Title: One Night
Fandom: Fried Green Tomatoes (Book)
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Being with Idgie was like living with the wind, you never knew when she was going to come blowing through to take you on another adventure.
Being with Idgie was like living with the wind, you never knew when she was going to come blowing through to take you on another adventure. Ruth was, by nature, a quiet sort of person. She stayed behind with her books and bible while the other children were out running around and stealing kisses from each other. Her parents were good people, but her father was a preacher and he could be quite firm with her. She didn't have many friends growing up in Georgia, and she spent most of her time in her father's church rereading the bible and watching his sermons. When other people came up to her to wish her a good day, she was polite and kind, but after her soft spoken greeting, they would walk away to begin their gossip sessions, already knowing the preacher's daughter wasn't one to speak with about the cute Williams boy or what trouble the Franklin girl had gotten into after meeting up with some man down in the woods.
That all changed, though, when Ruth arrived in Whistlestop, Alabama. She was to spend the summer there teaching at the local Baptist church and running the BYO activities. The Threadgoode family had taken her in for the duration of her stay and offered her a comfortable bed and boisterous family. They got together and talked, laughed, and sang with such joy and love it was a sight after being raised in such a strict household. At first, Ruth was too shy and reserved to join in. She didn't really sing, and while the Threadgoodes knew how to tell a joke, it wasn't proper to burst into laughter at the dinner table.
There was one person, though, who had set their sights on her and didn't care what it took to make her laugh, as long as she laughed and smiled. Idgie Threadgoode was a little different from her brothers and sisters. She liked to spend her time in the chinaberry tree reading her detective magazines and howling at her sister as she played the piano and attempted to sing. Ruth noticed her the moment the blonde headed girl appeared up in that tree. She hadn't seen her before; Idgie never was one to sit at the dinner table or go to church. But, that one time when she stepped out of the Threadgoode home and looked over at the tree, her brown eyes met Idgie's blue and it was like something sprung up inside her. After that, she could always find Idgie watching her from her perch in the tree. After a while, anytime she walked by she could see Idgie tossing a football or baseball. One time Idgie came swaggering up the road with a string full of fish as she came back from church. Julian told her Idgie had bought the fish off some boys down by the river. Idgie's face turned all red and the next day Ruth heard Julian lost his good pair of shoes to a pile of cow manure.
Ruth didn't quite know what to think of Idgie. She did know that anytime she saw her, she couldn't help but smile. Idgie seemed to suffer the same problem. With the way the other girl acted and how Ruth was beginning to feel, it sounded just like the crushes the other girls talked about back in Georgia when they thought Ruth was out of earshot. It took some time, but Ruth began to grow closer and closer to Idgie. Idgie began to eat dinner with the family after Momma Threadgoode got Ruth to ask her to, and the two girls could be found spending all their free time on the front porch swing talking and giggling.
Ruth would never forget the time Idgie took her on a picnic. Idgie showed her how she got fresh honey, and Ruth about had a heart attack as she saw Idgie covered head to toe by bees. As they laid in the summer heat, though, she looked at Idgie and just knew she was in love with her. And the way Idgie confessed her love to Ruth, Ruth knew Idgie felt the same way.
But, like Ruth knew, Idgie was a romantic. She would climb up through Ruth's window to invite her out on a picnic or swing out of the chinaberry tree to present her with a batch of wildflowers. Ruth never quite knew when Idgie would show up or what they would end up doing, but she always knew Idgie was close by and plotting another way to get her to smile. That was why she wasn't that surprised when there was a knocking on her window one night long after the sun had set and the house had gone to sleep.
Rolling over to get a better look, Ruth was greeted by a grinning Idgie who sat precariously on the window ledge. Ruth hopped out of bed, her nightgown rustling at her ankles, and rushed over to open the window.
"Hey, Ruth." Idgie greeted casually, like she wasn't hanging off the side of a house.
"Idgie Threadgoode, get in her." Ruth ordered and reached for Idgie's arm. "You're gonna get yourself hurt one of these days. What will your Momma say about that?"
Idgie allowed herself to be pulled in and shrugged, "Probably that she never shoulda eaten that wild game when she was pregnant with me."
Ruth shook her head at the reply. It was like Idgie to make a remark like that, "You need to be careful."
Idgie bounced on her feet and clasped her hands behind her back, "Aw, I'm always careful, Ruth." Her grin widened, "I wanna show you something."
"Idgie, it's late."
"Please? Come on, it won't take long. I promise. I just want to show you something."
"I'm not dressed to go outside."
"Then get dressed."
Ruth sighed and looked into the dancing blue eyes, "Idgie, why don't you show me tomorrow?"
"Cause I got to show you tonight. Hurry up, it won't be there forever. Please? I promise you'll like it."
Ruth found she couldn't say no to Idgie, just like she couldn't say no all the other times she talked her into an adventure, "Alright, just let me get dressed."
"Great!" Idgie made to climb back out the window, "I'll meet you on the porch. Hurry up!"
Ruth watched her climb back out, then changed into the dress she'd worn earlier that day. She slipped on her shoes and tiptoed out of her room, down the stairs, and out to the porch where she found Idgie waiting anxiously. The moment Idgie spotted her, she grabbed her hand and began to lead her through the grass. Ruth followed, curious about where they were going. "Where are you taking me?"
"You'll see." Idgie answered, not slowing down at all. They cut back to the woods, Idgie uncovering an old path Ruth instantly knew the other girl had taken many times throughout the years. If there was anyone in town who knew these woods, it was Idgie. They walked along till Idgie veered off, taking them into the trees and underbrush. Idgie slowed slightly and held back any branches that might have touched Ruth. Ruth squeezed her hand in gratitude, which resulted in Idgie looking back at her with twinkling eyes and a smile that sparkled in the moonlight.
After about ten minutes, Idgie stopped. She turned around and looked at Ruth, "Close your eyes."
Ruth gave her a curious look but did as told. She felt Idgie slip around behind her and wrap her arms around her waist. Ruth gulped at the feel of Idgie pressed against her, and she could feel the rapid beating of Idgie's heart against her back. They stood there for a moment, both lost in the feel of being so near to each other. Then, Idgie gently coaxed Ruth forward. They took a few steps and stopped. Idgie's voice whispered in Ruth's ear, "Open your eyes."
Ruth did, and she gasped.
The woods had given way to a gentle field of blooming flowers and soft grass. The moon shone down on them with a white glow.
And hundreds of fireflies glimmered in the air.
Ruth leaned back into Idgie as she took in all the tiny shimmering insects flying around. It was like God had placed little golden lights all around them. Her head turned as she saw they were completely surrounded by the flashing lights. It was like nothing she had ever seen before.
"Do you like it?" Idgie asked earnestly.
Ruth could only nod, "It's beautiful, Idgie."
"I knew you would. They do this every year. No one else knows about this place. Just you and me."
Ruth tilted her head to look behind her. Idgie was watching her with the most affectionate eyes Ruth had ever seen. Idgie stared at her for a moment, then leaned in and lightly brushed her lips against Ruth's. Ruth's eyes fluttered closed at the touch, only opening when Idgie pulled back. Idgie's face softened as she grinned and she took Ruth's hand again. Without a word, they began to stroll through the sparkling field, both content and happy to be there with the other.