Her heart was galloping, and thoughts were racing inside her mind as she ran from that big, angry beast. How could her husband do that to her? Was that what he wanted to happen?
She had to admit, though, she was partly to blame. But she never intended it to go this far. However, there were more important things to think about now: for example, how to get safe and sound out of that wild bear’s reach safe and sound.
Monica and Andrew had been living in Cheyenne, Wyoming, for their whole lives. To everyone who knew them, they were the very image of a perfect marriage.
They had been together for 13 years and married for 6. So far, they had been getting along beautifully; it had been a smooth, easy ride. And even though every marriage has its skeletons in the closet, there didn’t seem to be any with Monica and Andrew.
They had met in college while both of them were studying Economics. Now, Andrew was working as a finance consultant, and Monica was a marketing director.
Now, they couldn’t be happier with their lives. To them, their peaceful existence was the result of making the right and safe decisions every day and not letting themselves get distracted by dangerous temptations. But sometimes, certain thoughts crept into the back of their minds.
Occasionally, they wondered how their lives would be different if they had taken other decisions. They had played it safe all the way, and, as a result, they had what most people think of as a good life: a nice house, good jobs, and a solid, trustful marriage.
Still, sometimes they wondered: what if they had done things differently? What if, at least once, they had dared to take a walk on the wild side of life?
Sometimes, they had these thoughts together, and they talked about how their lives would be different if they had done this instead of that along their journey as a couple.
But sometimes, each of them engaged in those fantasies and imaginations by themselves, without sharing them with their partner. And occasionally, these were private thoughts that both Andrew and Monica would have been ashamed to admit to their spouse.
It would have been easy to take those thoughts as a sign of something: maybe things weren’t as good as they seemed. If their marriage was so perfect, why would they fantasize about other possible lives?
They would often feel remorse for these thoughts. But they just kept haunting them. And one time, Monica went as far as to do certain things that she would regret later on.
But after a while, each of them saw these thoughts as a symptom of something certain: they were starting to get tired of the routine.
So when one of the two (it doesn’t really matter who) suggested adding some adventure to their lives, both of them were happy to see that they agreed on that. But there was still one question.
How would they do that? They quickly realized something: work consumed most of their time and energy. They barely had any hobbies.
Every time they finished work, they were too tired to do anything other than having dinner, watching a movie, or scrolling on their phones until they went to bed. They clearly needed something to occupy their spare time with.
Quickly, they realized something: they hadn’t been out in the nature for ages. And considering that Wyoming is one of the states with the richest wildlife in America, that was unforgivable.
They decided they would go on a hike that same weekend. Little did they know that they were about to experience a life-changing event.
They chose Curt Gowdy State Park, just a few miles from Wyoming, to be their first hiking destination. They heard native ground squirrels, mule deer, elk, yellow-bellied marmots, and chipmunks abound in the area, and they were looking forward to seeing some of those.
Next Saturday morning, they were entering the Park in Andrew’s car. Monica was in the passenger seat, delighted with the beautiful scenery. And suddenly, she saw something. She couldn’t contain a gasp before pointing at it to show it to Andrew.
There was a big brown bear on one side of the road! They could have never expected to see that just a few minutes into their visit.
Monica couldn’t be more excited. Quickly, a crazy idea struck her mind: what if she took a picture next to the bear? She suggested it to Andrew; her husband, possessed by the thrill of the moment, instantly agreed and stopped the car next to the bear.
Monica got out of the car and stared at the bear; he looked quite calm. He didn’t seem scared or alarmed by the presence of the vehicle. It occurred to Monica that he would probably be used to people wandering around the area.
She probably had nothing to fear, Monica thought. She looked at her husband, who was peeping out the car’s window with his phone in his hand, restless with excitement. From a reasonable distance, she posed for the picture. But then, her husband had a crazy idea.
He decided to pull a prank on his wife. Right after taking the picture, he went back to the wheel and drove the car forward, just a few feet down the road.
But suddenly, something unexpected happened. The bear noticed something was going on and started walking towards Monica. The horror she felt when she saw what was going on is indescribable. She thought Andrew had discovered her secret.
For a minute, she thought Andrew was leaving her there at the bear’s mercy as a form of revenge or punishment: for some weeks before the hiking trip, she had been texting one of her coworkers in a way that may have been read as more friendly than it was appropriate.
Maybe Andrew had read those texts and taken it the wrong way? She ran to the vehicle in tears, not knowing what to think or what to say if she managed to get inside and see Andrew’s face again.
But Andrew didn’t mean more than pull a prank on his wife, and he was even more scared than her. She rushed back into the car and closed the door; they hugged each other, teary-eyed, and burned rubber as the bear calmly contemplated the whole scene from a few feet away. There was also a hiker nearby who filmed the whole incident and then posted it online.
Andrew spent the next hour apologizing to his wife. Monica was relieved that it had been just a prank; it could have been a lot worse. After a while, the couple could pull themselves together and enjoy the rest of their hiking trip without any other scares or complications.