unknown roads

it wasn’t until the fourth star leaped from the sky that he made a wish. until then, he’d been driving along the empty highway that led him through north texas toward colorado as orion leaned heavily northward in the sky outside the driver’s side window, pointing the way with his arrow.

she was asleep in the passenger seat beside him, breathing softly. they were on their way to new beginnings.

but his new beginning didn’t start in colorado. he was only taking her there since she’d recently accepted a new job. he’d be returning to texas alone and his mind was heavy with thought regarding a life back there without her.

will her feelings for me disappear along all the miles that will soon separate us? will her thoughts of me wander off course and get lost among the hidden highways, telephone poles, snow-topped mountains?

he looked over to her sleeping form, which was covered by her jacket and a blanket, as he longed for the answers to those questions. but the late night stillness, star-splashed sky, and highway hum kept them secret.

they stopped for several hours in amarillo and after a restless sleep in the hotel, he drove them the rest of the way through the panhandle. hours later, they passed momentarily into new mexico before crossing into the state that would soon be her new home. his mind continued to plague him as he stared at the clumps of ice along the highways here and there that survived in the cool shade of thick bramble and skeletal trees.

rose…

in pueblo, she placed her hand on his leg. its warmth raced up through his body and he looked to her with a smile. her face was full of sunshine, clear and cloudless. she said:

“i’m leaving texas behind; i’m not leaving you. i want to grow with you. i’m always with you.”

he took her hand in his and looked back at the even road ahead, way down into the distance where some future lie. and even though that future was still uncertain, his heart was soothed by her revelation of love.

he felt his wish was coming true.

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