Kicking stones along the
highway. She has been walking for nine minutes; she has been walking for an
eternity. She is wrapped in red plaid, a flannel shirt. His shirt. She is not
crying. She remembers grapefruit-pineapple-orange juice. She is part of the
highway; she listens to her music loud, to drown her thoughts. But she can
still hear the stone, tumbling out ahead of her. English is gone; the words of
the song slur together, indecipherable. The cars, noise and gleaming metal,
are gone. She can see nothing but her two feet, mismatched sneakers sliding out
ahead of her. Right then left, right then left. She remembers ginger ice
cream, the first time they met. She is not crying.
So it’s over now,
And I’m crawling out
On my knees
The stone skitters out of sight,
veering into the road. She follows it without looking up. She is not cold, but
she shivers uncontrollably. A squirrel lies dead by the roadside. Its fur is
soaked, in clumps. Sticky. It grins up at her, unseeing, glassy eyes. She
continues walking. Just let me be, he had told her. I do not want to cry
over you again. Something clicks out of place, deep inside of her. So this is
what goodbye feels like.
I can hear what you
Echoing in my head
And I’m losing… myself
Now I’m cold on the floor
She is not crying. She sends the
stone skittering in front of her again. Should I disappear from your life? she
had asked. Would that close the hole that I’ve opened in you?
That might be best, he had said. That might be best. Just leave me be. Just don’t
hurt me again. I still love you. I want you to hate me. That would make
everything easier, he had told her. Please hate me.
And I don’t care
Cause it’s over… it’s over
I can feel, like it’s real
Now I can finally feel
She trembles. A car pulls up next to
her. Large and black. A man looks out. Do you need a lift somewhere? he asks.
Are you ok?
That destroys her. I’m fine, she says. But as he drives past her, she
melts away. She slides away into the dirty, roadside puddles. She soaks into
the pavement. She cries. She cannot stop. She remembers splitting a meal
with him. She remembers scary stories, told late at night. She remembers
making him laugh. She remembers being sad with him. And she cries. She turns
her head away from the road, afraid of the blind pity. Hating herself for
So I guess it’s
And you broke me down somehow
Now I’m faltering
I can see I can be
Goodbye, she says silently. This is
goodbye. She screams it to herself. She kicks the stone again, closing her eyes
and listening to the soft noises it makes. Goodbye. But the words are
mangled, twisting themselves into other shapes. I love you. No… not I love
you. Goodbye. Forever. That’s what he wants. Goodb--
I love you.
I can leave and shut
So I’m leaving now, somehow
As I slowly drown…
She cannot breathe. The world slides
away. She will not stop walking. Leave me be, he had said. She was the worst
thing that had ever happened to him. Love is touching souls, he
had told her once. It was from a song. She had touched his soul. She had
She walks, kicking a stone along the highway. And somewhere, in a little
house, not very far away, a telephone is silent.
The lyrics, in italics, are from the song "Finally," by Trust