Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Unnamed Novel: XI

Need to read part X?

“Now that’s a better attitude.”

“We’re almost to St. Andrews. Let’s find a store there for your picnic things.”

“Okay. I guess it is a bit early for lunch.” Kathryn pointed her finger at Ian, “No trying to get out of it. I’m sure there is a great place or two for a picnic.”

“Alright. Wait. I know a good place. Is a beach okay?”

“Sure, and it’s warm enough. But, we’ll need a blanket to sit on. Got one stashed in the car?”

Ian gave her a smile, “I just so happen to have one in the boot.”

“Awesome. Wow, you were right. Here we are. Castle first. I’m still doing the tunnels.”

“And Angus calls me a rascal. Let me find a car park.”

*******
“Well, here’s the beach. You get to pick the spot.”

Kathryn walked down the beach a bit and began to spread the blanket. “This’ll do. Come on. Get the sandwiches out. I’m hungry after all the walking.”

“And the crawling through the tunnels. I still can’t believe you did it. You and all the kids.”

“It was so much fun. And, I can’t believe you didn’t do it.”

“And who was quaking in her boots climbing St. Rule’s tower? Don’t give me a hard time, Miss Afraid-of-Heights.”

Kathryn pursed her lips at Ian and plopped down on the blanket. “Food, please?”

Ian handed her a sandwich. “Did the drinks fall out of the pack or are they still safe?”

“Ian, you need to eat. You’re getting a little punchy.”

“Well, that would be because someone was walking way too fast to get here.”

“I think we should just eat because I’m getting really close to hitting you right now.” Kathryn grabbed the bag of food from Ian and began setting out the apples and chips. “Go on. Sit. Eat. I won’t hit you. Promise.”

They watched the water as they ate. After most of the food had been eaten, Ian asked, “What made you want to do a picnic?”

Kathryn sighed and smiled, “Trips with my parents. My mom always packed a picnic lunch. She had a huge basket just for that with pockets and straps for everything imaginable.”

“Is that what you were day dreaming about when I was on the phone?” Kathryn nodded yes as she finished the last bite of her sandwich. “How old were you?”

“I was probably a baby when they first started doing it. I don’t remember exactly when it started, but I was about 16 when I’d stay home instead of going with them. That whole gotta be independent thing.”

“Mom was so awesome about what she packed. Sometimes it was just the stuff for sandwiches or a build your own salad, but the mornings she woke up super early to cook something, now those were the best.” She turned to Ian, “She’d fry chicken and make fresh coleslaw at, like, 5 in the morning. She’d wrap it up in paper towels and foil. It wouldn’t be warm by the time we ate it, but, God, was it good.”

“Nothing like what we had here.”

“No, but this was still good. Do we still have time to walk around the university?”

“Sure.” Ian stood up and held his hand out to help Kathryn. A tingle went up her arm as he easily pulled her to standing. She smiled a sheepish thanks and quickly turned to pick up the blanket. “Hey, I can do that.” He grabbed her arm to stop her. She felt another tingle.

“Okay. You do it.” She turned away. “I’ll, um, go throw away the trash. It’s, uh, back here.” As she walked away she mumbled, “What was that? You felt nothing, Kathryn. Stop imagining things.” She watched Ian shake out the blanket and begin folding it. “He’s just average looking. Sure, he’s nice; makes a great friend.” She turned back to the trash can continuing to mumble, “Nope. Nothing.”

“Nothing?”

“Shit! I didn’t know you were there.” She put her hand to her forehead. “Nothing. Nothing. Bad habit, talking to myself. Just a few steps from crazy.”

“Mmmhmm. Shall we walk to the university?” Ian placed his hand on the small of her back.

As she felt another tingle travel up her spine, Kathryn thought, There’s nothing there. I don’t feel anything. Then she said, “Let’s go. Gotta see where Prince William studied.”

***********

“I’m glad you’re driving,” Kathryn said as she yawned. “I’d be sure to have a head on collision.”

“I was thinking of taking the scenic way home. Are you up for it?” Ian opened the car door for Kathryn.

“Can we do it another day? I’m just so tired, and I have so much swimming in my head.”

Ian smiled as he leaned over Kathryn sitting in the car. “Sure, we’ll do another day. I’ve got next Sunday open.” He looked at her questioningly.

“Sunday? I’m pretty sure I can do that.” When Ian got into the driver’s seat she continued, “Is there a special place you want to show me?”

“The coast line along the Forth is great. And, if you like seafood you’ll get great meals.”

“Then Sunday it is. Does this seat lay back?”

“You are not going to sleep, are you?”

“I said I was tired.” Kathryn got the lever to work, “Ah, it does go back.” Ian just shook his head and kept driving.

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