He looked over old notes written from the road. Letters intended to be sent to her. Placed in envelopes. There was even a stamp on them. Ones with Elvis on em. She liked those.

But, he never could get the courage to send the letters out. He’d throw them in the trunk of his car; piled high, a mountain of white envelopes with the address in blue. He wasn’t even sure if she lived in the same place.

The middle-aged man sat in a rest area off 80 in Iowa. He opened the letters one at a time. Reading them while the radio was on. Some song about El Paso was playing, followed by Patsy Cline singing Crazy. The letters were written in red ink. Red was her favorite color. He drew hearts with arrows through them. Little cupids on the lined white paper. At the end ,he always wrote, Love, Jimmy, with an exclamation point.

He’d been everywhere. Vermont, where the mountains were green in spring time and New York, where they were golden in fall. Drove through Pennsylvania Dutch country amongst the horse-drawn carriages. Men wearing hats and women wearing dresses down to their ankles. Drove into Ohio. Stopped in Cleveland to collect his thoughts. He was thinking of heading south, but instead pushed on through to the West. Was bound and determined to see the ocean. He settled on Iowa.

No more money for gas or food. Sat there reading letters never sent. Letters professing love. Asking the question, why did I leave?

He lit a cigarette and threw the burning match into the trunk of the car and watched as the letters burned. Wallked away with nothing. Leaving his past behind. Orange and blue flames burned, lifting up into the sky like an offering to God. Some things are best left unsaid.

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