It’s Wednesday – So it’s time for another installment of “Discussion of Differences.”
Finally, after what seemed like hours, it was Anabelle who broke the silence.
“Relocate? As in, move?”
Bethany and Hunter merely nodded.
Everyone’s eyes looked at each other around the circle. No one moved, no one spoke. There was barely any breathing.
Bill took a deep breath and finally said what everyone was thinking.
“This is crazy. Absolutely crazy! But, I like it.”
Their Saturday adventure stretched into Sunday. No one slept that night. It was like a teenage slumber party – Everyone was whispering and basically giggling. The idea was simply crazy and nutty, but it sounded like loads of fun.
Everyone eventually fell asleep, the three couples intertwined in different places in Bill’s bedroom. All six of them had different dreams of Europe dancing in their heads.
The next morning, it was like everyone had left their old lives behind. All they could talk about was the future. Everyone had a different version, but it all led down the same path.
As everyone prepared to leave Bill’s house, the excitement was electrifying. A whole new adventure was in its infancy.
Lisanna and Hunter were headed northwest – Lisanna back to LT to finish school, and Hunter back to work in the mountains.
Anabelle was staying with Bill until Monday, then she had to head back southeast to her mom’s. Bethany and Will were headed southeast as well – Back to their parents’ houses and back to work.
But as they headed their separate ways, their lives, as they knew it, would never be the same. They promised to meet again in a month’s time, back at Bill’s, for another weekend of scheming, dreaming, and achieving this concocted plan.
The scheming and dreaming carried everyone through that month of work, workouts at the gym, parental drama, and studying. It was stressful, carrying around this big secret. Everyone had made a pact that Saturday to not tell anyone outside of the six, not until the plans took better shape, that is. But it certainly wasn’t easy.
Bethany almost slipped up, but luckily she caught herself. She turned the story into reminiscing about her previous trips to Europe – The first was 17 days in high school, and the second was a spring break trip courtesy of an art class at LT. In fact, she was the only one of the six to have previously traveled to any country in Europe. So she was automatically considered to be the expert.
Hunter and Bethany had also decided to keep their conversation on the FlixelFlaxen to a minimum. They still messaged daily, but swore to not talk about Europe unless the six of them were together. It didn’t seem fair, or right. They wanted to keep it as even and equal as possible.
Finally, the weekend before Halloween had arrived. It was once again time to travel to Bill’s mom’s house. Surprisingly, no one talked about Europe in the cars on the way up – It seemed like the discussion would work best with everyone together again. But that certainly didn’t stop them from thinking about it.
Everyone had a slight difference of opinion about Europe, but the overarching theme was plain excitement. This was a grand adventure. And the best part? The six of them were going to embark on this adventure together, no matter what.
The crunch of gravel underneath tires signaled to Bill that everyone had arrived. Anabelle had come to Bill’s early, to do some more wedding planning. That was going to be a factor in their European adventure, but she didn’t want to get ahead of herself. She wanted the six of them together for both the wedding and Europe, no questions asked.
Bethany and Will were eager to continue the discussion as well. The engagement ring had been finished months ago, but Bethany knew to just keep her mouth shut. She knew Will was planning the best proposal that he could think of, and she didn’t want to bug him about it. She allowed herself to daydream about it for a few minutes each day, but then put it out of her mind. She was easily distracted anyway. She knew Will would find the right place and the right time to ask her one of the most important questions ever. She couldn’t wait for it, but at the same time wanted to be surprised and swept off her feet.
Hunter and Lisanna drove to Bill’s separately, although the original plan was for Hunter to come down to LT on Friday, on his day off, spend the night, and then Hunter would drive Lisanna to Bill’s. Hunter was lonely on the workdays and the weekends that he wasn’t staying with Lisanna. He loved spending as much time with Lisanna as he could, and missed her terribly whenever he couldn’t come visit.
However, the final semester for Lisanna was quickly eroding her spirit, and it was becoming increasingly difficult for her to keep allowing Hunter to visit her on the weekends. She wanted to get the best grades possible, but ultimately make sure she passed all of her classes. They planned to walk at commencement in May, together. They both were part of the five-year plan at LT, but neither were ashamed of that. Lisanna just wanted to pass her classes and graduate – LT itself was quickly becoming part of the problem. She was also terrified of the real world, and what that meant for her relationship with Hunter. She felt torn, and was becoming frantic with each passing day.
Fortunately, being alone in the car for the 45-minute drive to Bill’s was therapeutic. She lost herself in the mix CD that Hunter had given her a month earlier for their anniversary. Her thoughts about the future took her to another place too.
“Maybe Europe is the sign that I’ve been looking for,” she thought as she cruised down the highway.
She did miss Hunter’s company in the car – They always had their best discussions there. But at the same time, she had just come off of midterms and needed Friday to clear her head. She had desperately wanted Hunter to come stay the night with her – For him to just hold her close and tell her everything was going to be alright, that it was going to be just fine – but at the same time, she just wanted to be alone. And that wanting to be alone terrified her even more. What kind of person, in a loving long-term relationship, wanted to be alone?
As the six friends came together at Bill’s house, all of the raw feelings surfaced, and quickly. As Bill opened the door, hugs were exchanged all around and the traditional greetings and salutations were said. But silence settled in immediately afterward. Their grand European adventure suddenly became the ugly elephant in the room – And that was the last thing that everyone wanted.
Much like the night that the idea was proposed, no one could speak up immediately. It was almost taboo, forbidden, and immensely awkward. Everyone read worry and fear that was written on each other’s faces. All six of them were basically thinking the same exact thought – What the hell are we doing?
Luckily, the elephant started to get smaller. Bethany had started a binder full of research, and started to pass it around. She’d also thought to bring along the photo albums from her two previous Europe excursions. That broke the tension, albeit slightly.
Everyone thumbed through the books for a few minutes, and they all got back around to Bethany eventually. She stacked them in a neat pile as she sat Indian-style on Bill’s bedroom floor, stroking the corner of the purple photo album aimlessly. Finally, she took a deep breath and said, “Well, what do y’all think?”
Everyone glanced around, unsure of what to do or say. Then, Anabelle spoke up.
“I think it’s a great start.”
Like the first night, Anabelle’s affirmation kicked off instant chatter. It was a great flurry of conversation. All three books left Bethany’s lap again and didn’t return for a good while. It was difficult keeping up and keeping track – Everyone was going in different directions. It had a wave of excitement to it, but it crashed just as quickly as a wave would on the beach.
The conversation died down again, and it became this awkward staring contest. No one wanted to kill the enthusiasm, but the challenges needed to be addressed eventually.
Come back next week for more!
Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂