The Hollow Feeling

June looked up at Johnny and shook her head.

“I am angry with you. You had no right to come here and do what you did.”

“You mean that I had no right to remind me that you love me and that the hollow feeling you have in your heart is there because I have go away for a bit.”

Her eyes narrowed and she gave him a look that comes from that place where anger and love meet.

“Yeah baby, it is hard and it is even harder because now you realize that I was right. Now you know that I was always right and you hate that I am sticking it in your face.”

He laughed and she hit his shoulder.

“Why would you do that. Why would try and piss me off? Men are idiots.”

He pulled her into his arms and whispered in her ear.

“Remember  that song Whiskey Lullaby and how it was hard not to watch the video and see us. Remember how many different songs we had that would give us that bittersweet feeling, well they aren’t everything any more. We have something more now, we have something we never had before.”

The silence that followed wasn’t awkward though it easily could have been.  He didn’t speak because he knew her wall had finally come down all the way and he didn’t want to make it obvious that he knew.

She would roll her eyes if she knew that the words floating through his head came from a baseball announcer but he didn’t care because they summed it up perfectly for him.

Impossible had turned into improbable and now they were faced with some hard choices and hard moments to follow. From his perspective some things hadn’t changed as much she might view them.

That was because he had heard her talking in the silence that had previously existed between them. When she told him to go away and to stop believing he had ignored her because he knew that she didn’t mean it, even if she thought she did.

He thought about it and had to laugh.

It sounded awful. Sounded wrong and patronizing but he didn’t care because she knew how it was meant and it didn’t matter what anyone else thought.

He looked at their picture and studied their faces. They didn’t look like kids any more but they certainly didn’t look old. Looked at their picture and thought about how they could have decades together. If he mentioned it to her she would say there was no guarantee that those decades would be healthy ones.

She would talk about how they could be decades of taking care of a person or persons who were in failing health and he would laugh because it is what he did.

“June, we both know that story. We have seen what it means and understand that it can be pretty nasty. Hell, I don’t want to be an invalid and have anyone take care of me like that. I can barely tolerate not being to do what I used to do now..

But I can’t look at life like that. You can call me a fool for saying that my genetics lead me to believe I’ll be around for another 90 years. Maybe I won’t, but between that, modern technology and my promise I plan on enjoying decades of being able to love, laugh and live. Old Johnny has a lot left in the tank and maybe 50 years from now I might have to consider wearing one of those diapers.”

She shook her head and asked him why he would even think about that.

“Well I figure that around 90 or so I probably won’t move quite as quickly as I do now. If I am sitting in my chair watching the ballgame I might have to choose between pissing my pants or missing a play. So I figure hell, there was a time when I was a kid where I didn’t let silly things like having to pee stop me from enjoying life why not try it again.”

The look of horror on her face made him roar with laughter.

“Baby, I love knowing that you hate sports and the idea that I would piss my pants so that I didn’t miss anything makes you wonder what the hell is wrong with me. Well, I am not going to tell you if I am serious or not but I am serious about one thing. I want to horrify the kids, grandkids and great grandkids with stories about their horny elderly relatives.

Can’t wait to talk about how you really broke your hip and why it makes me so happy when you take your teeth out.”

He tried to say something else but she couldn’t quite figure out what, he was laughing too hard, And she was trying far too hard not to smile because that would only encourage him.

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