“Let’s go for it!” I pedaled faster on Flagler Avenue, intent on gliding our Conch Cruisers to Key West’s east end. I glanced up at the sparkling night sky. We could never see the stars from where we live on Long Island.
“It’s too far.” My husband’s voice held humor.
I knew what he was thinking. I was rarely the competitive one in the family. “C’mon. The weather’s beautiful.” We’d had an incredible day swimming at South Beach and exploring the stores on Upper Duval. After a lazy dinner at Historic Seaport we’d strolled back to Duval, enjoying the random margarita and live entertainment. I should’ve been tired, but I wasn’t. Maybe my energy had something to do with how young and free I felt whenever we rode bikes. “I don’t want our night to end.”
“If you say so, but it’s at least three miles if not more.” He pedaled next to me, the intermittent street lights illuminating his doubtful expression.
I ignored his warning. “Let’s go. It’ll be fun.”
We raced, the flower-scented breeze tickling my face and arms and legs. This was paradise. I would never leave if it weren’t for our two kids back home. I missed them as much as I relished the time away with my man.
After a half-mile or so we settled in for the ride. The pavement whirred beneath our Cruisers’ tires, punctuated by the occasional car zooming past. The brightly lit stores gave way to lone streetlights. I let my mind go blank as we rolled along toward our goal.
Wisps of fog danced across our path. My leg muscles tired. The euphoria of flying through the night wore off, and I began to mull over the equally long trek back to the bed & breakfast. I glanced over at my honey. “Hey.”
He turned and smiled at me, a knowing look in his eyes.
I shrugged, unwilling to admit I’d been overzealous.
He slowed his bike. “Enough adventure for one night?”
“Yeah.”I slowed my bike and stopped with him at the next intersection. The east end of the island was still nowhere to be seen. “I thought it was closer.”
Two cars flew by.
“I know.” I coasted across the street after him and stopped, facing west once more.
He peered at a dark lane perpendicular to the main road and half-joked. “Wanna see gulfside?”
I smiled and shook my head. “It’s getting late.” I slipped my cell phone out of my shorts pocket. “It’s almost two.” I covered a yawn. “Besides, look at all that fog. It’s coming in like waves. We’ll get lost.”
He whispered. “You can never get lost on an island.”
I laughed. That’s what he’d told me when we’d first moved to Long Island over two decades ago, convincing this country girl I’d acclimate to suburban life. I had. He had a way of making me feel safe, allowing me to take risks. Maybe that’s why I’d suggested traversing the island. He made me feel like I could do anything with him by my side. Even if it meant admitting I’d been wrong. Or I wanted to turn back. There was no shame. I had nothing to prove.
I slipped my phone back into my pocket and touched his arm. “I love you.”
“You better. You married me.”
We kissed, right there on the corner of Flagler and some desolate gulf side road outside Old Town, long past our usual bedtime. What were we thinking?
Have you ever done something completely out-of-character or completely spur-of-the-moment you wondered what made you do it?