Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Guest Room Pt. 3 - A Short Story

This is the third part of the story.... hence the words Pt. 3 in the title of this post. If you need the hook up on the first part click here:
If you read the first part but need to read the second part, then click here:

Joshua felt a bone aching sadness sweep over him and was having a hard time seeing through the tears that continued to fall. He was crying so hard that he couldn't even breathe. It had been a long time since he had felt anything. The last time he had felt anything it had been shock, that was a year ago, when she had disappeared unexpectedly. He never allowed himself to cry about it until it snuck up on him today. When the shock, from her loss, had worn away, he had felt numb all over and the numbness had kept him insolated. Insolated from the pain of his missing wife, pain from a system that failed him and the realization that he was powerless to change any of it.

He realized that he needed to stop driving 60 miles an hour and get some place he could stop. He began merging to the right so he could get off the freeway. He was in between the suburb he lived in and the ciy he worked at, the exit he took was surrounded by farm land. He pulled into an old gas station lot just left of the off ramp, a station that had been sitting vacant for years. The cement was cracked and looked more like a puzzle needing to be put back together. In the asphalt's numerus cracks grass had sprung up. Rust ate away at every metal object. Nature was slowly reclaiming this forgotten spot, it looked like a set to an after armageddon movie. Where the world had ended and without human maintenance the buildings and roads began to fall into decay. The windows of the station had been boarded up and graffiti and flyers covered the building. He turned off his car and let his grief wash over him.
After a long period of crying, exhaustion crept in and he found his eyes closing... sleep enveloped him. The tortured sleep he usually experienced did not nag at him this time. Instead he felt and saw only blackness, his sleep was devoid of dreams and he fell deeper in.


He awoke with an aching crick in his neck from the odd angle he had slept in. He massaged his neck while his brain began piecing things back together for him. He realized he needed to call his job at some point and tell them why he hadn't made it in... or at least to make an excuse. He knew that was a call he should make immediately but he did not bother to grab his mobile phone. He had no desire to call them at the moment. He barely felt like moving. He stared at the boarded up gas station in front of him. Studying the old posters for upcoming rodeos and monster truck shows. He wondered why anyone would plaster fliers here, a place no one had any need to go to any more. Except for today, he needed a place to have his breakdown. A place where no one would knock on his window concerned for his welfare or to tell him to keep moving. This had been kismet.

He felt the urge get out of the car and move around. It would help to awaken his joints and also allow him to stretch. He had been in a strange position for a few hours judging by how high the sun was in the sky. He resisted the urge to look at his phone. He was not ready to get back to the world he had been hiding in. For the first time in a while Joshua felt awake. He knew what had to be done and in what order. The thing farthest down on the list was checking in with work and knowing what time it was. That world no longer existed. He had things to settle and scores to even. Of course the first thing on his list was to relieve his bladder. When that was taken care of he could take the next step.... driving to New Mexico. The last spot anyone had ever seen Sarah.

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