The sun was setting when she finally arrived home. It had been a long journey, each mile dredging further memories from a past long buried, but she was here now.
Finally ready to say goodbye.
The house bore the ravages of the years, yet was still as she remembered it. Miles from the nearest town, few of those who travelled this god-forsaken road would realise there was a house at the end of this narrow track. No vandals ventured here.
She didn’t want to enter the house… too many memories, too much pain. It was enough to stand on the porch, gazing at the familiar scene through the dusty windows.
Above the evening chorus of the rooks in nearby trees, the music came faintly at first, but growing in volume as if someone had opened a car window to release the strains of her favourite old Beatles record. It sounded tinny, not the way she was used to hearing music these days.
She followed the path behind the house, and smiled. It was still there. Why wouldn’t it be? Badly rusted, with peeling paint and tarnished metal work but still Billy’s car. And she’d been right, the music was coming from inside the car, even though the battery must have died years ago.
She scrambled through the bushes obscuring the rusted hulk and tugged at the driver’s door. It was jammed; no amount of straining would free it. She rubbed at the window, dislodging dust and grime, but an equal amount of filth on the other side of the glass obscured her view.
The passenger door moved slightly when she tugged, and bracing her foot against the chassis, which miraculously didn’t give way, she managed to heave the door open before easing herself into the passenger seat, eyes closed. From the radio came the refrain ‘living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see…’
She’d misunderstood for sure, right from the word go. Back in those days it had seemed right to commit yourself … after all, everyone was doing it.
“It seemed as though we’d invented freedom,” she muttered, stroking the dashboard “not to mention sex.”
‘nothing is real and nothing to get hungabout…’
That’s what Billy had said when they’d had their final bust-up. Too intense, he’d said, cool it.
He’d cooled all right.
‘I think I know I mean a ‘yes’ but it’s all wrong, that is I think I disagree.’
“You weren’t making sense, Billy,” she whispered. “But sense enough, I guess…”
She opened her eyes and turned to the driver’s seat. He was there now, hands gripping the steering wheel, his head tilted slightly so his forehead rested against the driver’s window. A spider scuttled across his thigh and she brushed it off, feeling the roughness of the sun-bleached, almost thread-bare denim.
She took his hand. The gold ring she’d given him, her grandfather’s wedding band, slipped easily from his finger as the brittle phalanges dislodged and fell with a rattle onto the handbrake.
The opening line for this week’s yeahwrite speakeasy was chosen by last week’s winner (me) 🙂 and had to refer in some way to the photo above.