“I watched a movie the other night that made me think of you,” Holly shared and then flashed a sly smile because she knew that would pique Aaron’s interest.
It was a gorgeous September morning in Maine, and as always, the best friends were seated on their usual bench overlooking the river.
“What movie was it?” Aaron immediately jumped at the bait. “Was it a superhero flick? I bet it was one of The Avengers, right? Or maybe it was a George Clooney film…”
Holly rolled her eyes. “I really wish I could see what you see when you look in the mirror.”
Aaron waved off the dig and took a sip of his Snapple.
“Well don’t keep me in suspense,” he insisted. “What movie was it?”
She paused to take a drink of her coffee before answering. It was so much fun to torture him like this, and she so loved the rare moments when she could turn the tables on him and have him hanging on her every word.
“Cast Away,” she finally replied.
Aaron laughed. “I watched that, too. Friday night on AMC, right? It was like we had a movie date, but didn’t even realize it.”
Holly smiled at the mere mention of a date, and her beautiful face lit up.
“I thought of you because I figured you would love the opportunity to be stranded on a desert island, far from the rest of humanity. Especially during a pandemic.”
Aaron nodded emphatically as he downed a little more iced tea.
“You know me so well. Your overall thesis is correct,” he confirmed, “but I would have some issues with island living.”
Holly waited. She knew he would list off those reasons, and they would be entertaining. Yes, she wished he would stop being so oblivious and ask her out already, but in the meantime, she did have her ways to find happiness in their time together.
“First off, I hate water. Almost drowned twice in my youth, as you well know…”
Holly nodded in agreement. “This is why I’m never to leave you alone if we’re invited to a party and the house has a pool. You have an overwhelming fear that shenanigans will ensue, and someone will try to throw you into the water.”
Aaron tapped his nose to indicate she was correct. “I’d freak out about there being water on all sides for as far as the eye could see. I’d probably just die of a nervous breakdown.”
“Next up, I’m not a fan of fish unless it’s fried and smothered in tartar, cocktail, or marinara sauce. The only thing to eat on that island was fish, so I’d obviously starve to death.”
“It’s a shame you couldn’t wash up on the shore of an island overrun by free range chickens,” Holly added because she knew that would get him going.
“Thank you for the perfect segue to my next problem,” he said with a smile. “I couldn’t kill an animal, even if doing so was the only way I’d survive. So unless those chickens were suicidal or died of old age, I’d be in trouble.”
“You could try to survive on coconuts or any edible berries on the island,” she suggested.
Aaron gave her a look. “Did you see how hard Tom Hanks had to work just to open one of those coconuts? I’d give up way too early on that project. And do you really expect me to risk poisoning myself on the mystery berries? Maybe you don’t know me at all.”
Holly chuckled. “And what would you do without your precious Snapple? Maybe in your version you’d be flying on a Snapple plane, rather than Fed Ex, and when it goes down, the hundreds of cases of Snapple on board wash up on shore with you.”
“Well, that would possibly explain why someone with an extreme fear of flying would be on a transatlantic flight,” he mused. “Maybe I won a lifetime supply of Snapple, and I had to fly somewhere to claim my prize.”
“You see?” she quipped with a sly grin. “This story is writing itself.”
They sat in silence for a moment and stared out at the river, which was a deep, enchanting shade of blue this morning.
“Wouldn’t you miss me, though?” she finally broke the silence.
“Of course,” he replied without hesitation. “You’d be my Wilson, only I wouldn’t even need a volleyball with a bloody hand print. I could just close my eyes and picture you clearly and imagine exactly what you’d say.”
“I have imaginary conversations with you all the time,” he admitted. “Usually when I’m about to do something stupid or out of anger. I imagine what you would say to stop me or talk me down, and we have this lengthy conversation in my mind.”
Holly blushed. “That’s sweet.”
“Of course,” she answered without pause. “It would be my life’s mission to find you.”
“Because if I have any quibble with that film it’s over Helen Hunt’s behavior,” he just continued rambling much to her delight. “When they are finally reunited, she tells Tom Hanks he was the love of his life. Really? Then how come you married Mr. Big from Sex and the City and had a kid? I mean, he was only gone for four years.”
“Four years is a long time,” she played devil’s advocate, knowing it would only spur a longer rant to prove her wrong.
“That doesn’t mean she waited four years,” he practically growled at her as this was clearly a sore point for him. “It takes nine months to prep that baby in the oven, and the kid looked at least 6 months old. And I’m being generous there. So that means that at least 15 months short of four years, she gave up on the love of her life. And that’s assuming she got pregnant the very first time her and Big slept together. There was wedding planning that had to be done, a certain time for courtship, and the engagement before that. So, really, Holly, how much time did Helen Hunt actually spend looking for the love of her life???”
Holly shrugged and sipped her coffee.
“You have my word I’d never call off the search, and I certainly will not marry a character from a sitcom until you are found,” she promised and even crossed her heart with her finger.
“This is why you’re my Wilson,” he replied with a wink.
They both smiled and went back to looking at the river.