It had been a whirlwind six months from the time Symon and Pahana had finally had their first real date until Symon proposed in the Flagstaff airport. Three months later, winter had settled in to Detroit and it’s suburbs, snow and a strong cold wind biting into whomever dared to tread outdoors. It was mid-February and highs struggled to reach zero degrees Fahrenheit. Symon, normally the cook, would have been running to the grocery store but had opted for the extra expense of ordering groceries online and having them delivered.
Pahana sat on a stool watching Symon making dinner, reflecting on how they had met and the changes in both of their lives. It had just been over a season, fall turning into winter, since they had made Pahana’s pilgrimage to his birth home and his birth people. The cold loneliness of winter matched the hole in his heart that had grown seemingly in parallel. He couldn’t figure out what has causing it but he could feel it gnawing at him.
Symon had figured it out and knew that a move to Arizona was in their future. He wasn’t particularly excited about that move, but it’s not like they needed to work. He was planning on staying indoors and seeing what kinds of craft skills he could pick up or small jobs he could do.
Pahana broke the silence, “Is it just me or does this winter seem colder and more intense than anything we’ve had before?”
Symon turned away from the stove, “Well, excuse me Miss Pretty Princess! It’s not been that cold really, but the wind has been terrible.”
Pahana bristled at Symon’s reproach, but he also knew it was true as ever since they had gone to Arizona, he hadn’t been the same.
Walking across the kitchen, Pahana walked up to Symon and wrapped his arms around him, interrupting his cooking, “Why don’t we take another trip to Arizona?”
Symon turned his head away to hide the half smile, half grimace that contorted his face knowing that was just what Pahana needed and what he didn’t want.
* * * *
Four months and two trips to Arizona were enough for Symon. He didn’t want to be jetting back and forth every few months. Symon had spent the last month trying to come up with a plan, a way to get Pahana to move to Arizona. In late February, Pahana solved the problem for him.
Laying in bed one night, buried under an electric blanket and with the mattress pad heater turned up too, Pahana raised his head up and looked at Symon laying beside him, “What would you think of moving to Arizona?”
Symon couldn’t contain the sigh of relief that coursed through him and escaped with a loud sigh, “Pahana my love, I have been thinking about that very topic for the last month or so. It’s obvious that your soul needs to be back in Arizona and as much as you wanted to get back here as soon as possible, you want to get to know your family. Let’s make one more trip and find a place to live, then we can move.”
Pahana smiled from ear to ear and hugged Symon close.
The next morning, Symon was up early and had booked flights for them to Arizona for one last flight. If all went well, the next trip would be driving to Arizona.
Arriving in Flagstaff, they found the weather had other ideas in mind. They hadn’t checked ahead and landed just before a major winter storm blew into the region. Holed up in the Hotel Weatherford, they enjoyed the room service and talked to a few real estate agents about housing close to the reservation. And so started their problems, the house would have to be in Pahana’s name if it was on Hopi land since he was a registered member of the Hopi. The land would have to be registered through Pahana and the Hopi as well and would likely be held up on the courts due to the ongoing dispute between the Navajo and Hopi over land ownership.
Undeterred, they decided that they would first settle in Flagstaff and then work through the legal hurdles to settling on the Hopi reservation. After a few days in Flagstaff, they had found a home in the Forest Highlands area. A large 5 bedroom, 4 bath house in a gated community was where Pahana and Symon set up their new home on a wooded acre of land and their large new house. The lower level of the house had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a small area that they had named the retreat which housed a sauna and a hot tub. The upstairs had the remaining bedrooms, all of which featured private decks. The paperwork complete and the mortgage signed, they returned to Michigan to close out that chapter of their lives.
Both Symon and Pahana were nervous as the time to move arrived, but yet as they looked around their lives as they had been, they saw there were living in their old lives not as their own. Everything was packed up and shipped to Arizona. Symon bought a car and they packed it with what they would need for a cross-country road trip.
Three days later, they arrived and pulled in to the garage. After they had unloaded the car and then run to the store to stock the kitchen, they popped the cork on a bottle of wine and settled on to the large porch looking out over the forest that surrounded them.
As the afternoon turned into evening, their new neighbors came out to say hello and see who had bought the house. There seemed to be some concern at such young guys buying a large house and some people had asked if they were planning on throwing parties.
Symon smiled and told them that the only parties would be gallery shows or a book release. Pahana said the only visitors they were expecting on a regular basis were their immediate families. They wanted a quiet neighborhood as much as they did.
Others who write in the Wednesday Briefs and posted this week: