When I asked where we were going, Mr. Prent replied, “Let’s get out of this town; drive out of the city, just… get away from these crowds of students and teachers…” And witnesses.
“I like the sound of that.”
So we went on a long drive. No destination in sight. Maybe Mr. Prent got the feeling too. He has somewhere- he didn’t know where yet, that he had to go.
I must have fallen asleep at some point, because I woke in the passenger seat, but Mr. Prent was laying in the bed of his truck, staring into the stars. I climbed out, realizing we were in a cemetery. Of all places to go, I wondered, why there?
Not that I cared. I am the picnic in the cemetery kind of gal. But she strongly advised against it- like everything else- and suggested I find more “appropriate” interests.
I wonder if she would have found this appropriate.
I didn’t say anything. Mr. Prent just looked so far away; deep in some other world. Instead, I laid there next to him. The cool metal sent chills up my spine and I shivered in the warm autumn night. Wordlessly, he wrapped his arm around my shoulders and I layed my head on his chest. His cologne reminded me of a cool ocean breeze that swallows you whole… his scent is still in my hair.
I’m not sure how long we laid like that for. I started off counting seconds in his heartbeats. One, two, three, fo-ur, fivesix, seven, eight, nine, tah-en. But doing that only made me sleepy. I didn’t want to sleep. I wanted to hold this moment in the now and have it last forever.
I should know better than anyone, nothing lasts forever. Especially not happiness. I was happy once-upon-a-time. When I had parents- real ones- but it was so long ago it feels like a dream. Or a nightmare.
I guess he knows about this too. It was the cemetery where both his father and brother were buried. A robbery gone wrong. Mr. Prent was in college. His mother was grocery shopping. To come home and see her son and husband askew on the kitchen floor. I could just imagine her walking into the house, wondering why the door was already open. She’s talking to them- not knowing they can’t hear- going on about a great special she got at the market. Then she sees them. The blood. And bags fall out of her hands in slow-motion… It’s all a little too familiar.