The Accidental Weekend
Roger waited for Mia at the appointed time outside her dorm building on a rainy Friday afternoon. He was her ride to her family's camp in Connecticut where they were meeting up with Mia's boyfriend Tony and Roger's girlfriend Sharon for a late April weekend getaway before college finals season began. The four had gone to the same high school. Mia and Roger ended up at Green College while Sharon went to Brown in Rhode Island and Tony was on a basketball scholarship at the University of Maine in Orono.
Mia appeared in the entrance way with a duffle bag in her hand. She ran across the yard and jumped into Roger's car. "How dare it rain on our parade?" She said lightly.
"It's supposed to clear up," Roger said hopefully.
"That's the spirit!" Mia laughed, brushing the drops of rain out of her radiant black hair that bounced off her shoulders.
Roger got to know Mia when he started dating Sharon as those two were close friends growing up. Roger didn't know Tony well previously but they became reasonably friendly when Mia started dating him and the four hung out together on occasion. Mia and Tony connected mostly through athletics – Mia was a killer volleyball player while Tony was the basketball star. Roger and Sharon connected through student council where they both served and from the student paper for which they both wrote.
Roger had no idea Mia had decided on Green College until after he had been accepted to the same institution. But they found their own activities and friends on the campus – Mia playing for the college volleyball team in the fall while Roger got involved in various political clubs and wrote for the collegiate newspaper.
They were now finishing up their second year and while they occasionally sat together in the dining facility for a meal or attended recreational events together they didn't monopolize each other's time.
But here they were driving down the interstate to Connecticut together in the rain.
"When did you see Tony last?" Roger asked Mia.
"Spring break," she reported.
"Same here with Sharon," Roger said.
"Yeah, I know, we had dinner together, remember?" She laughed.
"Oops," Roger grinned. "It all tends to run together."
"We'll all be home soon," Mia said.
"You working for your Dad again?"
"Yep," Mia affirmed. "You doing the summer camp stuff again?"
"Has Sharon decided if she's staying at Brown for that summer internship yet?"
Roger threw Mia a look. "Come on," he sighed. "We both know she decided what she was doing a long time ago."
"She just hasn't found the guts to tell you yet," Mia agreed.
"What about Tony?" Roger asked.
"That stupid summer basketball league out in Illinois," Mia groaned. "I'm a basketball widow."
"I get the feeling Sharon's getting ready to move on," Roger sighed.
"You're probably right," Mia replied delicately. "But you have to give her credit for all the work she's done on herself. She really has changed the most since high school."
"She's gotten her anxiety under control," Roger concurred. "Far less panic attacks. Much more confident. She's probably outgrown me."
"She joined that group," Mia reminded him. "That GIFT thing. People like her. They mentor and encourage each other. She's taking less meds now."
"She doesn't need me anymore," Roger sighed.
"You guys should talk about that this weekend," Mia encouraged. "Take some walks around the lake. Figure stuff out."
"Are you and Tony going to do some talking?" Roger wondered.
"Tony doesn't like to talk," Mia said with disapproval. "Not about important stuff anyway."
"Maybe you should walk him around the lake," Roger suggested.
"I'd like to throw him in the lake!" Mia muttered, causing Roger to laugh.
"Well, I guess that's everything about our lives we need to know," Roger quipped.
"Yeah, just the stuff we'd never admit to anybody else," Mia said, glancing out the window. "Stupid rain is putting a bummer on all this."
She was wearing a green sweat suit with white socks and black sneakers.
"I see you dressed up for him," Roger noted.
Mia smirked. "I don't think he cares how I dress this weekend."
Roger tried not to blush. So those two were still intimate. Wonderful. Sharon had been cold since Christmas.
They were quiet for a while. Roger needed to concentrate on the heavy traffic through Springdale, made more difficult from the rain and the road spray from passing vehicles, especially the annoying tractor trailer trucks. The radio was on and Mia was staring out the window in thought.
"This really was a good idea even with the weather," Roger said cheerfully.
"I'm starting to think two years of college in different locations is probably the breaking point," Mia sighed.
"Maybe," Roger agreed. "This weekend will probably be a good test for all of us."
Mia raised her eyebrow in agreement and then she went back to staring out the window. They crossed the state line into Connecticut but the traffic was still a bear.
"Not to be confused with a black bear," Mia joked, referring to the University of Maine Black Bears.
Soon after that, Roger left the interstate and they headed west on a smaller state route. Then their cell phones buzzed at the same time. Roger started to reach for his in the cup dish but Mia slapped his hand away. "You just drive," she warned. "I'll see what it says."
She was holding both phones in her hands. "It's a group text from Sharon," Mia reported.
"Uh-oh," Roger groaned. "That can't be good."
"It's not," Mia sighed. "She says she doesn't want to drive in the rain. It makes her anxious so she's just going to stay put on campus."
"She really is dumping me, isn't she?" Roger moaned.
"Maybe not," Mia said hopefully.
"She would have said she'd meet up with us tomorrow if she was really interested," Roger said glumly. "Doesn't sound like she's coming at all."
"She said she'll see us back home in a few weeks," Mia acknowledged.
"Great, now I get to play third wheel with you and Tony all weekend," Roger complained.
"It won't be that bad," Mia predicted.
"For you," Roger pointed out.
"Cheer up," Mia encouraged. "We're almost there."
She typed in a response to Sharon.
"What did you say?" Roger wanted to know.
"Okay," Mia answered.
"That's it?" Roger frowned.
"What'd you want me to say? Mia asked. "Thanks, Bitch?"
The phones beeped in unison again.
"This can't be good," Roger said again. "She's going to dump me in a text."
"Maybe she changed her mind and is coming," Mia said before glancing at the two screens. "That rat bastard!" She growled.
"What's wrong?" Roger asked with concern.
"Tony just backed out too," a flustered Mia announced.
"What?" Roger asked with surprise. "Why?"
"Some basketball clinic camp thing there in Maine," she read. "He says it's mandatory for everybody on the team."
"And he just found out about it now?" Roger frowned. "That's bullshit."
"I think he's cheating on me," Mia sighed, her eyes tearing up.
She nodded affirmatively. "Something in my gut is telling me so."
"Well, we might as well turn around and head back to Green," Roger said.
"What? No way!" Mia protested. "We're like three miles away from the frigin' lake."
"What are we going to do without them?" Roger asked.
"We'll think of something," Mia said with determination. "Pull into the supermarket up there," she'll ordered. "We'll stock up for just the two of us."
It seemed like a weird proposition to Roger but why go back to the stupid dorm room and mope around all weekend thinking about losing Sharon? Maybe hanging out at the lake for a change of scenery and pace would be good for him. He pulled into the supermarket parking lot and he let Mia take charge as they roamed through the aisles looking for goodies to purchase. He could tell she was pissed off at Tony but she tried to maintain a cheerful composure for his benefit.
It was still raining when they came out of the supermarket with bags of hamburger, steak, chicken, eggs, milk, bread, orange juice, cereal, soda, cookies, chips, toilet paper, and a few other items of need. Mia refreshed him on the directions - the proper turn off and then the right side road that led to the private road and then one more turn into the small drive that ended at the foot of a hill. The aging small cottage had seen better days and it looked even more rustically ancient in the rainy weather.
"My parents keep saying they're going to sell it," Mia sighed. "They haven't put any work into it in years, figuring once we kids were out on our own they can get rid of it."
"That will be a shame," Roger said.
"My brother and I hope to buy it but they can get a huge price for it because whoever buys it will probably tear it down and build a whole new house," she said. "Location, location, location."
They climbed out of the car, gathered the groceries and luggage and darted their way through the rain to the small ramp that led to the entrance of the cottage. Mia set her luggage down and used her key to open the squeaky door.
"Daddy said the place is a mess," She reported.
"He's right," Roger observed as he poked his head inside.
"Shit," Mia complained.
The furniture was moved about. A window had some plywood on it. The refrigerator was pulled out away from the wall. Drips of water leaked through the roof from various places. Mia walked to the electric box in the kitchen and pulled the switch.
"Thank God," she said when the refrigerator began to hum and a night light came on.
They put the groceries away and then carried their luggage to the two bedrooms.
"Uh-Oh," Roger remarked when he stuck his head into the second bedroom.
"What?" Mia wanted to know.
"It's raining in here," he said.
Mia stuck her head into the room. "Damn," she said when she saw that the bed was soaked with water from a leaky roof. "Well, I guess you're bunking with me," she said effortlessly. "Put your stuff in the other room."
"I can sleep on the couch in the living room," Roger offered.
"That thing belongs in a torture chamber," Mia said. "The bed is plenty big. Relax."
He picked up his bag and tossed it in the other room, wondering what he had gotten himself into.