The Time Sonny Saw A Unicorn
It was a Tuesday evening drive through the mountains. They were racing to get to the beach to catch the sunset. Sonny really wanted to see the sun slide into the ocean, so he took the car at speeds it shouldn’t have gone. All the twists and turns were taking their toll on Marylise’s stomach. At times the car skidded. He apologized to her and then put his foot back on the gas pedal. Nothing was less romantic than missing a sunset on the beach by a few minutes.
They zoomed past the views of the valley, towards the skyscraping redwood trees when he saw a giant white animal. As he got closer Sonny saw it was a horse. As he got even closer he saw it wasn’t moving. He slammed on the brakes coming six feet from a bloody mess. The majestic beast trotted calmly into the woods.
“Did you see that?’
“Yes.” She was so calm. “Maybe you should drive slower.”
“No… I mean that horse… that…”
“It was very pretty.”
“Yeah, but it had a huge horn on its head. It was a unicorn.” She rolled her eyes. He pulled over to the side of the one lane road. “That was a giant horn. You couldn’t miss it. Tell me you saw it.”
She giggled a little because she was sure he was joking. But when he turned the ignition off her laughter stopped. “What about the sunset? You wanted to see it so badly.”
“Come on.” He jumped out of the car. She was hesitant to follow. They hadn’t known each other too long. He could lead her out to the woods and chop her into a hundred pieces and no one would ever know. Even if he wasn’t planning on killing her, he was plum crazy. He was seeing unicorns. But she followed him just the same up the steep dirt path in her high heeled shoes.
“Look. See it! A unicorn!” He pointed at the white animal moving ahead of them. All she saw was a horse’s ass. “Come on, let’s catch up to it.”
She took off her shoes which increased her speed, but also the bruises on her toes. They should have lost the horse, but it seemed to slow down every time they did. It was inching closer to night so she tapped Sonny’s shoulder. “Let’s go back before it’s dark or before we get lost.”
It was more than a request, it was a demand. He cursed his luck aloud, “Man…”
“Don’t worry, I believe you. It was a unicorn.”
He looked down at her pretty princess feet which were now brown and soiled and he looked out for the unicorn which had finally escaped his view and continued his thoughts aloud. “I’m a mess.”
She agreed, but he said it with such despair that she had to insist, “No, you’re not.”
“I can’t finish anything. Like we were supposed to see the sunset. That didn’t happen because I was going to show you a unicorn. Now, that’s not happening. And for your birthday last week I tried writing you a story, but of course that didn’t happen either, so I bought you that stupid box of chocolates.”
“It’s the thought that counts.”
“No, it’s not. I was going to make us the stars of the story. I could write myself fine. It would have been a good story about me, but every time I tried to write you I got stuck. I couldn’t even give you a French accent. Every time you spoke you sounded American. I didn’t know what made you sad or what you did when you couldn’t sleep. So it would have been a story about nothing that I just used so you could like me more I guess.”
She ran out of words and energy to comfort him. And he knew he had said too much. So they retraced their steps in silence. Again they were racing the sun, and they made it. They got back to the road while there was still enough light to see something unbelievable. The horse… no there was a horn protruding from his forehead. It was definitely a unicorn was sitting behind the steering wheel of his convertible. His front hooves turned the ignition. It let out a loud neigh as it drove toward the sunset.
He was speechless and she was laughing. He wanted to ask what was so funny. The fact that they were stuck in the middle of nowhere? That a unicorn just stole his car? That he just confessed to her his innermost neuroses?
But then she spoke, “I think you just found your story.”