Throughout the night they had shared one of the most intimate experiences either one had ever had, but for so many different reasons. He had always wanted to share this with her, he wanted her to see the world from his point view, but he would never force it on her. That she wanted to be there just as much, made all the difference. She had always been curious, what did it feel like, what was it like? Was it a different world? Was there no distinction between the real and the surreal?
The night started off difficult enough, now they were once again in each other’s arms, it had been too long, and it felt like neither had ever leave. He looks her in the eye and asks, “can I take you somewhere?” She smiles, and stares at him, happy enough to be there in that moment with him, nothing else really registering. “Are you ok to drive?” she asks, knowing that she isn’t at all, so assuming he would be the same. “No I’m fine, trust me, I just want to show you something.”
They put their coats on and head out to the cold, it was late, or early depending on how you saw it. The light from the sun was slowly starting to break over the eastern horizon as they drove down the road, she recognized it as the way to go to the lake, was this what he wanted show her? Granted it’s a lovely view but they had been out here many times before. He keeps driving and passes the lake, coming to an area with an open plain straight ahead, she had never been out this far. He pulls off the word and heads into the woods. His car wasn’t made for off road traveling, but still he somehow managed to make it work. They drove for a while, but she hadn’t noticed, the sun was growing brighter, and she could see it poke through the foot of the trees, slowly they started making their way into their own private open field. He pulls off to the side of the road and grabs her hand, “we’re here,” he says. She smiles, not knowing what to do, and watches him get out of the car. He walks around the back, buttoning up his coat and thrusting his hands into his pockets, she opens the door just enough to hear him, “this used to be one big lake, it’s been dry for a very long time, but all these rocks are part of the old riverbed.” She couldn’t understand the history lesson; she was more captivated by the single tree standing in the field… “I’m cold,” she turns and says to him, “I think I’m going to wait here.” “Suit yourself, darling. I’m going to go explore a bit.” She closes the door and sees him run off, just as the sun is starting to break, within that moment she loses sight of him. He sprints across the open field careful to jump from rock to rock, making his way quickly to the lone tree. Reaching it, he surveys the area, trying to understand why it’s the only thing to grow… Giving up, he only wants to be close to it, so he begins to climb through its limbs and branches.
After being what felt like forever without him, she gets out of the car, trying to see if she can spot him now. He’s gone, and she can’t find him. She starts to carefully walk in the direction she saw him dart into.
“Hello?” She says out loud. He can see her from the tree, but waits for her to see him first. “Hello?!?” She says again. She finds a larger rock and stops on it, hoping that he hadn’t left. She tries again, “Hello?!?”
He sees her, and she’s the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, how could he not reply sooner, “Echo,” he calls out.
“Charlie?” She replies. “Where are you I can’t see you.”
“I’m here, in the embrace of my leafy friend.”
“I still can’t see you…” She says starting to get a little sad.
“Oh but I guarantee you, I’m right here, I promise.”
“It’s beautiful,” she says as she looks to the sun starting to break over the top of the treeline.
“It sure is,” he replies as he stares at her.
“I don’t ever want to leave here, I don’t ever want leave now, can’t we stay here?”
“Stay here? And do what?”
He smiles inside and out, she gave him that rush of elation that nothing synthetic or real could really compare to, it was in itself something so perfectly serene and indelible. He yells back, “Yeah, we can, and we can erect a church to that testament.”
“Right, we can place between my rock and your tree… I don’t ever want to leave this rock.”
“And what would we call this church?”
“I don’t know…What do you think?”
“How about the Church of Charlie and Echo…”