When Thoughts Wander

Short story

One final cheer erupted from the crowd as the band walked off the stage. The house lights came on and my friend and I looked at each other with sweaty grins plastered across our faces. Her brow shone in the light and her hair was a mess. I must have looked much the same.

“Ready to go?” I asked.

She let out a breath and nodded.

Together we turned, dodged in and out of the remaining groups of people, and left through the large wooden doors.

The front sidewalk air smelled of smoke. Partly from cigarettes, partly from vendors grilling bacon-wrapped hotdogs. People who were too cool to watch the bands they paid to see were standing all around and chatting. 

We made it back to the car and sat down. I fumbled around for the right key and started to back out of the parking spot.

“God, I love sitting,” she said.

I laughed. “I know, right? One of these days I’ll break down and wear something besides Converse. Should we get something to eat?”

 

She shook her head. “Nah, I’m tired, and it’s already pretty late.”

 

“Alright, straight home then.”

 

I turned on some music and we spent the time it took to drive her home laughing and talking about the show.

 

It was the same routine as countless other nights. I dropped her off and waited until she safely opened her door and waved, then I left for my own house.

 

I parked, set down my things, got ready for bed, and lay down exhausted. It was a perfect moment. But, just like countless other nights, my mind drifted and I thought about what it would be like if, instead of dropping her off, I asked her to stay with me.

 

“God, I love sitting,” 

 

“I know, right? One of these days I’ll break down and wear something besides Converse. Should we get something to eat?”

 

“Nah, I’m tired, and it’s already pretty late.”

 

“Alright, would you like to spend the night?”

 

We would park, set down our things, get ready for bed, and lay down exhausted. It would be a perfect moment. And, unlike countless other nights, my mind would not drift. She would move into my open arms, and we would sleep.