Wyatt Underwood's


Re-Loss & Re-Gain

Maeve Disappears

One morning she had left. Specifically, on 12 December 2000, I walked downstairs to the parking area of the apartment building where Lindy and I live, and started walking toward the space where Maeve always waited. Even after the emptiness of that space first reached my cognizance I kept walking at least three steps. Then I stood in the middle of the driveway, staring at the empty space, confused. How could she have moved? Where would she have gone?

Knowing it made no sense, I walked to and into the space where Maeve should have waited. Only air did. And not enough of it.

Finally convinced, but hoping for a prank, I first walked through the parking area, then around the building outside the "security" gates. No Maeve.

So I called the police where a kind policewoman helped me make a more-or-less coherent report. (She only had to call back once for a correction.)

And I called my insurance, for whom I worked. The person who took my report there was very businesslike and understanding until he recognized something. "Hey!" he hollered indignantly. "I know that motorcycle! I walk by it every morning!"

I was numb. I managed to work. I managed to carry on conversations. Somehow I got past disbelief and worked my way to acceptance or something like it. My employers and insurers sent me a check for what it was worth seven months after I purchased it. I took it to my Harley dealer and ordered the same bike but from the following model year, a 2001 NightTrain. And I ordered the same customization as before, with one addition. I had the top of the fork, whose chrome had several times flashed sunlight into my eyes, black powder coated like the front wheel rim and hub and the handlebar.

And then I waited.

Harley-Davidson and the dealer were kind. On 31 May, I rode out on the new customized NightTrain.

"What're y'gonna name it?" called the clothes and accessories lady.

Heh-heh-heh-heh-heh. A pun struck me. I had named my 2000 NightTrain Maeve for the legendary Irish queen, but I'd received her from the dealer on 30 April 2000, May eve.

"Juneve!" I called back.

Juneve she became, and still is.