CATEGORY: Angst, Drama, POV
We had a home once Sammy and I before her death, before evil entered our lives and destroyed our mother. After that our home became the Impala and an endless stretch of highway that never ceased. We traveled often, new towns and new places, new schools and new faces. We reinvented ourselves over and over. We never stayed long in one place and never gathered much in the way of personal effects. There’s not much of a necessity for such things when you’re always on the road and your bedroom is a different hotel room every other night, but we made do and managed to gather a few things along the way.
A simple wooden box stained a deep almond brown and held together by nails with a hinged lid holds so much meaning to us. Others may look at it and wonder what it is. It’s nestled sometimes in the trunk of the Impala, sometimes behind the seat. What it contains? Snapshots of our lives, moments in time frozen forever, insignificant little things that many would label as junk but carries deep meaning to us.
We live our lives on the road. We have no place to call home. What we have is each other and that simple wooden box that is a treasure trove to us. It stays in the car usually, the car being the closest thing Sammy and I have ever had to an actual home, a car that to others is simply a beauty, sharp and sleek, curving in all the right places, a classic in near mint condition. When they look at her they see a car of value, a car that’s worth a lot. When we look at her we see each other. We see loyalty, love and family…a home away from home, a symbol of our strengths and our weaknesses. She’s our baby, well mine anyways, and why? Because in her crude metal construction, in her leather seats and rubber floor mats, in her chrome bumper and sturdy dashboard she holds us, cradles us close, keeps us together, always together. She binds us, protects us, guides us, helps us, a car made of metal and of chrome, held together by countless nuts and bolts that hold her just as tightly together as she holds us. She represents so very much, our lives are intricately tied up in her, in a simple classic car.
When I look in the passenger seat even if he’s not there I see Sammy. I hear his voice, hear his laughter, see him with a folder in his lap, papers in his hands, a map so near to his left within reaching distance in case it’s needed. When I look in the rearview at the back seat I see myself hunched over, bloody, beaten to hell, leaning against the door as Sam drives arguing again with dad about his choice to save me, to save him over destroying the monster dad’s pursued all his life.
A brief glance out of the driver’s side window triggers memories of pain and suffering, of confusion and anger, of the times silence became our companion as we drove into the night.
A glance to the right at the passenger door triggers memories of Sam leaning against it, supported wholly by her weight as he sleeps deeply, and bundled up in his coat relaxed. As I glance out of the windshield I see the lights of passing vehicles, the countless roads we’ve been down, hear the sound of Sammy’s excited voice as he points out the stars above, hear the gruffness of his voice as he reveals things in the night when we’re sheltered by darkness, things that we’re both too afraid to utter in daylight. When I gaze at the hood I recall all the heart to heart discussions Sammy and I have shared there. Times when doubts crept in and sadness became all too real, times when the life we lead has left us exhausted, wounded and scarred, times when this life has become just a little too much.
All these feelings, all these memories, all these emotions are centered in a simple car…our lives are entwined with her, so firmly ingrained into her every contour, every bend, every inch. She has bared witness to so much and much of our memories reside within her.
As we arrive at our next destination, another of those cheap motels, I turn to gaze at my little brother and smile as I see him asleep. He’s resting awkwardly against the passenger side door oblivious to the odd angle at which he lay propped up against it. I watch him for several moments his name on the tip of my tongue, my hand hovering between us as I begin a small debate in my mind. I don’t want to wake him. He hasn’t slept much and our last hunt was quite trying, but I reach out gently shaking him and softly speak his name. He slowly awakes moaning before sleepily asking if we’re there yet.
Yeah Sammy we’re there.
I smile as I put voice to the thought and watch as he unconsciously stretches before climbing out of the Impala. I follow in suit approaching the trunk before opening it and lifting out my duffle bag, the simple action triggering multiple accompanying memories of hundreds of hunts I’ve gone on, we’ve gone on, offering a temporary segue into the past. Turning towards Sam I hand him his own duffle bag before heading off in the direction of another hotel room Sam bringing up the rear. As we enter we quickly settle in…another state, another room, another temporary home away from home. This is our life surviving day to day together, always on the road, always traveling and helping others, always on a mission…
We may lead a hard life full of pitfalls and switchbacks but in the end I wouldn’t change it for the world, for we have each other and that means everything to us.
As I settle into another bed, in another strange room, resting my head on an unfamiliar pillow I turn to look at Sam one last time. He has already fallen asleep, and I smile wistfully before directing my gaze towards the ceiling offering thanks to someone I had never believed in until recently for all the little things.
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