A man and his wife started driving off the highway because she wanted to see if they could go somewhere where there was no sound. They drive through a dusty plain until they can’t see the road, and then they get out of the car. No rush of cars, horns, alarms, bells. Nothing surrounds them except a single tree in the distance.
The car’s warm engine crackles and pops softly. She raises an eyebrow at him. He responds with a sigh and he leads her towards the distant tree. It’s hot, and it’s a long walk. He fans the both of them with a used road map. A little over half way the wife sees the tree clearly. A dryness has spread through its branches like a cancer. The husband turns to look back, seeing that his wife had stopped walking. For the briefest of moments they were alone.
“Here’s good.” She lies down on the ground, and he joins her. She rests her head on his chest, closing her eyes, imagining nothing, listening to the only sound in the world; his heartbeat. It was bigger than anything in that moment, it was the only thing she felt, and when she closed her eyes it was all she knew. If she so much as lifted her head, opened her eyes, it would be gone forever. Of course his heart would keep beating, but it wouldn’t be the same. It would never be the same.
Unaware she had been holding her breath, she finally relaxed, and let it go.
“Here’s good.” He echoed. “…Here’s good.” And he closed his eyes.