She Kept Walking

She had not seen him in a long time. It’d been twelve, maybe fourteen years since she’d heard his voice. For awhile he’d call her. Especially if he needed something; money, food, someone to listen to him.

He’d call in the middle of the night. Wild stories ’bout being chased by cops and criminals along I95. Sent her pictures of the Atlantic Ocean up in Maine. Told her he was flat broke in Philadelphia. She’d wire him a hundred and tell him this was the last time.

The middle-aged man was always grateful. He’d get the money and go blow it on food and booze. Buying rounds at a bar. Trying to relive his glory days. Then, within twenty-four hours, the thin man was back to normal; broke.

He never called her again after that one time in Pittsburgh. That’s when he ditched the Dodge and began his journey on foot. He had tickets piled up across America. Sold that piece of junk for a grand. It lasted a week. But, for that one week, he felt human.

There was a newspaper article he read in a magazine ’bout her. It was Fortune 500. Said she’d made her way to the top. Some CEO of a financial firm. This made him smile. He was glad that one of em had made it in America.

And then, sitting on a bench in Central Park, she saw him. Long greasy hair, shabby clothes, long beard, red eyes. She barely recognized him…She kept walking.

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