Once in a Blue Agave Moon: All Things Return to the One

 

Chapter Thirteen, Part Two

Leigh-Anne was a nursing student when she and Elliott met. They were incredibly close for several years and were really crazy for each other, but oddly, neither one ever referred to the other as a “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”.

Recently divorced, she was still struggling with balancing her new-found independence vs. companionship and affection. Although they were well-matched in intellect, disposition, and sexual appetites, they always seemed to pair off with someone else from their circle of friends and lovers, only to eventually find themselves back in each other’s arms…or bed.

They both seemed afraid to become a “couple” because they never wanted to have to break up. Years later, Elliott admitted he was slightly intimidated by her.

He knew he had a tendency to engage in outrageous behaviors that usually would drive women out of his life, and it was clear that Leigh-Anne was not willing to be a victim again. More than once she had used Elliott as a “booty-call” if she suddenly found herself alone too late to call anyone else, and he was only too happy to oblige her.

She was bolder and more fearless than most at a time when Elliott had considered the adjective “shameless” to be a genuine compliment, but she seemed immune to infatuation and its concomitant crush, so they developed a deep a abiding friendship (with benefits) long before the term became en vogue, and neither of their significant others acknowledged or understood it.

Elliott knew she would not put up with the kind of bullshit to which he regularly subjected a number of the women in his life, (including Amy) and because he was afraid of loosing her, he could never “seal the deal” and commit, so one day she just walked back into and out of his life like a cool breeze.

Amy had already left Miami for parts unknown, and Leigh-Anne had just come back from an extended vacation. She dropped by, but suddenly apologized that she had only come by to see if she could in fact remain faithful to one man; since Elliott was her “litmus test”, she announced that she was going back out west to get married.

On a certain level, he was flattered, but he was far from pleased.

A few weeks later, he decided to go on the road with a reggae band and didn’t come back for almost eighteen months.

This was about six months after Jed had gotten married; Leigh-Anne was not invited to either the wedding or the reception, even though Elliott was, despite Patty’s objections.

Apparently, Jed put his foot down about inviting Elliott, his best friend, but at the expense of not inviting Leigh-Anne because Jed had made the mistake of admitting to his fiancée that he had “once” slept with her (which was a gross understatement, unless he meant “once upon a time”).

Elliott always believed she would be back someday. Now, years after he had given up on such a hopelessly romantic fantasy, it looked like they might at least have the chance to get some kind of closure…or….?

They lost touch with each other for several years, but he always thought…(perhaps hoped was a better word), that somehow they would get the chance to resolve this unfinished business between them.

Over the years, when they did meet, he learned that she had not only gotten her MSN, but had become quite successful, married well, and had raised her children.

Elliott sensed that the honeymoon was definitely over, but beyond that, he had no clue. It wasn’t that she didn’t love her husband; it was more a matter of being able to see beyond  being someone else’s ideal of the perfect wife, and NO ONE was going to tell her what she could or could not do, including visit “old boyfriends”.

Once her children were gone, she began to travel farther and farther from home for longer times more and more frequently…until the money disappeared.

She could have chosen to sequester herself in their desert home, which was paid for and very well appointed and supplied. She was already prepared for that.

She had experienced a few apocalyptic visions years before, when she and Elliott were close, and they had discussed “what if” almost as if they already knew that something would eventually happen, one way or another.

But when it did, and with a vengeance, safety and security no longer occupied her top priorities. Instead she saw it as an opportunity to experience something dangerous firsthand, as if the world was new again, and it was all happening for the first time.

She had witnessed some of the most dark nights of the soul that Elliott had ever experienced, but wasn’t that surprised hearing that Elliott seemed to have wrangled his way back into the catbird’s seat but had no idea what to expect when she got there.

Elliott had welcomed the leveling effect that the Armageddon Virus had on the world in many ways, and he believed that Leigh-Ann somehow had found a way to leave her comfort zone in style, with sense of class, and with power.

For the first time in over a decade however, he knew he would not feel like a bum when he was around her. They would be on level ground, eye-to-eye, but most importantly, neither one of them would be encumbered by any prohibitions by their significant others as to how far they would choose to take their familiarity and curiosity.

For the first time…ever.

Elliott figured it was probably best to assume that she would not be interested, act accordingly and let her take it to the next step, if that was what she wanted.

After all, that was essentially how it had worked between them from the start. And it would be a win/win no matter what the outcome.

Now that self-sufficiency was more valuable than money, she was self-empowered. But most importantly of all, he trusted her…he always had.

They were never a couple, never broke up per se and yet he knew he still felt more than a little sentimental about whatever it was that they had shared.

Elliott had always tried to be close with at least one nurse or doctor who for whatever reason, chose to take the less-traveled road thereby making themselves accessible to him when he might need them.

From injections to bullet wounds, the ones who weren’t afraid to break, or at least bend the rules seemed to gravitate to Elliott, who was regarded as a something of a fixer who could make things either appear, or disappear when needed, whose only regard for the laws of men was to not get caught.

Some people might be inclined to regard Elliott as opportunistic, but with his reckless judgement, he needed all the help he could get.

He used to consider the company of attorneys in much the same light, but ever since this New-Age Apocalypse had effectively rendered all laws null and void, attorneys were of little use, except as part of the food chain, or blood sport, unless they had somehow managed to leverage some sort of power, or something of perceived value, since few of them were especially adept at the sort of survival skills that determined REAL POWER in a world where wealth and privilege had evaporated overnight.

 

Chazz Vincent

03/30/2017

 

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