He looked out over the beautiful sunrise as it revealed its first light above the mountains in the distance. The sky was ruffled with bright pink clouds just before the bright red ball erased them and climbed slowly onto the mountaintop. It looked as if it were a child’s ball, ready to roll down a hill.
“What was he doing here,?” he thought, adjusting his position on the rock to one more comfortable. “Why had he come here, now, of all times, to this beautiful place?
He thought about that day, so long ago when he sat here with her as her auburn hair blew wildly in the warm wind. It was hard to imagine that such a feeling, such a magical time of life would ever end. “Fool.” he whispered to no one.
He took a sip of the barely warm coffee and sighed as he looked out over the mountains. The sun was up now,, casting long shadows toward him of snags still standing from the spruce killed by the wooly adelgid beetles which has decimated the beautiful trees over a decade ago. A crow landed on the limb closest to him and let out a hopeful series of “caws”. The gray-green lichens now covered the trunks of the trees, giving them an eerie sort of second chance, something still lived there, even with the death of most of the forest.
He thought of her standing there. How she had stood at the edge of the precipice and laughed, making him leap and grab her, in fear that she might fall. He realized, at that moment, that the fear of something happening was often in vain because in that tiny moment that we experienced the heart-pounding fear run through us, we usually had time to stop the tragedy from occurring.
He stood up and walked towards his truck, glimmering now, n the sharp angle cast by the sun. He stretched, got into the truck and started the engine. As h traveled down the mountain, he got a glimpse of the valley below. The houses, a farm that had survived the influx of wealthy city folks, and finally, the church.
He took a deep breath in anticipation as he watched the cars gathering in the church parking lot. The sisters and cousins preparing for the wedding. Her wedding-to someone else.
“Men didn’t cry.” he though to himself and hit the gas pedal with an angry roar. The sun suddenly blinded him as he rounded the curve and he felt himself tearing towards the edge. The rocky edge on the upper side of the road. The engine sputtered and died as the fan hit the wall. A wisp of smoke rose from the engine.
He jumped out, heart pounding and looked around. “Was she really worth dying for?” he thought as he shook his head, amazed that he wasn’t hurt or dead.
The sun settled behind a cloud as a couple of guys in hunting gear walked up to him.
“You alright, man?” One of them said.
“Yeh, I’m, alright,”he sighed. “But I need to call a wrecker.”
In the distance, the church bells rang, as he sat in the grass, silent, deep in thought.
“Today was not his day,” he though,” not for a new life, but not for death either.” A weak smile crossed his face as the hunters called a wrecker for him. Life was funny like that, sometimes, it seemed, we needed nature to cleanse us, empty the pain and give us a chance to start over.