The tires roll beneath us, the only sound ringing in our ears Kathunk, Kathump, Kathunk, Kathump and she is staring out the windows (at the hills, at the road, anywhere but at me). We needed to get out, escape from this town.
"But not like this," She whispers, fighting off the saline tears that burn tracks down her cheeks. "I never meant like this." and I convince myself that she means the bad blood and not me. She could never mean me.
And we drive through big city lights and small interstate towns. We don't stop (We'll never stop) and she dozes, porcelain skin pressed against the tinted window like a specimen on a microscope slide, and in that moment she is more beautiful than a thousand mountain sunrises, than all eternity splayed out before my wavering eyes.
And still I drive, determined that she have the best. (She deserves better.)
As we pass mile marker 418, her hazel eyes blink past the glaring afternoon sun (the intruding world) and she smiles, (I swear she smiles at me) cherry chapped lips that blossom on the wintry field that is her skin and I know (and she knows) We'll be okay. Everything will be okay.
And we drive.