Longest Day of The Year

Sitting on the back porch, the prairie grass inert and brown from the heat looks orange in the setting sun. Ice melts in my lemonade, the condensation drips over my fingers. Birds call out a final goodnight warning, some winging to nests, some settling in.

I should have been driving. This was the best night for putting miles and miles between myself and the people of my past.

But I sat and enjoyed the scenery.

“Your mother called. I said I hadn’t seen you.”
“Thanks Aunt Meg.”
“I packed some cookies in with the leftovers. Bag’s in the fridge.”

I nodded and sipped my lemonade.

“You think you’ll make it to California?” She was trying to guess where I was headed. I don’t think I even knew.

“I’ll end up where I end up. I’ll write you.”

Aunt Meg nodded back. She knew what it was like to have a wandering spirit. “My address is in there too.” She winked at me. “Well, I’m going to bed. Give me a hug in case this is the last time I see you.”

I hugged her. It would be the last time I felt safe.

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