Clouds moved in as they drove across Ohio. The sun had followed them from Pennsylvania. Now in Youngstown, nothing but rain would hit their windshield. Wipers kept time to music on FM stations. The boy hummed along to songs from the ’60’s and ’70’s. Would ask his dad questions periodically.
When did you and mom meet? the kid asked. And where? the father looked at him; keeping one eye on the road.
We met a long time ago in Osceola, Indiana, he smiled. We weren’t even thinking of you back then, he said. Used to go on hay rides and to dances at the VFW hall, the rain picked up harder. Next rest stop we’re pulling over, the boy nodded yes.
You ever miss her?
You think this is the right thing?
Letting her raise you? I guess. I’m on the road all the time. You’re closer to family. Grandma and Uncle Jack. I’ll see you on holidays. Summertime, they pulled into the rest stop. Parked close to the bathroom. You gotta go? he pointed to the men’s room. The boy shook his head. It’s a long way there still, the boy grabbed a bologna sandwich from the cooler between them.
I’ll miss you dad.
I’ll miss you too.
Dad moved the cooler to the floor of the pickup. Stretched his arm out and the boy felt dad’s jean jacket on his face. They waited out the storm.