What The Highway Prefers

My phone twitched and zapped out a sound after dinner. I peeked down in my pocket to see who it was. I walked casually to my room and read, “Do you wanna get out for a bit tonight?”

Did I? When do I not want to?

I pecked back, “Sure! When and where?”

“I will be over in 30 minutes.”

“Ok, see you then.”

I came out of my room and he stood there as if he was trying to over hear a conversation. Thanks to technology, there wasn’t any thing to hear.

“Uh, I am going out with Naomi” I said as I tried to avoid any and every bit of contact with him.

“Oh! Why? Why so late? Where are you going? What could you possible do at this time?”

“Uh, a lot of people are out at this hour. That is why you are going to work now. Taxis only make money when they have people to pick up and take places.”

“What about the kids?”

“I already told you that they are staying over with Shelby tonight.”

“Oh! I just do not understand why you have to spend so much time with Naomi.”

“We are blood; nothing you can understand.”

I made a wide arc around him and dove into the bathroom to freshen up… and to wait out until he left. I could not stand to do the awkward “good-bye” that he recently developed just to touch me. His touch sickened me at this point. He would just sit there looking as pitiful as possible in hopes that I would be nice and comfort him. Those days were long gone and I had been too nice for far too long. Eventually he would tire and walk over to give me a peck on the hand. Such a sweet gesture that was ten years too late.

My face was red and pure from the good scrubbing while my head ached from scratching the brush down to the scalp and through my tangled hair; all more needed was a swipe of lip balm and I was ready. I thought I had heard the back door closed, but wasn’t sure. I turned out the bathroom light and peered out. There were no lights on in the house which was a usual sign he had left. I did not trust him though. I scanned what I could see of the house and thankful my eyes could see every detail in the dark. I stalked slowly out of the bathroom and into the living room then down the hall, stopping every few steps to make sure there was no other noise in the house aside from my own breathe and beating heart. I made my way to the back door and looked out the curtain to see if his car was still parked in the drive.

Oh thank God! He left.”

There was still time to slip on some clean jeans and a fresh shirt. I am not one for dressing up, but since I lost interest in him I made sure I did not look feminine or attractive in any way while in the house. Comfort was my only fashion style. I saved all the more fitting shirts for the rare times I got to go out; just because he never made me feel like a woman does not mean I never need to feel like one.

Ten minutes more to wait, so sat down in the living room which is usually taken over by kids and their friends. I cannot recall the last time I was able to sit in there and just watch t.v. Hell! I cannot remember the last time I was able to rent a movie I want to see and just sit and watch by myself. Not much in my life belonged to me anymore. I was a mom who was often too tired to take care of her own needs. I was a wife to someone that I no longer respected and quite honestly stopped loving long ago. But, he is the dad… he is the main provider… what a mom won’t do for her kids.

I sprang up from my seat when I saw the car lights slide across my curtained windows. I jumped in her car, Deter, and we were off on the highway. We drove in the darkened night with only the haunting music playing; neither of us saying a word. It was just what we both needed…company, melodies that spoke to our darkest parts, and the speed on the highway. I wondered if the highways and interstates were not created by women to feel free in their suffocating lives.

We got off the highway and onto a back country road that stretched out against old family farms and then winded around pine trees that made the night darker. We slid once coming onto the gravel road that took us to the river, but steady before we met one of the trees head on. We laughed at the danger and the fear that we were tired of feeling in our lives.

The neon light that beckoned our arrival at Backwoods Betty’s was the only light we had seen for miles. It was not refreshing, but depressing. Sometimes, being tucked away in the dark lets us feel things deeply that we keep at the surface so the pain will not mount in our already loathsome lives.

Ordering our beers broke our vow of silence. We walked out onto the pier and drank our beers as the moon reflected on the water. It was peaceful, but it was not the cure. No matter how many beers, late night drives, and melancholic songs listened to, the problems of our lives still existed. Escapism was not the answer. Change… big CHANGES were needed. It would be the only way we would not drown in our own misery. It was time to put our own needs first. We had sacrificed enough. We needed to live. 

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