The Long Drive Home, The First One

So when I put up last week’s The Long Drive Home for the Carrot Ranch free-write, I told you all that I had actually written another one that needed some tweaking. Unfortunately the required tweaking was probably not as much as thought. I don’t know if this was a better one and I should have gone with this one, but it no longer matters. Hindsight and all of that.

Sooooo…….. oh, and it’s minimally longer than the regulations because, well, obviously I’m not submitting it…..

 

The Long Drive Home, The First One

This could be a Bob Dylan song, ‘The Long Drive Home” with Drew behind the wheel of this old pick-up and me staring into the passing darkness, except there isn’t any music, and Drew pretends I don’t exist.

We pass Dover. And then Bellingham. His foot is lead on the pedal.

I press the radio button and talk fills the cab. I punch buttons. All talk. I twirl the knob. He glares at me. I don’t care. I can’t listen to angry voices when there’s angry glaring happening next to me.

He slaps the steering wheel, and that’s enough.

“Stop! Let me out!”

He pulls into a truck stop with a restaurant.

I march to the building. The best vegetable soup I ever had came from a truck stop and that’s all I can think about right now. I want the best vegetable soup known to mankind, comfort food.

I slide into a booth and glance over the plastic encased menu until I see vegetable soup and then I order a bowl and a coke.

Drew walks in then, hands in the pockets of his blue jeans, his ballcap pulled low. He sees me then looks down and shakes his head before approaching. He sits on the edge of the benchseat.

“What’re you doing?”

“Eating. What’re you doing?”

He doesn’t look at me.

Even before we set foot in the clinic, I knew we were over. All the dreams of high school sweethearts departed the instant he got drunk and forgot who he was, who I was, who we were.

Now he’s a carbon copy of his old man, and that I refuse to live with, regardless of my current circumstances, and maybe even because of.

“I said I was sorry.” His foot taps seconds. I feel like he is tapping out moments of our life.

For me, though, it was over the moment he didn’t understand: “no.”

 

end

Sascha Darlington

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