“I’m so excited that I was able to convince you to join me for our Sunday walk and chat today!” Holly gushed. “It’s an Independence Day miracle!”
Aaron chuckled at her enthusiasm and then sipped his Snapple.
“It’s hard to say no to you,” he admitted. “This holiday makes me very anxious, so I suppose it does help to have your soothing presence at my disposal.”
“You’re such a sweet talker,” Holly teased.
She took a long sip of her coffee. It was unseasonably chilly for the Fourth of July, but she didn’t care. The fresh air was good for her.
“Besides, it’s not like anyone is going to set off fireworks down here,” she added in an effort to further calm his nerves. “And if they do, you can just jump into the river for safety.”
He threw her some really nasty side eye from his end of the bench.
“Hilarious. My fear of drowning might be one of the few things that makes me more anxious than the constant barrage of fireworks set off by inebriated morons on this holiday.”
“I told Kristian I was going to force you to keep our Sunday walk and chat date despite it being Independence Day, and she predicted I’d be in for a real earful from you,” Holly giggled.
“Perhaps Kristian knows me better than my best friend,” her countered. “You do deserve a long, rambling monologue about how ridiculous it is to celebrate such an important holiday by allowing people, who have been drinking all day in the hot sun, to set off explosives in residential areas. I bet the Brits look at our inane behavior and thank their lucky stars they lost all responsibility for us back in 1776.”
Holly’s beautiful face lit up in a smile brighter than any July Fourth fireworks display. She loved it when Aaron went off on one of his angry tirades.
“The Founding Fathers are probably spinning in their graves,” she added in hopes of egging him further down this path.
“They’re exhausted from all the spinning they’ve done because of what’s been going on in this country since Trump won in 2016,” Aaron granted her wish. “Hell, we’re lucky if a bunch of knuckleheads wrapped in Trump flags don’t storm the Capitol today, and blow it up with an indoor fireworks show as they demand yet another recount of the ballots!”
She pretended to take a drink of her coffee so that he wouldn’t see she was laughing. He was damn serious about all this, and while she found it highly entertaining, Holly knew he wouldn’t appreciate it if he thought she was laughing at his convictions.
“Thanks for putting that all aside to spend some time with me.”
He shrugged and looked around the path that ran along the river. There was not another soul in sight on this holiday Sunday.
“There’s no one else around, so maybe people have finally come to their senses and decided to exercise their freedom to celebrate in silence.”
“Maybe,” Holly agreed. “Or it could be the torrential downpour that’s kept people inside.”
They were both pretty wet from the storm, but at least it was peaceful.
“You’re probably right,” he acquiesced. “I temporarily lost my sanity and put a little too much faith in my fellow man…”
Aaron, Holly, and everyone at The House on the Hill wish you a Happy and Safe Independence Day!