HIGHWAY 25 by Lindsey Heatherly

I remember that night we parked at the drive-in on Highway 25 and steamed up the windows before static on the AM station switched over to previews. Previews came before a raunchy, college-age comedy, alternating between raindrop rivers and lip-locked intermissions that cut through windshield fog. Foggy windows were smeared by my gray cotton jacket through your steady hand. The hand that sat on my knee during a panic attack on the drive back. The drive through dark and rain and a flooded road too immersed for good traction on those too-old tires. Tires that skidded across water when you asked if I was okay and I just nodded my head. The head that bowed under the awning to get inside, when we stripped each other of soaked clothing, and I straddled your lap with my legs. We took laps around our troubles–the anniversary of your mom’s death passing quietly with brute force, the burdens of raising two boys alone, and my cycles of manic depression–and I told you I loved you and I was sorry it was a tough night, tough year. Tough tears you’d deny when your eyes welled up and so did mine, and we had the best sex we’d ever had on that couch while the rain just poured and poured. Words poured through your salt and pepper beard piercing my paper skin, leaving red welts I wish I could have peeled off and saved for now when I wonder if you still make the drive to work down Highway 25 or if you finally gave them the middle finger and found something better. Found someone better.


Lindsey Heatherly is a writer born and raised in Upstate South Carolina. She has words in Rejection Letters, Red Fez, Coffin Bell Journal and more. She spends her time at home raising a strong, confident daughter. You can find her on Twitter: @rydanmardsey.
 

Art by Bob Schofield @anothertower

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