Love Me Like That

By: Marie James

Even though this ‘vacation’ has been somewhat forced, I’m grateful to be here. It’s just the push I needed to take that next step; the outcome I’ve been mulling over for months. Not exactly what my uncle and the other guys had in mind when they told me to get out of town and get my shit together.

It took just over a week, but I have in fact ‘gotten my shit together.’ My condo is clean, the refrigerator empty so there are no nasty surprises for whoever is given the job of taking care of it. More importantly, my will has been updated. Everything is in order.

I try not to think about my parents, Kegan, and the note left on the dining room table at my condo as I start making a mental list of things to email the guys about as I put away the several weeks’ worth of groceries I bought on my way out here. I don’t know how quickly I will execute my plans, but I don’t want to starve to death before I do; that’s not exactly the way I see things ending out here in this cabin. Well, you can’t really call a nearly four thousand square foot monstrosity a ‘cabin’ but it’s made of logs none the less.

Weather predictions for the next week include what they are referring to as Iceapalooza. The wind is already whipping around the house and sending howls through the surrounding trees. It won’t be long before the storm hits and leaves the property and roads in and out covered and impassable.

I pull out my phone and open a new note page as I walk through the house. I’m doing my best to make sure the place will be easy to sell after it’s served my purposes. My interior design people did an excellent job making the house inside look rugged and lived in, just like I’d requested. I’ll need a secondary wood holder. The one they put in the main living area looks great, but it’s not practical for anyone who doesn’t want to run outside for wood every few hours. I add it to the list.

Thinking of the storm and the real possibility that I’ll be on the backup generators before it’s said and done reminds me that I need to make sure the satellite phone is fully charged. I hit the stairs two at a time and dig the phone out of my suitcase, plugging it in to charge. I have no idea why I even worry about it. I have no intentions of calling anyone.

“Shit,” I grunt out loud as my mental checklist has me realizing I never shut the gate to the property. I cuss myself thoroughly as I make my way back down the stairs and begin layering my flannel and jacket. Even a few minutes of exposed skin out in this weather could lead to frostbite.

Sliding my gloves on last, I pull the door closed behind me and quickly make my way to my truck. I consider turning back and just saying fuck it, but I know it needs to be closed, if anything, to deter anyone from bothering me over the next several days. Discovering what you’ve done is more like it. My mind once again goes back to my family.

I’ve only been here an hour or so but my truck has completely cooled down, and the only light around is the porch light and the faint gleam of my headlights as they attempt to slice through the dense layer of snow that is currently falling. I put the truck in gear and roll forward, activating the four wheel drive. I have no intentions of getting stuck in this shit; once again not part of the plan. The mile long hike back up the driveway would sure suck balls. They say freezing to death is very peaceful. This old work truck crunches over the snow and ice like it is made for off-roading.

The gate comes into view, and I steel myself, preparing to go back out in the freezing cold to close the gate that should be working from a manual button on my cell phone, but the storm has covered the area so thickly, cell phone reception is practically nonexistent.

I jump out of the truck and quickly shut the door, an attempt to keep the heat inside the cab. Grabbing the edge of the gate, I plant my feet and struggle to pull it closed. Keeping my footing and making progress with the gate is like trying to tow a car through quicksand.

A faint flashing glow catches my eye about thirty yards away, the gloomy orange glow reflecting off of the heavy snowflakes that have continued to fall. I release the gate and trudge across the road to investigate. The further I walk the easier it is to tell that a small car has slid into the ditch. I look around and wonder how long it’s been there since there’s no sign of skid marks or tracks on the road, having already been covered with a thick layer of snow.

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