A boy. Not a man. My brother, so hopeful and eager to be older. We just came back from a road trip. Not a road trip actually. A journey to the next town over. It’s not special; it really has no meaning. It’s just a way we can run without leaving, together as siblings. It’s not like we could actually run, even if we tried. We want to. We want to escape the confines of this godforsaken town that only gives us rocks and cracks to trip over, potholes to hit, and cold nipping at our fingertips.
It does get chilly around this time of year. That’s why we can’t get ice cream anymore. Only fries or sandwiches. I get out of the car and get ready to take the picture, he calls to me. He wants every little thing we did here to be commemorated. He didn’t use those words, but I got what he meant. He didn’t care how small they were in the picture, he just wanted them there. The bag on the hood meant something to him. It made him feel like he was real. Like we really did spend a day together, and it wasn’t some dream he had. He needs something to touch and to feel, so he knows for sure.
He collects postcards. Like he collects yells from every adult he talks to. He is only ten years old, but he doesn’t want to smile or talk to me anymore. He never talks to anyone at school or anywhere for that matter. Unless we are in the car. Only this car. That’s why he asked for the picture. He wants to remember this car and this moment. The sandwich we shared because we didn’t have money for two. He wants to remember the times where he felt like he could say a word, just one word without being criticized or called a child. In this town, in this car and in this moment, we planned on never going home.
Story by Marie Legeay
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