Mr. Darcy and I have been trying to carve out time to be together. It’s tough going when the demands of a job, family, and real-life big people issues sometimes get in the way. It’s just plain tough.
I was thrilled when he called to say that he would have time to come into town on Sunday and spend the day with me. (I was beginning to feel that perhaps someone else had snatched him up when I wasn’t looking…but apparently working 80 hours a week prevents that…)
He wanted us to do something we hadn’t done yet, and we agreed on a bowling adventure. I was a bit hesitant, as I hadn’t rolled a ball for years, but was so happy to be spending some time together that I might have even agreed to a root canal as long as we were sitting together. (Well, maybe…)
It was about 4:00 in the afternoon and the parking lot was almost empty when we arrived at the bowling alley. We walked inside, went to the counter and chatted pleasantly with the young lady manning the lanes. She gave us our shoes, and directed us to our lane. I noticed immediately that there was a group of people to the far left of the lanes, and a large group at the far right. There were about a hundred empty lanes in between.
She had placed us at lane 5, which was right SMACK next to the group on the left. Because I knew I hadn’t bowled for a long time, I was resistant to bowl next to other PEOPLE. I looked at Mr. Darcy as we made our way to the lane, and did a tad bit of complaining. (Jesus, I know. I am becoming THAT WOMAN…)
“I was really hoping that we were bowling by ourselves. Can’t we just go back and ask her for a lane in the middle? There are a thousand lanes available! Come on, let’s go try…” I asked, batting my eyes…
“Now, vodka. This will be just fine, “ he said as he grabbed my hand. “You’ll see.” he said with a smile. (Thinking, I’m SURE, that was sounding like a whining child who hadn’t gotten her way.)
I shut my mouth, put a smile on my face and placed my shoes on the table at lane 5. I took off my coat, and reluctantly glanced at the rowdy family bowling in lane 4.
And that’s when I saw him.
He had just thrown a ball with all his might down the lane and it was bouncing like a rubber ball between the bumpers.
It was Frank.
“FRANK!” I shouted with glee, beyond shocked to see him standing there.
He looked at me and it took a moment before his eyes widened and an incredible smile spread across his face. “MRS SMYTHE!” he shouted as he ran into my arms.
I laughed and laughed and laughed as we hugged and chatted. Then I glanced at Mr. Darcy, who looked at me with an incredible smile. He remembered Frank from the hospital, and has heard me speak of him often.
We bowled and laughed and bowled and laughed. And then, towards the end of the game, I was preparing to roll the ball down the lane. I began my approach and swung the ball behind me when I heard Frank shout at the top of his lungs, “Mrs. Smythe, you are the BEST TEACHER EVER!!!”
God sure has a great way of kicking my ass.
(And then, I proceeded to kick Mr. Darcy’s.)