Once she had returned to him, after a 3 month summer in her home town 3 hours away, he had the romantic idea of stargazing. There was a meteor shower expected that night of which he’d read about on Yahoo News. He had already mapped out the perfect spot, the only spot that was dark enough to see the stars. He expressed that it was a short distance from his apartment while they packed a blanket and flashlight.
The ride down the dark drive leading to the spot was eerie and seemed forbidden. She was slightly worried they shouldn’t be there. Getting out of the car, she noticed how dark the place really was. “We are going to get murdered in a field tonight.” She joked as they trudged deeper into the black. She tripped several times over random sticks and other elements of the Earth. When they got to the spot he designated for them, they threw down the blanket. It caught on twigs and weeds so when they sat down, the blanket crunched down beneath them, poking through the fabric. Tiny bugs constantly landed on her bare skin, the blanket adding to the overall itchiness she felt. He noticed her discomfort as he settled himself on the blanket.
“You really have never been camping have you?” He questioned, already knowing the answer. She smiled at him while simultaneously swatting mosquitos violently. They finally laid back on the blanket, gazing up at the star sprinkled sky. It was vast as they began pointing out the Big Dipper and maybe the Little Dipper, they couldn’t be too sure since they were the only constellations they knew…they thought.
“If someone came down here and saw us, they would probably think you were going to murder and bury me in this field.”
“Or that we were doing it.” She gave him a gentle smack in the arm as they laughed in unison. She reached for his hand across the landscape of the blanket, leaning her head towards his shoulder. The bugs were really irritating her but she couldn’t imagine a more perfect moment than being there with him. He lifted his head slightly to kiss her temple, a smile stretched across the canvas of her face in reaction.
In the distance, they could see another car coming down the hill that lead to the drive. The lights were so bright they felt dazed for a moment. They both sat up quickly to get a better look, still hiding in the brush. Her earlier nightmares seemed to illuminate as the headlights closed in on where his car was parked. “Shit, who do you think that is?” She asked trembling behind him.
“I don’t know.”
“Babe, I think it’s a cop.” Just as she’d guessed, the familiar flashing of blue and red set flame to night, echoing across the field as it beat against their faces. A man jumped from the SUV, flashlight in hand swirling around in their direction.
He looked confused as he rose, turning back to motion for her to stay put while he figured out what was going on. As he came forth from the dark, flashing his flashlight to signal to the cop that he was there, another SUV emerged from the hill.
She could only hear muffled voices over the landscape, ducking down to stay from sight. Terrified at what was going on, she looked to find him again to make sure he was okay. He was signaling for her to come forward, calling out her name. In an instance, she grabbed up the blanket, giving it a quick shake to clean it of debris and leaped through the field quickly to him and the two cops.
They asked them both for identification, explaining that the field closes at 10pm each day. Sadly, this was the only time and place where it was dark enough to see the meteor shower.
They were getting ready to leave, the cops waiting for their exit before they themselves left. She did a final roll call of her items, realizing that her phone was still out in the field. He shook his head, asking the cop if he could quickly run out and search for the IPhone in the dark field.
She stood their awkwardly making small talk with the cop while he was in the distance looking around desperately for her missing item. He lifted it up in the air once he retrieved it, running back to them.
Once he got back, they all said their goodbyes again as he reached in his pocket for his car key. It wasn’t there. “My key is in the field.” She just stared at him, a smirk revealing itself as he asked the cop, who was probably tired of the event, if he could run out one more time.
His search was frantic this time as he constantly slashed his flashlight through the night. She was nervous he wouldn’t be able to find the only thing that could get them home. After a couple more minutes, he came scurrying back towards them. “Did you find it?” She questioned, his expression unreadable.
“Yeah I did.” The cop looked relieved, the other one long gone at this point.
They opened the doors of his car, making eye contact over the hood before stepping in. They just smiled at each other lovingly knowing this story would be told again.