He loved her so much. He didn’t want to let her go. She threatened so many times to leave him. They kept moving around the country just to keep her quiet. Always thought a change of scenery would do her good. Tried Vermont for a while. She liked the leaves changing in the fall. But, when the trees grew bare, they lost their magic.
They headed down south to Arkansas. She said that’s where she spent her childhood. Thought there would be happy memories. She just thought of her old man beating her with a belt every time she stayed out late; fooling around with boys under bleachers at the high school football games. She’d come home drunk, filled with schnapps, breath smelling of peppermint, weaving back and forth. Some things never change.
She kept saying she wanted to go, leave him. So, in the middle of the night, she left for Dallas. She took the truck, some money under the mattress, wrote a note out for him to find in the morning.
Dear Jimmy. Don’t be mad at me. I need to be on my own for a while, maybe the rest of my life. Thanks for taking care of me for this past few years. I’d probably have been dead long ago if you hadn’t stepped in. But, I hear these voices inside my head telling me to go. Always telling me to leave. Those voices have always been there. Inside of me. I’m going to start listening to them. We’ll see if I survive. It’s a crazy world, Jimmy. It’s a crazy world. Love, Anna.
Jimmy read the letter and tucked it away in his shoe box he kept with all these photos of her. Snapshots of them kissing in a booth. Pictures of her smiling for the camera. He placed the box under the bed along with the rest of the money she’d left for him. He got dressed and went to work. Thought about her throughout his shift. Screwing in bolts and thinking of her. This is a crazy world, he thought. This is a crazy world.