“Honey! I’m waiting!”
“Be right there!”
I didn’t want to lie to her, but I didn’t really have a choice. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’d have loved to zipped up the stairs, slipped into our room, got naked, and hopped into bed with her. It was what I wanted to do. It was what I couldn’t do.
I turned off the downstairs lights, ending at the front door. I quietly opened it, stepped outside, and pulled the door too behind me, making sure it locked before getting in my car, and driving away.
She’d figure out I didn’t have my phone with me. She’d hear it ring on the sofa. I knew she’d get upset. I imagined she’d scream. Then she’d get angry. Eventually she’d cry, then call her friends. She’d stay awake, waiting for me. Waiting to ask me where I’d gone.
“I’m sorry, my love. I’m sorry.”
I drove to the Great Dismal Swamp wildlife refuge, parked at the Washington Ditch, and walked the 4.5 miles to Lake Drummond. I pointed my penlight at the north star and waited for the ship to pick me up.
It was time for me to return to my people. My 15 year mission was complete. My people would live. The antibodies in my blood guaranteed that. Human antibodies she’d passed to me. Antibodies my people needed to survive the deadliest virus we’d ever been infected with. The human influenza.
I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 117. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.