Life Lines

At first I didn’t see much at all. Just an endless expanse of black. But then the moon broke free from the clouds again, spilling a brilliant wash of light below. I could see an enormous stretch of water, its surface rippling with the wind. It glittered and gleamed in the moonlight.

“Ah, it’s so peaceful here. This is the only place I can really relax,” Elisabeth sighed again and leaned her head gently against my shoulder.

“That’s Lake Michigan, right?” I said dumbly, suddenly feeling the need to speak.

Her green eyes looked at me askance in that disconcerting way of hers.

“Did you fail geography in grade school or something, Nick? Of course that’s Lake Michigan. It’s only one of the five Great Lakes of America. The only one that is contained entirely within the United States, coincidentally.”

“Huh,” I murmured, looking at her.

“What?” she demanded.

“Oh, it’s nothing, I just didn’t peg you for a geography nerd, is all.”

She went to punch me on the arm again, but this time she forgot to use her good hand. She winced as her hurt fist came in contact with my shoulder.

“Ow, look what you made me do!”

I laughed and moved forward to take her left hand in mine. The sudden jolt of electricity that passed from her hand to mine was so unexpected I almost jumped. The laughter died in my throat. I busied myself with studying her hand, opening the fingers to look at her palm.

“At least the swelling’s gone down,” she said so softly I could barely hear her.

I kept my eyes on her palm. “Hm, very interesting.”

With gentle fingers, I traced the delicate network of lines across her palm.

I took a deep breath and braved her green eyes again. I found I could only look into them in short bursts before my lungs would begin to contract painfully. I was starting to wonder if one could contract asthma as an adult.

“You have a short life line, but your love line is the longest I’ve ever seen,” I said.

The End

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