I got up and searched for my pants on the floor and proceeded to pull them on, cigarette still hanging limp from my mouth.
“What are you going to do now?” she asked.
“I’m trying to make sure I don’t do anything I’ll probably have to apologize for later.”
“Do you think you’ll have to apologize to me for this?”
“No,” I said, “you’re right. I probably won’t apologize. But I know you’ll regret it.”
“But how are you so sure?” she asked.
“I just have a feeling.”
“You haven’t asked me that question in a while, you know.”
I already knew what her answer would be. “Any regrets?”
“Then let’s go.”
She didn’t ask where we were going. There was no need, because we simply never knew. But for once, I knew what I wanted. I never told anyone where I was headed because I honestly didn’t know. I grabbed the case, got in the car and just kept driving. I tried to get away from it. But it eventually caught up. And then it let me go.
“But what did you do with all the money?” Arya previously asked.
“Nothing,” I had replied. “I still have it. The case is hidden in the trunk of the car. I haven’t touched any of it. I simply don’t know what to do with it.” I fell silent after that, and she remained quiet too.
Of course, the thought had occurred that this was a chance to a new life. Everything would have been forgotten about as according to Regi’s favour to us. But we, ourselves, could never forget.
This town was nice and quaint. But we had to get outside in order to finish things quietly. The idea only occurred to me recently and it just seemed right. We were both filled with so much sorrow and secrets that it still felt quite empty. We related to one another like that. It was comfortable to know someone else could feel as you do. But it wasn’t at all a way to live.
The coast stretched beyond the town and provided a scenic view of the ocean. After all those roads, I was hoping I would one day run into the ocean. Just so I could hear it sing.
I glanced over at Arya and smiled. She returned the gesture. I finally brought the car to a stop once we were far enough away from the town and we both got out. I opened the trunk and showed her where the case was hidden as I reached for the plastic red gasoline tank. She understood. She offered to do the honours as I got a few last things from inside the car. We left the case inside the trunk, where it belonged.
“To freedom,” I said as I lit the match and tossed it into the puddle of gasoline. It was a spectacle to watch the flames roar to life and engulf the entire vehicle. Essentially, we were getting rid of evidence. But more than that, we were closing the chapter to a part of the story.
She rested her head on my shoulder as we watched the flames dance eloquently.
“What now?” she asked.
I looked at her with a sense of contentment and finally feeling a little less empty. “Now we live.”