She Wanted To See America

He went looking for her past midnight down dark roads; stretches of highways. No lights, just signs that glowed in the dark. Signs saying, Gary 58 miles and Valparaiso, 37. He looked east and west, north and south. There was no sign of her. She had slipped away from him. Left out the back door. No note or letter. The coffee pot was still warm.

She was never happy. She married out of need. A young woman with ginger hair and emerald eyes. She used to seduce truck drivers out where Highway 10 meets 65. Pouring coffee and taking orders all night long. Going home with strangers. The old man was one of them. He fell in love. She quit her job and drove around the country with him. Making love in the back of a semi. He never had it so good.

Wasn’t too long before their newborn arrived. Red hair like her mom’s. Tiny fingers that used to pull on the old man’s beard. He laughed. But, something told him she wouldn’t be around too long. He knew she was unhappy. Being left at home to tend to a child while he saw mountains and rivers, big cities, and the Great Lakes. She was jealous. Mad with jealousy. And, there was nothing he could do about it. It was just a matter of time.

Driving down those highways with the baby strapped into the passenger seat, checking truck stops along the way, he never found her. She was gone for good. She wanted to see America.

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