For a few moments I considered going back to the store and facing Tess about us and what I had seen but quickly my own cowardice and propensity for avoiding conflict squashed such a notion. I grew frustrated as I drove because I had no idea where I was heading. Over the next 25 minutes I rehearsed our relationship and experiences. I kept seeing over and over her smile, her eyes, moments holding hands, kissing, hugging – over and over, moment by moment. Finally what started entering my inner dialogue was “this doesn’t make sense” and “she and we – are real – right?”. I looked down at the console and saw that the time was 9:30 p.m. – and again my mind went off trying to understand the events and moments. When I had left the cafe to embrace Tess at her work it was 7:35 p.m. and the cafe is at the most five minutes from the store. Where had all the time went? What had happened over the past hour and a half? Missing time? I slowed to the side of the street behind a parked car. I looked again at the console then picked up my cellphone and looked at the time on it. They were within a minute of each other. I turned on the radio and then turned it off – radio never does what you want. You turn on the radio to hear the traffic report and you end up driving for 20 -30 minutes hearing 15 minutes of music and 15 minutes of commercials. When you are now in the midst of the traffic jam and long delay signs – THEN you hear the traffic. And mind you the person usually giving the traffic tries to say it like the typical male monotone voice of a disclaimer. So incredibly hard to hear and usually of little value. So why even bother trying to hear the traffic report? Best guess is because if you comment to someone about the bad traffic and they say “why didn’t…” you can honestly defend yourself and show you were trying to be proactive and reasonable about the commuting experience. But I digress…
So where did the missing time go? My mind quickly flashed to Mulder and Scully and the whole experience they had on the road to one of their cases. Abduction? Don’t snark! It is the only reasonable explanation for the reality in my book. I look in the mirror lifting my head slightly to see if their is any blood coming from my nose. I look at my eyes. They seem wide, blood shot and glassy. I look around the car and I don’t see anything out of place or damaged. I look back at the console and my cellphone. What the heck?
Tap! Tap! I was so freaking startled I let out a little girl scream. I know in that moment I experienced complete blood loss from my head and upper extremities. I felt squeamish but I turned my head to the window on my left. “What are you doing silly?” I look and try to focus my eyes. It was Tess. Quickly my fight or flight response kicked in and then just as quickly pooped out. I was exhausted. Between the epiphany at the cafe, the gut punch at the store and now the reality of missing time (abduction) – I was too tired to run or fight. I saw her face and the big smile showing her perfect teeth and I did the only reasonable thing I could think of. In one motion I lowered the window and swooned into her light.