Are We There Yet?..(bridge series #18)

Tonight’s the night” Coral tells herself as she wipes down the wooden bar. She’s been cleaning it for hours as if in a frenzy, her anxiety and OCD ramped up higher than she can recall, it’s been slow for too long, nobody has stopped Here for hours or years.

She only knows that someone has turned a corner and is on the way, the shimmering bridge across the road from the Tavern the tell-tale sign. There is a faint rustling of sand in the distance and Coral leaves the bar to see what awaits. A slight smile comes to her face, it is her sister friend, walking towards her by way of the sandy shoulder of the hiway.

Coral waves to the woman, the woman waves back and hurries her stride.

“You made it!” Coral says as she hugs the confused woman, there is no recognition in her eyes. Sometimes that is the way of things.

“Made it where?”

“Here, for now” Coral says with disappointment in her voice. “What can I get you?” she asks as they enter the saloon.

“Whiskey straight?” the woman says as confused about her choice of beverage as she is about the vaguely familiar lady that just hugged her.

“You didn’t come over the bridge like most do” Coral trails off as she pours the shot.

 “I hate bridges, they scare me, but I didn’t have anywhere else to go ” the customer says as she knocks back the drink with shaking hands. “Do I know you from somewhere?” she finally asks.

 “Yes, I’ve been Somewhere alot” Coral responds as she pours another, the woman downs it fast, liquid courage, Coral thinks.

 “Why am I Here?”

 “Because you’re not There, yet”

 “There, yet?”

 “We didn’t get it right, or you’d be There already” Coral slips out before she has a chance to retract her words.

“WE?” We who?”

 “Me, Myself and I” the barkeep snickers, another bad joke but those are the only kind she knows.

“Excuse me?”

“Me here, Me in your world, We had a job to do. Our job was to build you a bridge you could cross without fear” Coral whispers, contemplating the ramifications of this failure.

 “Guess we’re not There yet” both women say in unison.

 They both lock eyes at that moment and begin to laugh uncontrollably, a laughter that is carried on the wind to every place of friendship, Here, There, and Everywhere.

The sound on the wind makes the old alligator raise up and listen, he too barks. Who ever said a gator couldn’t laugh?


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