“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.”–Jack Kerouac
Glad her son had found it, the white-haired woman regretted it had sat there for years. Neglected. Forgotten. But there was a time when it was fast. She closed her eyes.
With a heavy foot on the gas… oh, how it had made their hearts race. His thigh rubbed hers, deliciously, with each clutch and shift. Freed by a necker’s knob, the strong arm around her shoulders had held her tight. His fingers grazing the arc of her breast as they leaned in the curves and thundered down the highway. It didn’t matter where the road was going as long as they were together.
“Why are you smiling, grandma?”
She turned to the young woman whose questioning look was framed by a squint that drew the freckles—she had long ago told her were angel kisses—closer. “Katie, this was your grandfather’s first car.”
The girl looked at the car then back. “I miss him.”
“I do too, dear. With all my heart,” she placed her palm over her chest, “but he’s still inside.”
Katie hugged her tight, and the old woman felt those young arms—and her husband’s love—hold her. She let her go and watched as Katie parted the tall grass and weeds to stand next to the old car; touched and then patted its fender.
“I feel him with us, grandma!” Katie’s smile, brighter than the afternoon sun, spread that dusting of speckles.
“I know, honey… I do, too.” And she knew he always would be.