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Great Expectations

             



I couldn't believe it; it was FINALLY here!!  This trip had been at the forefront of all my thoughts for the past few weeks-now that it was actually time to leave it all felt surreal.  It honestly felt a little strange to be this excited about going on a trip I had originally planned and discussed so many times before with Landon.  In all actuality, I never thought I would get the chance to go.  I just figured the Universe would open up and swallow me, and I would never make it!  The strangest part of all though, was that it didn't even bother me, which caused me to feel slightly uneasy, just for a few moments; old habits die hard.  For once, I felt like I was doing something for ME.  My greatest desire for the whole thing was to find out what parts of Avri still remained; to remember who the fuck I was.  I had felt so lost and disconnected lately- an Avri identity crisis, if you will...

See, that's the part I find the hardest to wrap my mind around; how important that connection becomes to who you are.  Being a complete person outside of a relationship is ZERO consolation; it's like a total amnesia.  Everything is just...different.  I wish I had the right words...mix in a few too many hormones and BOOM!  The perfect ingredients for self-sabotage!  I was DETERMINED to have a good time, and focus my thoughts on the task at hand.  I was here to relax, reconnect, and move on.  I had felt so stagnated; it was time for that to end.  I missed ME.  I was half expecting my higher self to be sitting in my cottage upon arrival with a cup of black tea in hand for me asking"bitch, what took you so long?!!"  What happened to my unshakable confidence?  Where had the real Avri James gone?!  I was hoping the next 6 days would bring some of the answers I had been searching for.  

My favorite part of a road trip is DEFINITELY the journey itself.  I loved to sit back and ride;taking in all the beauty around me.  It's the one time when I deem talking completely unnecessary.  Those close to me are already well aware, and don't take offense to this.  I didn't take into account that there was a new person in our traveling party this time.  The 3.5  hr ride into the North Carolina mountains, which I had pictured as peaceful and scenic, turned into, what I felt like, was a full interrogation!  I know, I'm a bit dramatic, but I LOVE my peace! lol  Don't get me wrong, I admired his efforts to gain as much information as he possibly could- I just wasn't prepared for him to learn it all on the initial car trip!  I mean, WTF were we going to do for the next 5 days?!  Well, I was about to find out; and get re-acquainted with a part of Avri James that was long forgotten...

I barely had time to think, let alone be bored!  My energy level is UNMATCHED by even the liveliest of children once I am excited.  There were soo many things to do in a quiet mountain village!  I felt completely disconnected; the way I NEEDED it to be.  Adonis didn't miss a beat.  He was down for whatever, and hit the ground running.  As soon as we reached the resort, he wasted no time making plans to visit the Triple Waterfall.  There was NO WAY I was missing out on that!  In order to reach it, the trail could either be hiked, or biked.  I of course, chose the latter.  I couldn't remember the last time I had ridden, but got excited at the thought...bike it-that sounds like a plan!  Besides the fact that it completely neglected to mention that the trail was totally uphill, they also failed to mention how STEEP the trail was!  Oh well, Avri James is NO punk; the Triple Falls were waiting...Never had something so hard been so rewarding.  To finally step out onto that cold, flat stone in the midst of the calmest, rushing water...this must be what Nirvana feels like.  TO my surprise, Adonis had fallen back a little, just observing; silently taking pictures.  He was taking in everything all around him; including huge waves of Avri James with every breath...

The next day we chose to leave the group and venture out on our own for a few hours.  If there's anything that I love more than waterfalls, it's big, beautiful, OLD houses with sprawling estates.  We decided to visit the Whitmore Mansion.  If I could have stayed FOREVER, I would have!  I have never felt more at home!  Poor Adonis was practically being dragged at certain points from one garden to the next, over meadows, lagoons, and several loggias.  He never once complained.  Any alcove or strange little place I wanted to explore, he just smiled, and offered his hand if I needed any assistance.  I took countless pictures of plants, rocks, soil that sparkled-whatever captured my imagination in that moment.  The trail that led through the Azalea garden down to the boathouse was absolute MAGIC.  There was one bridge in particular over this small babbling brook that absolutely captivated me.  I sat there for a very long time, just- happy.  I was experiencing a peace that seemed to illuminate the surrounding air.  The sun was setting, and there was barely any daylight left.  I suddenly remembered I wasn't alone.  Adonis WAS there, but he seemed to be in a world all his own too...

He looked over at me, and softly started talking about how amazing the day was.  "I'm glad we did this and were truly able to enjoy it.  Everyone isn't always able to appreciate and enjoy and experience like this; but you DID; and you allowed me to do the same.  That's kinda of a big deal to me."  "Likewise," I replied, and smiled.  Small flashes of neon green lights flickered all around.  "The fireflies are..."  my sentence abruptly tacited by Adonis kissing me.  He was now holding my face with both hands, yet his lips felt weightless.  It was so gentle, yet firm simultaneously.  When he opened his eyes and looked at me, the usually unsure, timid gaze was replaced with one of pure confidence.  He began to speak, "I know you have told me since we met that your heart wasn't really yours to give, and you weren't tryna go here again. 'Love is for Suckas',- I know- but all I'm asking for is a chance to change your mind.  It's all on you Avri..." 

We walked back down the path in mostly silence, not because of any awkwardness; quite the contrary; we didn't want to ruin the moment.  Adonis grabbed my hand, intertwining our fingers saying, "this is the way you hold hands if you really like someone!"  I giggled, recalling having this exact conversation with my 8  year old crew.  He held my hand up at this, examining my fingers; "learning" them he said.  His gaze fell on the crown of stars on my ring finger.  He twisted the band.  I felt like I was being electrocuted with each turn.  I quickly snatched my hand away and removed the band, tossing it in the brook that followed the trail.  I watched it sink deeper and deeper into the darkness till I could not longer see it.  I placed my hand back inside his.  I looked over at Adonis and said, "I think I want you to kiss me again..."

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