I open my eyes…where am I? It takes me a few minutes, but finally I remember. After driving along an almost-empty highway, for four or five hours going west, I pulled over. I had to take a leak. The bushes, though, were tempting and I was tired. I drove a little ways off the road, so’s no one could see me. I’ve been sleeping now for… 4 hours?! Shit, that’s longer than I expected. I have to keep moving. The plan is first west, and then south across the border. I know, it’s not a sophisticated plan, but I’ve gotta do something. I need a way to start out clean, a second chance.
I pull back out onto the highway, but two miles down the road is a rest area. Next one is in 60 miles. I need a cup of coffee; I need to make a phone call.
“John, it’s me,” I say. This better be worth a quarter.
“What the fuck did you do?” The voice is completely uneasy. I’m shocked.
“This is Ed.” And then, “I did as we planned, just like you said.”
“That’s not what I’m talking about, you dumb piece of shit! The whole country is looking for you, and I’m going to say this only once, if my name is ever leaked out in connection with yours, I’m going to find you myself and drain every ounce…”
“What the fuck are you talking about John? Who’s looking for me? I thought Tia was…didn’t Tia get arrested? But the police…” My voice begins to trail off. Slowly, I begin to remember, to understand what’s happened. It’s only in my dreams that things have worked out as planned. But in the real world?
“John, what’s going on? What happened to Tia?”
“I’ll tell you what the fuck happened to that darling fucking wife of yours. She woke up, an hour after you left and surveyed the home. She put two and two together, got DRESSED, and calmly drove herself to the police station. That bitch had a plan of her own! She told them everything she’s heard and what she’d seen. And guess what else, Ed? That fucking cunt even said that she thinks you’re trying to frame her for murder! Now where would she get such a silly idea, huh, Ed? Where could that come from?”
“I have no idea,” I whisper, hardly loud enough for John to hear. The machine is asking me for more quarters, I need more quarters, dammit! “I gotta go, John. I’ll call when I can.”
“Ed! Don’t you…” I hang up the phone. What the hell just happened? Tia…