rocky outcropping I called the hideaway. On our honeymoon we came there several times and picnicked while watching the condors dance in the sky.
After dismounting, I took a pair of Navajo blankets from my saddle bag. Harley spread one on the ground. When we were comfortably seated, he wrapped the other around us.
He draped his arm around me. His touch was cool and I shivered.
“I’m sorry. I don’t mean to make you cold.” He started to withdraw his arm.
“Don’t,” I whispered and reached up for his hand.
“You raised our son to be a fine man.”
“He loves this place as much as we do.” I nestled into the crook of his arm. “He worked in the resort throughout high school and college so he could take over.”
“I know. Harlan, our mac, our son, told you it was his turn to take care of you.” Harley smiled.
“Yes he did,” I closed my eyes in remembrance.
Our son had just returned from his tenth year anniversary honeymoon. “Màthair, mother?” He shuffled his feet.
“Yes,” I gazed into his face. He looked like his father. The same blue gray eyes, sandy hair with dark streaks, and lopsided grin.
“I’ve been thinking.” He paused. “Doli, Bluebird, and I feel it’s time I took on the job of managing the resort. We want you to relax and enjoy your arts and writing. It’s time, Mom, for me to become the man. I think, Boban, Dad, would want that.”
I studied my son for many long moments. He was remarkably similar to his father in all ways. So thoughtful, and always seeking ways to provide service to those in need. He spent many hours, days, and weeks each year assisting the Diné, the people, with improvement projects.
“You are right, my son.” Truthfully, I was feeling old at age fifty-three. My son was in his thirties when he suggested taking over the operation of the resort. His son, my grandson, was ten and into motorcycles and cars.
“Mari?” Harley’s voice whispered in my ear. “What are you thinking?”
“About our son.” I shifted and leaned comfortably in Harley’s arms.
“He’s a fine young man.”
“Not so young anymore. He’s now almost forty-nine now and his son, Garrett, our grandson, is twenty-eight with an five-year-old son, Thomas Harlan Judson. What a mouthful for such a tiny boy.”
“Our son is a grandfather.” Harley murmured and kissed my cheek. “That makes us great grandparents.”
“Garrett loves motorcycles and cars. He opened a shop here in town.”
We talked the night away. I was comfortably ensconced in the crook of Harley’s arms, reminding me of all those weekend get-togethers we had with the WOSL gang.
“Do you remember the first time we sat in a movie theater together?”
“It was July 1975 and I was on a date with James.” I smiled at the memory.
“I was sitting in the third seat from the aisle,” Harley nodded. “I watched as your date insisted on sitting in the aisle seat. You looked decidedly uncomfortable at the prospect of sitting next to me, the biker dude.”
“Let’s sit here,” James motioned for me to slide into the row. “It’s in the center of the theater and we’ll be able to get the full effect of the scenes.
I stared at the man sitting in the seat next to where I would be. He looked dubious at best; and downright menacing. He had a brown leather bomber jacket decked out with chains. I noticed what appeared to be a sheath with a knife strapped to his leg. He wore leather gloves with rivets and leggings to match over his jeans.
The man gazed at me; his eyes lingered on my face and slowly drifted down my body. I felt as though I was being perused in a sexual manner. Then, he smiled, disarmingly.
“What are you waiting for?” James nudged me. “I’d like to get our snacks before the previews start.”
Nervously, I took my seat and set my purse in my lap. On second thought, I wrapped my arms around my bag and held it close to my chest. My actions elicited a chuckle from the biker.
“Relax,” he said. “I’m not going to ravish you, although you do look like a tasty morsel.”
I felt my cheeks turning red.
James finally returned carrying a cardboard tray with a bucket of buttered popcorn, two large cokes, a Nestle Crunch™ bar for me and a box of Jujube Candy™ for himself. He noisily settled into the chair and handed me my drink and candy. He placed the popcorn between his legs.
“Have some,” he nodded at the bucket.
As the previews ran, James casually draped his arm across the back of my seat. His fingers lightly rested on my shoulder. He was staking his claim on me. The biker snickered at James.
The movie started with a scene underwater. The shark is swimming, searching for prey. The music is subtle but tense. Teens are partying on the beach. Two of them separate from the group. Chrissie goes for a swim. The music becomes strident and we see her legs kicking as she treads water. The scene shifts to above the water. She is yanked down. Each time she disappears the music gets louder and faster.
Even though there was very little gore, I was scared. As the movie proceeds the shark attacks get progressively gorier. When the shark rammed the boat I screamed and jumped up onto my seat which is no easy feat since theater seats automatically tip upward to close. I danced a jig and ultimately tumbled from my perch into the lap of the biker. He wrapped his arms securely around me and turned my face from the screen.
“It’s okay. It’s just a movie. Hush,” crooned and rubbed my back and shoulder with one arm while holding me close with the other.
“That should have been me,” James grumbled.
The biker tilted his head. “Sorry, I don’t bend that way.”
Harley laughed. “You should have seen his face. He was not happy.”
“I know,” I giggled. “He was so mad he almost wrecked his car on our way back. He kept stomping on the gas and then jamming the brakes. We slid across the highway. I was shaking by the time he dropped me off at home. He didn’t even walk me to the door. Just put the car in neutral and told me good night. When I got out, he didn’t wait for me to shut the door before he peeled out.”
“Never went on another date with him either, I’ll wager.”
“You got that right. The next night at work, he acted like he didn’t know me.”
Harley leaned back on his elbows. “We’ve had some times together, didn’t we?” A smile crept across his face.
“We sure did,” I laughed. I grew silent as a sensation of time slipping past caught me by surprise. I was no longer the eighteen-year-old girl Harley pursued. I was an old woman at seventy.
I stared into his eyes. Oh, how I loved him still, even after all these years. He truly was my soulmate. “It’s time, isn’t it?” I whispered.
“Yes, my love,” his words caressed me. “It’s time to take one last ride as you leave this world to join me in mine.” He kissed my hand.
“Adventure awaits us, my love. Come, Mari. Come ride with me.”
Donning my helmet I looked across the vistas and watched as the first days of sunlight peeked over the horizon. Finally, Harley revved the motor of his bike.
I rode beside Harley, the greatest love of my life, as we headed out in the direction of the rising sun.
Copyright© Cassandra Parker 2019 All rights reserved.
The right of Cassandra Parker to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 First published by Cassandra Parker.
Parker, Cassandra (2019-07-20). Come Ride With Me Cassandra Parker. E-book Edition.
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Come Ride With Me is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental. All locations except known towns, cities, and those listed at the back of this book are fictitious.
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This is a beautiful, albeit a bittersweet one. Very well written.