Thanks To Robert Frost 

Annie Fleishman

© Copyright 1999 by Annie Fleishman


Photo of a butterfly (c) 2003 by Richard Loller.

In the constant summertime weather Fayetteville brought, there I stood in the pouring down rain waiting for the next bus out of town. How could I have ever ended up like this? I guess it all goes back to when I first met Joe.

I was in first grade at school, when I met this new kid, Joe Robbins. Over the next few years we sort of grew into a rivalry, both of us being quite smart and extremely stubborn. The whole thing just sort of subsided Senior year and we just teased each other occasionally. He beat me on the SAT scores, and for the lousey 15 point margin, he sure wouldn't let up on a girl. But, I took it with a grain of salt, and some bengay in his gym bag. What can I say, it was all-out friendly war.

Ironically enough we went to the same college, UNC. Including some of my other classmates. We hung out together occasionally with our friends, and with each other. We both dated our fair share, but each relationship lasted about the maximum three seconds. We must be hexed,the both of us thought. We continued to insult each other and wrestle and it was nothing more than horsing around. It was toward the end of college that I recieved a job offer from a production company in Burbank, California. At last, the break I'd been waiting for all my life. But what about Joe?

"I'm going to take that job in California,"I furtively said.

"Oh come on, you'd have no future there! Just some gopher to get people coffee," he retorted.

"Well, this is what I've always wanted to do. It's like from Robert Frost, 'Two roads diverged in the wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by. That has made all the difference.' This is the road less traveled by! It's something few people get to experience!" My voice grew suprisingly louder.

"That's ridiculous! Who says it's a good thing to experience!"

"Why won't you support me on this? I really need a friend right now." "Support you? That's what I'm doing! Keeping you from wrecking your future!" he said as he stood as his voice grew with anger.

"Give me one good reason why I can't do this! Why this is such a bad mistake! Is it because you won't have someone to talk to about your girl of the hour?! I love you and I can't listen to it anymore!" I said as I stormed out of the room in a only a sweater and jeans to protect me against the rain. He watched me leave with nothing to say.

So, that's how I got here. I told him I loved him. He doesn't love me, I know it. It sort of occurred to me the minute I said it. From the time we fought in high school to when we teased each other in college. I loved him! It was something I had to confess. If he loved me, he would have told me. As the rain dripped down on me, tears dripped down my cheeks. I was leaving. I didn't know where I'd go, or what'd I do, but I couldn't bear to watch him with someone else. Suddenly the rain stopped pouring on me and I looked up to see the sky and ponder if it was really true. Instead, I saw Joe. Wet from head to toe, and as cute as I'd ever seen him look.

"The reason I didn't want you to go..."he started.

I lowered my head discontently.

"Was because..I love you too." he said almost shyly."It all just sort of came into place in my mind. All this time we've been fighting and teasing and playing, we've been in love! Now, if you want this job, no matter if you have to leave, you take it, okay. You deserve it. I don't want to lose you, not now not ever, but more importantly I want you to be happy. So--"

"Oh shut up and kiss me!" I interupted. He gladly obliged and gently kissed me for the first time. It was the first time I'd ever felt real love.

"I don't want that job. It's a gopher job and I can do better. Besides, I couldn't think of losing you."

With that we walked down the road back to the dorms. Their was a rainbow shining brightly in front of us. Joe stopped, pointing the magnificent wonder out and resting his hand on my waist. We looked into each others eyes.

"So, I guess we're on the road less traveled by. No wonder- it rains like hell."he said.

We both laughed and kissed right there in the middle of the road. I guess that poem really is true, because after fifteen years married to each other and a daughter named Julie, we still can't pass a rainbow without kissing each other like two naive college kids. It really did make all the difference.

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Another story by Annie: You Don't Own Me

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