Small Town, IA (Part 2)`

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She was convinced he was looking at someone else.  Still she found herself feeling a little flattered at the possibility it was her that he was looking at.  She began to feel butterflies in her stomach. This was a new feeling for her.   She smiled softly as he stopped in front of her. He smiled back.

When he spoke, the butterflies fluttered.  His voice was deep enough to be captivating. He was intrigued by her being at the concert and having traveled by herself.  She wasn’t sure she understood what the big deal was, but most people usually were surprised to find that she had traveled by herself.  She didn’t want him to walk away.  In order to keep the conversation going, she asked if he knew whether there was a merchandise table or if the artists would be signing autographs.  He was not sure, but had no problem going to find out for her.  She was impressed.  No one at that point in her life had taken effort to do much for her.

She should have been disappointed that she wouldn’t be able to meet the band or Rhett Akins. After all they were the reason she was there, but she was not disappointed.  She had a feeling there was something better on the horizon.  Conversation between them continued and before she knew what was going on, she and this young farm boy were on their way.  Chatting up the evening and driving down old dirt roads. He talked about his Grandpa as they passed his land, but it was dark so she could not see.  Still even in the dark, it was not hard to figure out it was a field as large as Texas.  She loved how passionate about his family he seemed to be as he talked.

In desperation to keep his attention, she told him why she had traveled all that way and showed him some pictures.  Talking about the first time she had met Rhett Akins.  She knew this probably meant nothing to him.  Some stories are only important to those that tell them, but he listened intently and she felt comfortable talking to him.

As the evening grew later, she knew she would have to be heading back.  They drove to his little house at the end of a dead-end road.  It was a simple little house with only a loft bedroom. When he asked, she knew she should say no.  People get the wrong idea; especially, men.  A single woman going into the house of a complete stranger.  She knew it could give him the wrong impression and she wanted to say no.  Still, she found herself unable to do so.  There was something about this farm boy who captivated her in ways she did not know were possible.

As they walked through the door, it was much of what she expected for a bachelor pad.  Not quite dirty, but not quite clean.  No sign of feminine influences. She sat on the couch and he in his chair.  To her surprise he tried nothing.  They just talked. He talked about his family, she mainly listened. Taking in his surroundings.  The pictures of his family. The street sign hanging on his wall that donned his last name.  Everything one would expect for the life of someone who had lived.  Stories to tell. Adventures to share.  She was embarrassed she had none.

As she began to develop a headache, it became clear to him that something was wrong.  When asked, she simply said she was developing a headache and blamed it on the drive or that she had not eaten.  She was always getting headaches.  Upon her mentioning food, he insisted that she eat some chips, but she respectfully declined and told him that she must be going.

They walked to the door.  She knew she needed to leave and she was not hesitant about such, but she was afraid to let this moment end. Afraid of missing something and never seeing him again.  She looked in his eyes and him into hers.

Copyright 2015 ~SMH~

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Small Town, IA (Part 1)

WP_20150106_001

She didn’t know why she was going. Could she really?  Just up and drive all that way for a concert?  She had already bought her ticket, but Iowa was a bit of drive.  It was also not just that the concert was in Iowa, it was in small town, Iowa.  She tried not to think about it.  She had struggled to come to terms with certain aspects of life.  She just hoped that Small Town, IA would not make her question the strength she had obtained with the acceptance of the these terms.

She decided not to waste the ticket and she was looking forward to the concert.  So hours later she was on her way.  It was a beautiful morning so far.  It was a perfect spring day in May and the sun was already shining.  She knew she was born to do this.  Travel on not so much of  a whim. Sight seeing and exploring what the world had to offer.  She could do this.  She was doing this.

Driving a long she was not sure where she should stop. Should she just drive through?  Let the road guide her? Would there even be anything worth stopping for?  She decided to just follow the road and sing along with the radio.

She made mental notes about hating the I-80. Disappointment set in with the lack of things worth stopping for, but then she saw it.  A brownish-red state park sign.  A sign for Buffalo Rocks.  She was intrigued.

She knew she had made the right decision taking the detour when she saw the buildings that had been weathered by a storm.  The town was historic feeling with old brick buildings, the “hadn’t been fixed in a while” streets, and abandoned houses once burdening the weight of a tornado knocking on their doors. She was fascinated and it felt right. She felt contentment with the afternoon sun glistening off of window panes and local bikers gathering in the town center.

She continued to her destination, smiling to herself.

The rocks were beautiful with a peacefulness that could only be felt in the middle of nowhere.  She walked over long rusted and long forgotten train tracks.  Climbing the dirt path to the top of the hill.  Giggling at the abandoned, rusted out car that had clearly been used as a redneck shooting range.  She felt at home.She felt right with herself.  Just standing at the top of the rocks, green grass shining, and the dirt of the rocks glistening.  Taking in a freshness of air unfamiliar. Moments passed before she realized she needed to be on her way.

Through Amish country she felt peace. Taking in the Iowa fields. If anything the drive would be worth it, but she was excited about what the evening had in store.

Her motel was decent with its yellow walls and flower blankets. She thought it was a decent location.  Though, she’d come to realize that the town was farther away from her destination than what she thought.  Still the drive made up for what the distance lacked…appeal.  She was confident and excited, but then she realized just how small that Small Town, IA really was.

Apprehension sat in as she pulled into the fairgrounds.  The eyes of locals were upon her, but she held her head high and found herself a place to sit.  The fairgrounds were filled, but not to the extent one would think for a concert.  She then realized that to the locals, this was nothing more than a social gathering. Much like Saturday nights and the Wal-mart parking lot.

Though, she was there to see both artist playing, she was not surprised to see the locals light up like fireworks when Confederate Railroad took the stage.  She just took it all in. Enjoying the music. Enjoying the sites.  Making it all worth knowing she had made the right choice.

Night was settling in and the concert was winding down.  She knew that she should be moving on, but she was apprehensive.  Part of her had hoped the CRR boys and Rhett Akins would be signing autographs and the other part could feel eyes upon her.

She looked around. Where were they coming from?  It had been hours, had people not gotten over her being there?  Then she saw him.  That lightly tanned boy in the faded baseball cap.  Big eyes shining through a pair of glasses and a smile a mile wide.  His not quite muscular, but still fit frame, nicely accommodated the shorts and short leave button up he was wearing.  His gaze was fixated on her, but she didn’t know what to think.  She nervously tried to avoid contact, but  just couldn’t.   Then….he headed her way.

copyright 2015 ~SMH~