He’d begun to swerve. Unable to stop swallowing in an attempt to keep the contents of his stomach down. Not that there was much there. Old coffee, a piece of yesterday’s toast, a spoonful of duck fat. A real breakfast would be nice. A lot of things would be nice, but keeping the wheels on the road was all he could think of. His lids were heavy, but not with sleep. Lord knew he’d had enough of that in the past couple days. Ever since he’d found out. Oh…God, the image in his mind was still so fresh. That feeling in the pit of his stom—no, his very soul. The core of his Being. Heavy—so damn heavy.
“Why, Joan, ah—c’mon, why?” The heels of his hands wore curved bruises. The steering wheel wobbled when touched. Saying it aloud, talking about it at all, made it more real. He had to pull over. Driving another mile, even half of one, was too dangerous. He couldn’t focus.
On his knees, his fingers wove into soil. Warm and moist. Somehow that gave him strength. The tears abated. He drew a long wavering breath, but at least it was full. Full of clean air. “I don’t know what to do. I…Please help.” The pleas weren’t meant for anyone, and yet the image of his father came to mind. A solid man never shaken by anything. At least that’s how he remembered him. “She told me…Oh, but why? Why would she…I don’t understand. After all we’ve been through, all we’ve done and seen together. Why? Was it too much? Nothing new anymore? Is that it?”
In talking aloud a sense of peace came over him. Not enough to quell the pain in full, but at least it was dampened. A feeling of being watched came over him, as though he weren’t alone. Looking into the sky the clouds held shapes—or maybe it was only his imagination. “Thank you. I—” he rubbed his face, laughed when he realized there’d be mud there now. Mixed tears and dirt. “I know you’re there, watching me. I’ll talk to her. We’ll get through this.”