This walk really was no different than the thousand other walks Andy King had been on since moving to Meadow Lakes.
Meadow Lakes was the neighborhood Andy lived in, but he liked to use it when referring to the home as if it were something special. It separated itself from Windsor, Summerdale, RiverPointe, and a few other homes he had lived in through the years.
On this walk, however, Andy was focused solely on memorizing the Robert Frost poem, “The Road Not Taken.”
Over and over and over he listened to his own voice recording of it. Fifty-two seconds was the length, and for an hour long walk, he could play it 60 times at least, surely enough time to commit the poem to memory.
“Andy?” a voice said from behind. “Andy King?”
By now, King was used to joggers and bikers yelling for him to move to one side. The noise cancelling headphones were so good that they had to shout for him to be heard.
But this voice was different.
“Dexter?” said Andy as he shook the man’s hand and gave him a man hug. “You almost gave me a heart attack there. What brings you to these parts? You still live across town? Haven’t seen you since we went on that construction trip to Guatemala.”
“That’s right. Naa, just passing through. It’s been awhile. Say, how’s Sandy and those six kids of yours?”
“Oh, growing like weeds. Nine now, had a pair of twins too. Sandy’s fine. What about that little baby of yours?”
Dexter said, “Oh, that little baby is five now. We added another one to keep him company. Be awhile before we catch up to you guys. Can you believe how long it’s been?”
“Face it, man, we’re getting old.”
For 25 minutes Dexter and Andy gave updates on work, family, mutual acquaintances, and a little politics.
“Hey, well listen, Andy. I’ve gotta scoot. Give my love to Sandy and that brood of yours. Give me a call this week for coffee. We can catch up some.”
“I’d love that. I think I have your number in this phone,” Andy said. “Upgraded it last week, hopefully it carried over…yep, there it is, phone number ending in 8221?”
“Yes, that’s the one. Let’s do it. Talk at ya later, Gator,” said Dexter.
Both knew that it might be another five years between visits because their lives were so different, so foreign to each other.
“Two roads diverged in a wood and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference,” Andy said out loud as he put his headphones back on and continued his walk.
“Interesting concept,” he said to himself, turning around to watch Dexter walk away. “The road keeps diverging.”