An R&R Story: Fair River Creek

Rylee skips rocks across the brown water while Ravi watches from a tall tree. She bounces one five times and Ravi snorts.

โ€œOnly five? I could beat you easily,โ€ he says.

โ€œThen get your ass down here,โ€ she replies.

โ€œI would butโ€ฆโ€ Ravi looks around the empty creek and smiles. โ€œCome up here, come see.โ€

Rylee skips her last good rock across the water and turns to him, rolling her eyes and walking toward him.

โ€œYouโ€™re likeโ€ฆ seven feet in the air. How can I get up there?โ€ She asks, smiling up at him.

โ€œCrawl, girl.โ€

โ€œClimb, you mean.โ€

Rylee tries. But with short legs, reaching and grabbing stuff from up high is pretty hard. Ravi starts laughing, a hand on his stomach as Rylee straddles the branch and sits up, her long golden brown hair in her face.

โ€œAsshole,โ€ she murmurs, blowing the hair from her eyes and reaching for the next branch, which is closer than the last.

โ€œNeed some help?โ€ He asks, grinning.

โ€œOh nooo. Does it look like I need help?โ€

โ€œAhhh, a little.โ€

Rylee sneers at Ravi as she reaches for another branch, coming up close to him. Reaching for the next, she plops down, almost slipping and laughs at herself.

โ€œGet down here, lazy,โ€ she says. โ€œHow come Iโ€™m doing all the work?โ€

He smiles and drops down beside her, pulling her close and kissing her forehead. She smiles and leans into him as he brushes a hand through her hair.

โ€œIโ€™m glad you brought me here,โ€ he whispers. โ€œI wish your dad was here to see you now.โ€

โ€œHe would love to know youโ€™re here with me,โ€ Rylee whispers, smiling sadly.

Ravi kisses her forehead again and hugs her tight as they watch the sun set from the tree, the twin bridges covering them, the roar of traffic filling their ears.

Rylee smiles every time a truck goes โ€œthunka, thumpa, thunkโ€ over the bridges and disappears as another roars across, going seventy-five on the highway.

โ€œI love you,โ€ she whispers to Ravi, closing her eyes with her head resting against his shoulder in the fading light.

Rewriting old memories, starting something new with the ruins. Sheโ€™s finally happy. This might be it.

โ€œI love you too.โ€

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