Chapter 6: Borrowed Time
“Okay first you have to wear your seatbelt” John told Sheryl and she locked her seatbelt at once. “I am so excited, what is next what should I step on?” she asked. John laughed and said “Relax first, this is an automatic transmission vehicle so you can let you left leg rest and the right one shall do all the work. The first pedal is your brakes and the last pedal is your accelerator. Now make sure the shifter is in Park or Neutral before you can turn on the ignition. Try it now” he told her and she quickly turned the key and the engine started. “Now shift it to D or Drive, then let go of the handbrake” John said and Sheryl did as instructed. “Now just pump a little on the accelerator, just enough to make the car move” he told her and the car started to move. Sheryl was so excited, both hands were on the steering wheel and the car began to move.
John taught Sheryl how to drive on an abandoned area, the road was rocky and full of curves but no vehicles were passing through which made it suitable for practice driving. Everyday John would let Sheryl drive for two hours and in the end of the week she was already driving on the highway.
“John why do I have to study this?” Sheryl asked about the driving manual. “Well if you want to pass the exam and get a license then you have to study that. The driving exam I know you can easily pass so come on start studying that so we can get your driver’s license” he told her. “Can this wait, I am in no hurry anyway to get my license. Can we go try the boat now?” she asked. John looked at her and smiled.
After lunch they both tried the boat on the lake and neither one of them knew how to drive it. No matter how wayward the boat would go they enjoyed playing with the boat on the water. John stopped the boat in the middle of the lake and stood up. Sheryl looked curiously at him as he unveiled a picnic basket hidden under a blanket. “Lunch in the middle of the lake” he said and Sheryl was surprised. “You really are full of surprises John, you never fail to amaze me” she told him.
As they started to eat the sandwiches that John prepared Sheryl noticed the sadness in John’s eyes. “Hey John, I’ve been wanting to ask you this, I noticed that you seem to be rushing things lately. I thought we had all time in the world” she said. John took a sip of his soda and cleared his mouth. “Sorry I did not notice I was doing that, maybe I just wanted to do many things” he said. “We have all time to the things we like so I hope you take it easy and enjoy the moment like what I am doing” she said. John smiled and nodded.
“Hey Sheryl what if you have a time limit on your life, I mean what if you know you are about to die and there is no cure for it. What would you do?” John asked her. Sheryl paused and looked at him for a long time then started to speak. “Well I would try to do all the things I like until the very end I guess. Why are you asking me such a thing, I am not dying you know” she answered. John laughed and said “It was just a hypothetical situation and I was not pertaining to you. You are right if my life would end soon I would do all the things that I like. Live my life to the fullest no matter what happens.”
“Hey is there something I should know about?” Sheryl asked John. John bit his sandwich and shook his head. “You would not lie to me right?” she added. John nodded his head and chew on his food. “If there is something bothering you tell me I might be able to help you” Sheryl told him. John smiled and said “Nope I am fine. So after eating would you want to give this boat another try?” he asked her. Sheryl excitedly nodded and started to laugh. “First a car, now a boat, I hope the next one would be a plane” she said and they both laughed.
Two weeks have passed and Sheryl received her driver’s license. John let her drive everyday whenever they went to the town proper to get supplies. Today they were back in town to get some more supplies for their camping trip on the nearby mountain.
After a last check on the things they need they locked the cabin and started to follow the trail towards the mountain. “Sheryl if you feel tired just tell me so we can rest. It doesn’t matter if we get there in how many days okay?” John told her. Sheryl laughed and walked faster “come on then walk faster, you are so slow John” she teased him. “That’s because I am carrying all the bags you know. Walk slower and enjoy the scenery and let me catch up a bit” John replied.
After four hours of hiking they reach the camp site, it was the only flat ground on that mountain so they decided to pitch their tent at once. There was a small spring where they could get fresh water and lots of fallen tree branches that they could use for making fire.
“Hey John why are you pitching two tents?” she asked. John looked at her as he was about to start with the second tent. “One for you and one for me” he replied. Sheryl moved closer to her and stopped him “Let’s just share one tent, look its big enough for the both of us” she said. John scratched his head and blushed. “I think it’s better if we have one tent each” he softly said. “Okay if that’s what you want then” Sheryl said and walked around the area while she waited for him to finish.
“Sheryl stay here while I go gather some fire wood okay?” John yelled and Sheryl walked towards the tent. After thirty minutes John came back with a sack of firewood and Sheryl was innocently sitting inside the tent. John noticed there was only one tent standing the other one was nowhere to be found. “Okay where did you hide the other tent?” John asked her. Sheryl looked at him and innocently shrugged her shoulders. John started to laugh and he looked around the area. “Sheryl come on now where did you hide the other tent?” he asked again. Sheryl stood up and said “I don’t know what you’re talking about” and they both started to laugh.
“You better start the fire it’s getting dark and I’m feeling hungry” she told him. John was still laughing and glancing around for clues to where she might have hid the other tent. John started the fire and Sheryl sat in front of him. “John you seem so tense, is there a problem?” she asked him. John shook his head and smiled. “I really don’t know where the tent went, I just sat inside the other tent and maybe the other one followed you” she joked. “Don’t worry I will be able to find it” he said.
After they ate dinner they sat around the fire just gazing at the stars in the sky. Sheryl leaned back and looked at John “So tomorrow we are going back to the city already. I was starting to like it here you know” she said to him. “Well we have to go back to the city. We can always come back here anytime” he told her. “It’s cold lets go inside the tent” Sheryl offered but John pretended not to hear her. Sheryl went inside the tent but John remained seated in front of the fire.
“You won’t find it I promise you so come on inside” Sheryl said. John stood up and took a look around one last time but he did not find the other tent. Sheryl came back out and held his hand, “Why are you so hesitant sharing the tent with me?” she asked him. She pulled his hand until they reached the tent entrance. “It’s okay I can sleep out here, I don’t feel cold” John said.
Sheryl went inside the tent and brought out the two sleeping bags “Okay then I too will sleep here beside you” she said. John laughed and shook his head. He took a deep breath and finally gave in. “Okay we will share the tent but I have to tell you I snore” he told her. Sherry raised her eyebrow and said “No you don’t. I watched you sleep several times.” John looked shocked and laughed again. “When did you watch me sleeping?” he asked. “Almost every day since we came here, I get up in the middle of the night and when I can’t sleep I go to your room and watch you” she stated.
John was speechless and dumbfounded; Sheryl went inside the tent and waited for him to enter. After a few minutes John entered the tent and got inside his sleeping bag, Sheryl faced him and just stared at his face. John felt uneasy with her looking at him so he tried to crack a joke. Sheryl was not listening to him instead she moved closer and just stared at him.
“Do you want to know one reason why Anthony broke up with me?” Sheryl whispered. John looked at her and said “I think I know the answer so you don’t have to tell me.” Sheryl smiled at him and unzipped his sleeping bag. John panicked but Sheryl squeezed herself inside his sleeping bag. “I think this bag was meant for one person only” John commented but Sheryl embraced him tightly.
“Your heart is pounding” she told him. John fixed his position and faced her; he was forced to hug her back in order to make them fit inside the sleeping bag. “What are you thinking of?” she once again asked him. “Thinking about kissing you, but I am not sure if your heart can take it” he whispered. She smiled at him and said “Why don’t you try and I will tell you.” John momentarily stared at her and moved his lips closer to hers. As soon as their lips touched he didn’t hold back anymore, he kissed her passionately as she held him tighter.
A few seconds later their lips parted ways and she smiled at him. “John you really like me don’t you?” she asked. John moved his head back and looked at her “How can you tell?” he asked. John followed Sheryl’s eyes as she was smiling and about to look down. Only then did he realize that another part of his body reacted to the kiss. He quickly distanced himself from her but the bag was keeping them close together. “I’m sorry, I am really sorry” he told her but Sheryl was laughing the whole time.
Sheryl moved her body closer to John’s body and slowly she started to undress inside the sleeping bag. “Sheryl what are you doing?” John asked.
“I know it will be okay as long as I am with you”