Sherry made a face. “Sure. OK, whatever. You can say I’m into the weather. I mean, just look at that sky! So blue!”
“Obsessed, is more like it,” Jeremy muttered.
Sherry turned in her seat to squarely face her boyfriend. Jeremy briefly took his eyes off the road a couple of times to glance at her staring him down. Jerry didn’t look annoyed as much as amused. Sherry knew he was only teasing, but it hurt. She turned away to stare out her window.
Flashes of blinding sunlight bounced off the snowy roadside as they sped by, like a string of flashing Paparazzi cameras at a red carpet premiere. The surrounding snowy hillsides sparkled against the unblemished powder blue sky, with a line of black, bent, barren trees along the ridge in striking contrast, like a battalion of defeated sentries. The whole scene crowned by the glowing jewel of the low mid-winter sun. How anyone was not taken aback at the spectacular power and majesty of Mother Nature on a day like today was beyond her.
“I’m just say’n,” Sherry turned to Jeremy in defense, “it’s a really beautiful day, is all.”
“Then, just say that. ‘It’s a beautiful day,’ and leave it at that.”
Staring at Jeremy, Sherry found herself looking at her boyfriend in a way she’d not ever done before. It suddenly it occurred to her that there was nothing about Jeremy that was actually interesting. His temperament was neither resigning nor combative. He wasn’t into anything different from what his buddies, brothers and guys at work were into: Football, fishing, beer, action movies, tinkering in the garage with never-to-be-finished home improvement projects, clandestine nights out with the guys at a topless joint, pick-up trucks, dinner served at 6:00 and pancakes every Saturday morning, preferably at Winchell’s Pancake Haus. Even the way Jeremy dressed was a banal copy of every other man he knew: Baseball cap, plaid button-down shirt with a t-shirt underneath, workman’s jacket, jeans, and boots. In summer the jacket and plaid shirt came off, and the jeans and boots swapped for baggy athletic shorts and those prison shower shoes. God-forbid you call them sandals.
Jeremy gave Sherry a quick smile. “I piss you off?” he asked, still having fun with her. Sherry shrugged. She didn’t care. She was thinking about the very serious issue of Jeremy’s clothes.
Did Jeremy have anything in his wardrobe that wasn’t jeans or plaid shirts, or any color besides dark blue, brown, beige, or grey? As she rifled through his dresser and closet in her mind’s eye, all she could see was a flat dullness. Then she remembered the red-ish plaid shirt she gave him a few years earlier for his birthday. He fussed a little, saying it was too “loud.” She argued that it was just like all his other plaid shirts. He wore it a time or two, but now that she thought about it, she’d not seen it in his closet in a long while.
Red, she thought. Jeremy didn’t like the color red. Or brilliant powder blue skies, glittering white snow, or the radiance of a bright yellow sun.
I do, Sherry thought. I like life to be colorful.
Sherry would forever remember how, on a routine trip to the grocery store on a glorious sunny day after an incredible snow storm, she emerged out from under a rock she didn’t even know she’d been buried under all this time.
“What you smiling at?” she heard Jeremy ask.
“Nothing,” Sherry whispered. “Just smilin’.”