Side of the Road

by Jack Coey

Side of the Road

He pulled the car to the side of the road, and turned off the engine. He was breathing heavily and sweat was on his face. He felt elated. He rolled down the window to get some cool air. Pictures of what hed done flashed in his mind. He reached for the pack of cigarettes in his shirt pocket and lit one. The clock said one eighteen a.m. The smoke from the cigarette swirled in the air before him. His heart was pounding; it was better than sex, it was better than cocaine, it was better whisky. Nobody would know, not even Bobby, what he had been through. He felt like shit about Bobby but he didnt want to think about it. Bobby was the only innocence in his life and hed destroyed that too. But it wasnt just him, if she hadnt been the way she was, this would have never happened. She played with his emotions, and that shit builds up over the years. He remembered the time she told him what the counselor told her about how she wouldnt trust anyone. She laughed. He felt an unexpected pain when he thought she aint laughing now. He reached for a can of beer in the seat and took a deep gulp. He looked at the stars and thought he could get to Canada. He felt good about what he did except for the Bobby part. He should have known when he bought the knife that he was in trouble, but he loved her, and always believed she would change. He had to take a shit. He reached for some napkins in the glove compartment, and got out of the car. The air was cool and he walked into the woods looking for a seat. He found a fallen tree and pulled down his pants and sat. He thought he heard a siren, but knew it was too early. He realized things had gotten worse more recently; he had hateful thoughts about her he never used to have. He wiped himself and chuckled when he realized that was all that was left of his life. Maybe he could meet another women; no kids this time though. He would say his first wife died of cancer. He had to get to Canada and start a new life. Maybe he should turn himself in. He buckled his belt and walked back to the car. What he did was justice for the torment over the years, but why didnt he leave? He felt the thrill of driving the knife into her stomach and the panic in her brown eyes, and the exaltation he felt at that moment was like nothing else he ever felt. It was worth it. Her warm blood was over his hand. He drank more of the beer. Maybe I should start for Canada now, he thought. He decided with a smirk that he was a Gentleman and he wouldnt start his escape until he heard the sirens. They would come on this road. Bobby would wake up around six for school and it would take some time to make the discovery. Once the emergency vehicles went by, he would start for Canada. He was an outlaw and it didnt feel that bad. He heard her pleading and begging as he stuck the knife once, twice, three times into her stomach, and he started to get a hard on. He was aroused and put his hand on himself to come. Once he came, he went into the glove box for a napkin. He drank some beer. He closed his eyes but couldnt fall asleep; he wiped his face with a shirttail. He looked up at the stars and thought that every star was the soul of a person. Thats where you go when you die. He looked at the gas gauge and saw it was a quarter full. He would have to stop for gas and what if someone saw the car? He was an outlaw and he had to think differently about his decisions. He imagined being chased; hed seen it a million times on t.v.. He thought a better way to do it was to get to Canada without being noticed. He had a gas can in the trunk and would walk to the gas station instead of bringing the car. I am a gangster, he thought. He felt a smugness about his ability to think like a criminal like he discovered a talent he never knew he had. He was relaxed more than hed been and dozed off.

When he woke, the clock read six twenty eight, and sun was on the horizon. He had to pee and got out of the car and peed. He wanted a cup of coffee but it shouldnt be long now before he heard the sirens. He realized he should have left when it was dark and overnight would have been less traffic. But he had to calm himself down first so he made the right decision. He thought he should create a character for himself so if someone should talk to him he would make sense. He was a father driving to Montreal to pick up his daughter, he was a salesman going to a conference in Montreal. He thought about Bobby; he would be getting up soon, and he would find the tragedy that was now his life. It was unfair, the boys innocence would end and his suffering begin when he found his mothers body. He pictured the bleeding body and blood soaked sheets, and got into the car; started the engine, pulled out onto the road, and turned right, not left.

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