A road of many directions...
Linda awoke because of the silence. They weren’t moving and something had caught her eye. Jeremy seemed to be standing outside, a few dozen feet away, looking over the railing. She turned to look at the vacant driver seat as if to confirm that it was him. The light at the bottom of the door was on; Jeremy must have left the door slightly ajar so as not to wake her when he got out.
Linda’s fingers pulled on her own door handle. She tried to step out but the seat belt restrained her. Fumbling for the clip, she was finally free, stepping into the cool night air. She glanced back inside to make sure the kids were still asleep in the back, catching a quick reflection of her face in the rear window. For a moment she felt a little deja vu – it felt like all the holiday trips when they stopped over at fill up stations at night; only this time the overhead lights came from the amber glow of a street lamp in the middle of nowhere.
Her skin tingled as she walked toward Jeremy. It was a rarefied feeling, walking on the side of a somewhat deserted highway. When her feet hit the curb of the bridge the sounds around her changed. Roads always had an interesting tone – in the dead of night, they were usually the sound of desolation, or at least that’s what she thought desolation sounded like. She wiped he face and pushed her hair behind her ears and then tucked her hands beneath her arms as she walked toward her husband. She could hear faint sounds of running water now, or perhaps that was just the breeze playing tricks.
She slowed as she neared him. He hadn’t moved at all. He wasn’t looking down but rather straight ahead, presumably at the dark water down river – or was it up river, she couldn’t tell.
“Jay.” Her voice was soft but firm. She wanted to tap him on the shoulder but thought it too startling.
“Jay. What are you doing?”
Linda glanced around as if to make sure they were alone. He must not have heard.
Her mouth opened again, but then his head turned, slowly. He was looking at their car now, and then his eyes wondered again.
Her eyebrows furrowed. She took a step closer and reached toward him. “JAY!”
He swiveled on his heels immediately, his head whipped round, his eyes wide open… he stared at her for a moment, “Can. Can, I help you?”
Linda was lost between confusion and shock.
“Jeremy what’s going on? Are you okay?”
“Jeremy?” He said it like an insult.
-to be continued.