The Road To NowhereThe following story was written for entertainment purposes only. It is a fictional work derived from the mind of the writer and in no way should be taken as a factual account of any past or planned event. Anyone mentioned in this story is done so in a fictional fashion. Any names used are purely coincidental and does not mean that the characters have any life outside the writer’s imagination.
The Road to Nowhere
He sighed as he realized the sun was coming up over the mountain. He pulled the car over to the side road and parked. As he dialed the number, the one he could recite in his sleep, he could feel a pit forming deep within his stomach. He felt as if he may throw up but knew the call had to be made.
It was answered on the second ring by a tired, over-anxious, exhausted voice. It was a voice and tone he had grown to know well over the years. He relaxed a bit because at least he didn’t reach her voicemail.
He sat back in the leather car seat and tried to muster up enough courage to speak. Finally, after several moments he heard a foreign voice resonating from his throat. "Wha-What's up?" He couldn’t manage the words, “I am sorry and I love you” but he assured himself that she knew by his call. How many times had they replayed this scene over the years? Those words were never needed between them before and would not be spoken now.
Morosely, he looked out the windshield to view the world around him. Having no sleep the night before had caused him to view his world as bleak and dreary. His car was parked across the street from a gas station, and after driving all night he was dangerously close to running out of gas. He made a mental note to go across the street for gas before turning around. Other than the gas station it seemed he was in the middle of nowhere. For miles ahead and behind him all he saw were tree lined rural roads. He wondered if this was a sign- a statement from God declaring his choices on his life’s path. He had always taken the side roads and many times he had left her home alone and waiting. And just like that he was no longer lost in his thoughts and realized she had not answered his question. “What’s up with you?” he said.
"Nothing..." was her reply spoken in almost a child’s innocent tone. It amazed him how someone could inflict so much guilt and imply such pain with the utterance of a single word!
He heatedly replied, "Talk to me. If you don't tell me what's wrong, how am I supposed to know? I can't read your mind and I am not going to try!" He realized how harsh his words sounded and tried to temper them. “I need to know how I can help.”
"It's just..." after a pause that seemed to stretch through time and space and a million galaxies in between ,"I don't know, I really didn't mean to say what I did. You just never seem to understand me and always run away from me. Maybe it's my fault."
He knew her well enough to know the trap that lay there for him. He bravely resisted the urge to snap “Yes! you are right! You are being a f*cking drama queen again- as usual! - and what's more, you will do it again!” Instead he heard the foreign voice say, "No no, Don't be silly. I overreacted too you know. I should have been more patient and I shouldn’t have left."
"Anyway", I need to get a few hours sleep before I have to go to work baby.”
He hung up, and went across the street to pump his gas. He took out his wallet. Crammed between his driver’s license and a picture of his mom, was a deeply wrinkled photograph that he'd kept for many years, and truth be told, frequently took out and stared at.
A girlish smile and excited blue eyes looked back, a slightly wrinkled nose, pink lips, and rosy cheeks squeezed against his own face made the butterflies dance in his stomach. The photo always made him smile because it always took him back to the summer he had met her on the beach. He had talked her into walking down River Street with him and they ended up hand in hand entering the Instant-Photo booth. When he looks at the picture he normally focuses on her, but for once he looked at his own face. He looked young, his hair was a little longer and he was laughing. He looked happy-very happy, and so did she.
She had sounded so low. He decided to send her flowers and one of those mushy “I love you cards.” He called back but this time the voicemail picked up instantly. He left a message, “I just called to tell you I love you and I will be home soon. Wait for me please.” He hung up and looked around him. The road to nowhere had just become the road home to his beloved and all seemed bright in his world.