Love Me Like That(4)

By: Marie James


I hit Subway for lunch and decide to go ahead and eat in the dining area. They have no drive-thru, so I had to get out of the car anyways. I pick a quiet corner and stick my headphones in, continuing to work through my grief while I eat.

It’s early afternoon and in a hasty decision I’ve decided I’ll head west toward Washington and possibly later will head to Alaska. Putting thousands of miles and a huge chunk of Canada between the people who’ve betrayed me seems like a good idea. If I continue on IH15 right now, I’ll hit Canada, and I don’t feel like digging for my passport. West it is.

While Rascal Flatts, What Hurts the Most, blares through the sound system I convince myself I’ll allow the duration of this trip for my grief and anger. Once I come to the place I want to settle, I tell myself I have to be over it; I’ll need to move on and begin again. I’m determined, but not hopeful, it will be that easy.

I begin my self-proclaimed pity party with memories of my parents, their car accident, and the future destroyed after their loss. Gut-wrenching grief washes over me when my mind takes me right back to Keira and how her family was there for me after their deaths. They gave me a place to live and helped me with all the paperwork to get into college.

Keira, my best friend. In less than a minute, well of what I saw, she managed to turn a lifetime friendship into seething treachery. Don’t get me wrong, I love Trent with each and every atom in my body, but she’s like a sister to me. I can’t decide which betrayal is worse at this point.

Was. Loved. Past tense.

I want to cry and grieve for the loss of not only my lover and the man I was certain I’d spend the rest of my life with but also the woman who I was sure would be the godmother to the children Trent and I would have. Now I have no one.

Rather than giving into the heartache and misery that is trying to creep up I focus on the anger and the hatred at their deception. I try to work my head around the last few years in an attempt to pinpoint where things changed; doing my best not to turn it around on me and give into the self-doubt I’m known to have.

I have a history of internalizing others mistakes and accepting blame, and historically punishment, for wrongs that altogether were never mine to begin with. With everything that’s rushing and running through my head, I can’t even concentrate on driving.

My phone has rang no less than a dozen times since leaving Shelby over five hours ago. The trip has been slow going in large part to the snow that has begun to fall; the fact that I’m on a two-lane blacktop doesn’t help either.

I hit a gas station in Whitefish and decided to head south which will eventually shoot me over to Spokane, Washington. Seems like a place I could set down temporary roots. The population is high enough that work will be easy to find until I can make more permanent plans.

The goal for the day is to make it there by midnight, and from the looks of the road I should add in-one-piece as well. My Mini was not made for driving in the snow. Not the wisest decision considering I live in Montana. Lived in Montana as it were.

The roads are cleared pretty quickly in Great Falls, and this is my first winter in this car. It’s becoming apparent very quickly that a vehicle change, although that will be another thing to break my heart, will more than likely be necessary.

Now Leaving Poison. Population 4,488.

Poison, Montana. Fitting to see the sign in my rearview, knowing I’m leaving behind more poison than a small town with the name. I grin for the first time since leaving my life behind at the prospect of starting over. That is until my phone chimes with a new voicemail alert. Reception must be bad out here because it didn’t even ring this time.

Trent has called numerous times throughout the day, but he hasn’t left a message until now. Not once did I want to pick up the phone when he called, but I struggle with indecision knowing he’s left one this time. Unable to resist any longer I use the controls on my front radio display to play the voicemail he’s waited hours to leave.

“London,” he sighs loudly into the phone. “I…fuck.” I hear papers crinkle, and I know he’s still at the bar, sitting at the same desk he fucked my best friend on earlier. “I wish you’d pick up so I can explain. I’ve just been stressed out lately. I wasn’t even thinking. Please, Kitten. I need you to come home so we can work through this. I love you.”

“Fuck you!” I scream at the term of endearment that means absolute shit now. I see red at the three words he’s always given so freely. I cut my eyes over to hit the end button, completely done with his ass and when I turn my gaze back to the road, I see the biggest fucking moose in the world, standing directly in my lane.