13 Jan 2014

1973 Ford Falcon

“I could just roll and roll,” Jeremy said, as much to her as to himself. They each said their goodbyes, which were unremarkable and not much more than nods. She backed away from the old Ford Falcon and into the dust, and the boy beside her slipped his dark hand into her lighter one. The horizon suspended storm clouds that would likely never cross their paths, ahead like possible futures. Jeremy lurched his bulk in the driver seat more than was needed to turn the ignition. He made sure to face her as he pushed the car from stasis, pulling in a wide arc around the road and at its pivot she stood. As the vehicle moved away, the boy detached himself from the woman and came to race along beside it. His skin shone in the afternoon light more than hers, his eyes and smile were stark against his face. He ran in an alternating series of bursts and bounds. He waved the whole time.

Straightening up the wheel, Jeremy return the wave. He gave it much more energy than he would have if he had only been waving to her. He accelerated and the Falcon’s nose pushed away like a shark cutting through waves. The tape deck was broken and he hadn’t thought to turn on the radio, but if he had, he was sure that due to the many miles travelled, the station would be lost to another new and foreign signal, and over the sky would come an unfamiliar piece of music, something grand and operatic that would fill the car and spill out the windows and pour over the desert. She would hear it too, and they would each know that although it was only random it wouldn’t be.

The boy now sank away from the side of the car and Jeremy looked in the rear-view mirror to see the woman still standing there, an arm half extended in the last of a collapsing wave, her face now obscured by the rising dust. The boy became a silhouette of thin moving limbs. Jeremy was still waving, but now realized that he wouldn’t be seen inside the car, and so he made a fist and extended it outside of the car, lifting it up toward the sky, aiming ahead as the Falcon raced away. He didn’t know why he knew, but he knew it was very important that this be her last image of him.