The Trail

That’s when things break down. Two people. Not on the same page. Thinking they had the perfect plan when all along they were counting on the other to fold, to give -up, give them their end of the deal. Folks say their on the same team, but, rarely is that the case. There’s always selfish motives. People get greedy. They want it all for themselves.

There’s no more water, he said. No more. I’ve tried all over this land and there isn’t a spring one here. We tapped it all out, he kicked in the air. You and your daily hair washing. We gotta move on, he told her. Pack your stuff. We’ll leave here in the morning and travel through the day up until we find something; a stream, some fountain, maybe a river. It’d be great if we had a map. Note to self, he said, always carry a map.

You don’t know how to read a map anyway, she said. Not my fault we’re out of water. Maybe all the coffee you made, she looked at him with daggers. You ever think about that. You can’t live without your coffee, she lectured. Washing hair and staying clean is one thing. It’s needed. Keeps us human. Coffee? that’s a waste. A waste of water and time, she started gathering sticks. Why don’t you do something productive for a change? Like help me build a fire.

He just looked at her. Looked at her in a new way. Not the same as when they started months ago. Not the same as when they planned it that night in the bar. It was a look of anger. He’d had a enough. And, so had she. This hike was becoming a chore. It was hard work. They thought it would be a vacation. Now every little thing about the other was bothersome. The two of them planned to reach Maine by September when the night air was starting to get chilly. It was August and they were still in Carolina. He was starting to hate her. She was staring to hate him. They both started thing about killing the other. Bury the body along the trail. Nobody would find it.

Are you going to help, or, not? she asked. He was setting out his bedroll and wrestling with bad thoughts. He knew she had a gun. Brought it with her just in case. He’d have to wait until she fell asleep. Then he would take action.

He’d never killed anybody before. The boy looked over at her as she slept. All of her stretched out as long as the Mississippi. Her blue eyes were closed. Her blonde hair smelled of lavender. The gun was beside her head.

The contemplation of killing someone. Thought out. Planned. Executed. This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you, he whispered. He crawled over to her. Reached out his hand. He was going to do this. Kill her. Calm and cold he’d kill her.

And just as he was about to grab the piece, she said, Don’t even think about it.

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