Red

He pulled up in her driveway at 1:00 that morning. She’d had a hard time sleeping. Thoughts raced through her head, bad dreams. The young woman tossed and turned ’bout em. Never could sleep with a clear conscience. Thinking old thoughts, one’s that had cluttered her mind for the longest of time; sins she had committed, questionable acts.

Outside on the front porch was a pot of wildflowers, a little statue of Mary stood just before the steps painted blue; a streetlight shined down making it bearable for the eyes to see. His shoes left marks on steps from the dewy grass. He gazed into the front window looking to see if there was any movement, any lights on. The front room table lamp still glowed. The young man started to knock on the door, but, stopped himself. Did he want to make a fool of himself? Surely it was much too late and he was much too old to be acting this way. He turned away and went back to his truck, sat in it for minutes, then an hour listening to the radio. He saw the lamp go out in the front room. Now it was truly dark.

She was thinking of him, the fight they had earlier that night. The red head told him to either shit, or, get off the pot. She’d had offers from other men, was waiting it out for this one. There was a young suitor from Tennessee that’d asked for her hand. Another from Kentucky as well. Both of em had plenty of money. Both of em said they loved her. But, she wanted this one with no job, a ton of debt and a tattoo on his arm of an ex-girlfriend’s name in red. She made him wear long sleeves.

And they sat there in those early morning hours. Her in the front room with the lights off, him in his truck that dripped oil, left his mark. They sat there thinking of the future. Would there be a future? He slowly turned the key and she heard the truck’s engine turn. The young man slowly pulled out of the driveway and the front door opened. She ran out with her arms flailing, her hair tossed. Calling out, Hey, come back here. I love you….And the taillights burned red.

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