You look around and see you black. You look at the calendar. I can get up whatever time I want to in the morning.
She was mainly this—eating with her fingers, slowly, after thirty hours of dizzy hunger, without regular days or school. This was the way she knew happiness, her foot on the bench, the other heel kicking metal, the bite of wet gold-brown meat against the cold.
A highway-wind slipped in her sleeves and touched her ribs, shivering her. They both wore old soft clothes. But she pulled her knee closer, softening a scab with her tongue. A train horn started too far away to see. And a lotta lotta money. He might even be governor someday. She unclasped her purse and gave Jane final money for two swirled ice cream sundaes with nuts.
Teaching Jane to drive took a long time. She stopped going to school. As the fall progressed, they absorbed themselves in the nesting of the truck. Mary fitted pillows to the seat, sewing telephone books in between padding and basting on a slipcover, so Jane sat fifteen inches above the cracked vinyl.
Never once did Mary call Mack, although his long letters arrived every day, small forlorn script in blue ink on yellow lined paper. Mary taught a little every day and tested Jane. Where is the choke? Lights, brights, wipers, emergency brake. They fixed the broken back window with tape and a piece of cardboard.
Mary sealed the seams with clear nail polish. Then the real lessons started. They went on an old road, columns of trees on both sides, straight as far as they could see. They practiced starting, the gradual relay of clutch and gas. Jane found the brake again and again until it was easy.
When the car sputtered and died on the late-afternoon road, no one knew. Clouds bagged huge and magnificent. Mary made her do it all again with her eyes closed, which was like swimming in rain. Girls who lived in town with their grandparents came to school with braids like this, to keep the hair off the face.
Only the young mothers seemed to understand that girls need a little flair, like the girls far away on television.
On Thanksgiving, Jane sat on the end of the mattress while her mother brushed her hair straight up from her head, pulling it tight, then braided it into a basket around her ears. She dressed Jane warmly, with two pair of socks in her new shoes.
Then everything was done. She sat on the bed, hands clutching under the mattress. Her mother knelt on the floor. Then she took a breath and lined her words along one edge, her attempt to be firm. And one, two, three, four, five ones.
Because it was hard to save that. Years ago, Owens had given her the ring, hidden inside a cherry pie. They watched the sky change, waiting. With the hat and the height of the telephone books, no one would see Jane was a child. Mary fixed a glass of coffee the slow way and fed it to Jane with a spoon, as she had when Jane was a much younger child.
From the first taste, Jane knew her mother had used the last sugar. You can remember that I went as long as I could for you.
She pressed closer to her mother, listened to her heart like the far sound inside a shell and felt the pull of an empty immensity, the attraction of wind, the deep anonymous happiness of sleep.
In no time at all, she was down the road, wobbling until she caught her balance, past her mother, the cabin contracting in the small rounded mirror. Her mother had taught her patiently and well, at dusk while others ate their supper.The Hardcover of the Dead Man Running (Alex McKnight Series #11) by Steve Hamilton at Barnes & Noble.
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Goodnight Goon Only $ with Purchase ; Favorite Paperbacks: Buy 2, Get the 3rd Free and there were so many men walking through the yard it was raising a dust cloud you could see from two miles away/5(7).
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The truth is he’s two thousand miles and forty years away. It’s near the Guatemala-Honduras border. A stranger, who appeared out of nowhere, has been severely beaten and a year-old Peter Nielsen—the man you saw on the train—carries the wounded stranger to a remote village clinic, his clothes wet with the stranger’s blood.
For the first hundred miles, I see only the road and my knuckles, skin tight across the bones, like my mother's hands, as I clutch the steering wheel.
For the second hundred miles, I read the highway signs without allowing the letters to compute in my brain/5(5).