The Meaning Of

During a discussion about the meaning of life with my friend, we somehow began writing this story. I would write an installment, and then she would, completely making it up as we went. This is the result. Basically, for 70 some years, my friend searches for the grand question and answer to the meaning of life. Finally, after all that time, we come in contact again.


31. XXXI


I had never been a big fan of the ocean, so I was relieved to be heading inland. I had only visited Alaska briefly once in my life, but I remembered how beautifully wild it was. Being in nature was comforting, but I was also completely out of my element. I had no idea where we were going. I barely knew this Jason person. It was going to be a long ride. He drove silently. "So," I began, "what's your favorite color?" He looked at me through the corner of his eyes. "Green?" He said, confused. We sat in silence for a moment. "It's your turn now," I prompted. He chuckled. "Oh, are we playing 20 questions now?" "Something like that," I smirked. The game tickled my memory. I used to play it with Carmen every night before we fell asleep. He thought for a few minutes before asking, "Will anyone miss you while you're gone?" I reflected on that, enjoying that he had skipped the more mundane questions in favor of something deeper. Finally, I said, "Not many. Maybe my children, but they have their own families now, their own lives. Even if they realize that I'm gone, they'll soon become too distracted with their own problems to search for me." He nodded, seemingly satisfied with my response.  He continued, "If you believe your own children wouldn't look for you, then why are you looking for Carmen?" I froze. That caught me short. "It's my turn," I said. Could he tell that I was avoiding the question? "What's your favorite kind of tree?" "Pine. So, why are you still looking for Carmen?" He didn't seem to appreciate that I had tried to change the subject. We sat in silence for what felt like eternity. Jason looked over at me. "Well," I hesitated. "Why are you?" Without missing a beat he said, "I asked you first." I sighed. This man was frustrating. He had spunk though. I had to admit, he was growing on me. "Honestly," I said hesitantly, "I'm not sure. I thought I had wanted to learn the meaning of life, but that's just a part of it. Then, I thought I just wanted to see my friend again, but I think there's more to it than that. Maybe I just want an adventure. Of course, that doesn't completely cover it all either." I didn't know why I was being so open. I hated explaining my thoughts and feelings. It made me feel weak. But for some reason, I liked Jason, and I trusted him. I had a hunch that he would understand. A lot of people had hurt me before by abusing my trust, and I knew I had to be careful. Yet, I knew my intuition was rarely wrong. I continued, "I just feel like I'm supposed to do this. I don't know how to explain it. It just feels right. Like this is what I'm meant to do." "Like fate?" He interrupted. He glanced over at me and smiled. "Yeah... Like fate." Despite myself, I smiled. I liked seeing the big picture. I'd always believed in destiny. Jason turned back to the road, and his smile fell. "We're here," he said. 

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