I remember the ride to the ferry terminal better than I should remember anything that happened more than half my life ago. It seems that I’m neglecting recent memories in favour of keeping the ones from so long ago, but that ride sticks out in my mind like a jewel.
It was spring and I was sprung from school early to go help clean up Camp Byng for a scout camp the following weekend. The place didn’t make any money; Venturers and Rovers were the labour.
In the car I was so excited. I was going to a camp where there were going to be actual boys to camp with! It was a revelation for newly-cute 14-year-old me.
We had to go get Amy first, though, and that was just about the best part of the whole weekend. I would have given anything to be Amy. She was Chinese-Canadian, was super-smart, cool and composed, and she could do anything, including use a chainsaw, and understand the math that I failed so effortlessly. And I! Got! To! Ride! With! Amy! To! The! Ferry!
Later on, I remember my mother telling the story. She claimed that when Amy got in the car, my voice dropped an octave and she stopped seeing my pulse race in my neck. She claimed it was then that she decided to love Amy.
At Horseshoe Bay we were early so went to find some lunch at a little cafe. I had chicken salad the same as Amy, as well as a kind of peaches and cream drink that was more like melted ice cream. I remember running my fingers over the raised-glass picture of a California-style mission, thinking that only Amy would know about a drink this cool, instead of something so pedestrian as Coke.
Amy’s a rocket scientist in California now. I’m nothing close to that spectacular. But that one trip to the ferry still lights my memories like the spring sunlight glinting off the little bottle of peaches and cream.