As I rounded the final curve, trailing a cloud of dust, I noticed Ashley’s car in their driveway. Jacobs truck wasn’t there. That wasn’t unusual lately. Ashley had been here a lot without Jacob. I wondered about the status of their relationship ever since Ashley revealed that she was aware that Jacob’s ‘niece’, Brie, was really his lover. I was surprised to see Eddie’s car in my driveway. I thought he was moving into his apartment while I was away. If it wasn’t today, I was hoping that it would be soon. I liked Eddie and always had. He was the brother I’d never had. As kids, we spent about as much time together as if we were real brothers. As adults, he tired me out. I was anxious for him to move out although I would never say so to him.
I walked into the kitchen and dropped my keys and wallet where I always did and then grabbed a beer out of the refrigerator and set it unopened on the bar. I pulled the ring box from my pants pocket and set it on the bar next to the beer. It was a really fancy velvet box and I stared at it for a moment as I grabbed up the beer and opened it. I flipped up the hinged cover of the velvet box and grinned as late-afternoon sunlight, streaming through the dining room windows hit the facets of the diamonds to refract into a dizzying array of rainbow colors. The ring was easily the most beautiful ring I’d ever seen. I didn’t care how expensive it was. I envisioned it on Donna’s finger. I envisioned the expression on her face as she lifted her hand to look at it.
I caught a whiff of myself again and went to the bathroom and turned on the shower. I stripped and stepped under the warm water. I washed with my new gel, which had a much nicer smell. I dried and pulled on my comfy clothes consisting of a tee shirt and athletic shorts. I picked up my beer on the counter next to the ring box and was heading for the slider to my deck. It was a beautiful day and Eddie had left the slider open with the screen shut. I reached for the handle of the screen as I heard a noise on the deck. It sounded like a moan but the sound was short-lived and gone in a moment. I stood still and listened and there it was again. I looked out to gauge where the sound was coming from. I heard it again and realized that the sound was coming from the ground below my deck. I walked back through the kitchen to the Breeze-way and out onto the deck. As I headed quietly to the railing overlooking the lake, I noticed first, that the parade of boats was back. My immediate thought was that Ashley was doing her yoga exercises on her dock again but I knew right away that wasn’t the case. The lead boats had slowed behind my boat and not at Ashley’s dock.