Aunt Josephine's Long Ride is a story about relationships, regrets and reconciliation. Josephine travels many hours to a funeral of a college friend. It is the ride back home with a college roommate, Riva, that this story is about. This story began as an exercise in my head: what would the conversation be between myself and a college roommate if we were stuck in a car together for six hours. My former roommate is a conservative evangelical Christian. I am not. I wondered what that conversation would be like. This sounds like it could be a set-up for very political arguments. But I have many friends who are conservative Christians and the conversation rarely goes toward political point-making. This story is a personal conversation about personal lives and personal decisions. The two characters in the conversation have different perspectives and different motivations.After the funeral was over, people began to leave, but Aunt Josephine stayed around the cemetery for a while. She wanted to reminisce with people instead of starting her long ride home. When she finally walked to her car, she was approached by someone. It was Riva! They hugged.“I’m so glad you’re here,” said Aunt Josephine. “We didn’t see you at the funeral. Jerri and Gwaine were here.”“Yeah, I was keeping a low profile,” said Riva, “you know how emotional I get.”“Jerri and Gwaine would have loved to see you. They were saying how they miss you.”Riva just stared at Aunt Josephine.“Would you mind, Aunt Josephine,” said Riva, “if I catch a ride home with you?”“What?” asked Aunt Josephine.“Can I get a ride home with you?”“But I live six hours away. Why would you…is everything okay Riva? Are you and George okay?”“Actually, I dumped George about a year ago. I’m on my way to see a friend who lives near you. My car is having issues,” Riva said rolling her eyes, “and I was going to take a bus, but it would be much nicer riding with you.”“Absolutely, I would love the company!” said Josephine, unsure if Riva was being honest.“Thanks,” said Riva.“This is actually a relief,” said Aunt Josephine. “I was dreading the long ride home by myself and this will give us a chance to catch up.”“That’s just what I want,” said Riva.
Aunt Jospehine's Long Ride will be published on November 30, 2012 at www.bookofbartholomew.com