photo courtesy of Joey Adami
"Are you positive? I see. No, there is no message, but thank you very much." Will hung up the receiver, and padded his way through the screen door and down to the deck.
"Yes, three round trips. Let me just get a pen and jot that down," Grady said into his phone, reaching for a pencil, and winked as Will passed his way.
"Well, this blows," Luke stated, looking up at patch of dark clouds. The start of the summer, Memorial Day Weekend, had been nothing but on and off rain showers, chilly winds and the looming threat of thunder.
"Now, let's work on getting his things there," Will said, looking out over the steel gray ocean, shaking his head in disappointment, and dialing his phone ...
The Road Home
"Aren't you the least bit terrified?" I asked, excitedly, as the conversation thrilled me. I was in my favorite position, Indian style, on the lumpy under-stuffed seat. The Greyhound bus was twenty years out of its time, uncomfortable and sticky, but its passengers seemed right at home in this tin wagon. Being surrounded by such colorful characters made it tricky not to stare. I myself was fine with the jaunty accommodations, just hoping that I would make it back home.
"Gosh no! Circus is in my blood. I come from a family of aerialists," Daniel told me, as we greeted each other, and he took the adjoining seat.
"We have tintype photographs of my great-great-grandfather doing stunts," he added, with a proud smile.
"I don't think I could let go," I giggled. His dark features and olive skin sent a pair of green eyes into a bright sparkle.
"Is that why you got a seat on a private bus, with people you don't know, going to a place you certainly didn't come from?" he asked.
"Oh no, it's nothing like that," I responded cheerily. But in reality it was. I just ran out on my job, my new blazing career in another city, and a kiss with Dante.
"I think you could."
"I could do what?" I asked him, as I felt his body lean in closer.
"Let go," Daniel whispered into my ear. I didn't stir, as I would have, to his keen intuition, but settled back, closing my lids.
"I already have," I whispered and, with that, I dozed off.
"You're just in time," Will called out, as I got out of the taxi that pulled up to the curb in front of my house, and looked up at the steps, where my three friends sat. Grady jumped down the stoop, hugging me.
"What are you guys doing here?"
"It's not Fire Island, but it's the best we could do" Luke winked, with the glow of votive candles, twinkling in dark. He reached into a cooler and handed me a beer.
"All your stuff is on its way from Miami. Jinx will be here tomorrow," he added.
I couldn't say anything, because if I did, the tears would gush out my eyes.
"How did you guys know?"
There was a silence that held the scene for only a few seconds, when Grady looked at Will and Luke with a smile. In that moment, I just realized, three best friends were born. I didn't know if I still had a job, or how I was going to explain my flat-leaving Miami, or how I was going to face my editor, but I knew one thing: it was good to be home. Luke pulled out the new issue of Grin magazine, folding it over.
"You look hot," Luke gushed, turning the page, as the guys sat in closer.
"Can you autograph a copy?" Will chuckled.
As I looked down at my pictures, I thought of Daniel and our chance meeting on that bus ride.
"Sure," I said. "To Will, Grady and Luke-three rings to my circus, Love, Joey xoxo."