Some days I think about my life and where I would be if I'd never gone to the Congo. Nadia and I would probably be living the dream with a house, the white picket fence and maybe even a couple of kids.
Sometimes I long for that life. But then I realise that if I had it, I wouldn't know the things I do or know the people I have in my life and that just doesn't seem right. I turn away from the passenger side window and glance at Bo, who's concentrating on the road.
I think of the conversation we had what feels like forever ago. Bo wants a normal life with the white picket fence. It's something I desperately want for her and if I'm honest with myself, I want to live that life with her. But I made a choice that ruined any chance of Bo and I being together, so someone else will get to live that life.
I turn my attention back to the world outside the passenger side window and can't help smiling at what I see. "Bo, pull over."
She looks at me like I've lost my mind, but pulls the car over anyway. I exit the car and don't wait for Bo to join me before I walk towards the ice cream van. "What flavour would you like?"
Bo shakes her head and laughs at me as I order a chocolate ice cream cone. When I turn to face her, waiting for her order she rolls her eyes. "Strawberry."
I hand Bo her ice cream and head over to the nearest park bench without waiting for her. I'm pretty low on her good guy list at the moment so I half expect her to stay away from me and to be honest I think I need some alone time.
Sitting down on the bench I watch as Bo debates with herself on what to do. I close my eyes and lean back, enjoying the sun on my face as I savour my ice cream. I'm taken back to my childhood when we'd go to the park for a picnic and if I was really lucky dad would buy me an ice cream.
I'm pulled from my memories by the bench moving as someone sits next to me. I open my eyes and meet Bo's curious gaze, “what were you thinking about just then?”
I can feel myself blushing, "just some good memories." We fall into an awkward silence as we eat our ice creams. I feel myself slip back into my cool ice queen facade and it makes me a little sad, it reminds me how much I've changed over the last five years.
Finishing my ice cream I push up off the bench. "I'm going to stretch my legs, I'll meet you back at the car." I don't wait for Bo to reply as I head off towards the large pond in the middle of the park.
I try not to think too much about the present as I walk. Taking in the sights and sounds I lose myself in memories of camping and hiking, less complicated times when I didn't have a care in the world.
Watching the birds swoop, dive and swim on the water relaxes me and I lose track of time as I enjoy my surroundings. I nearly jump out of my skin when something touches my hand and I feel a presence beside me.
I turn my head and see a smiling Bo standing beside me. As I look down I see that she is holding my hand, our fingers interlaced. Not for the first time, I think how perfectly our hands fit together.
Turning back to the pond I feel relaxed and happy for the first time in a very long time. We enjoy the scenery in silence for a few minutes before Bo gently squeezes my hand. I focus my attention back to her and she moves to stand in front of me, our bodies almost touching.
Reaching up, Bo cups my cheek with her hand brushing her thumb against my skin. I gasp at the touch which earns a smile from Bo. She leans forward and brushes her lips against mine, “you're so beautiful.”
There's so much I want to tell Bo, I've got so much to say but for the life of me I can't find the words. She smiles at me, her beautiful eyes sparkling before she becomes serious. “Lauren, there's so much we need to talk about.”
I sign in frustration at my inability to form a coherent sentence as Bo brings our joined hands up so she can kiss the back of my hand.
“Let's just pretend we're on our first date. We'll take a walk in the park and make awkward first date conversation and take it from there.”
I can't help but laugh, Bo sure has some crazy ideas sometimes. I nod my head and we head off along the path surrounding the pond. Yes, just a walk in the park. . . .