“How long have we been awake?” I wondered as I exited the highway in search for another cup of coffee. My mother and I were desperately trying to make it home for Christmas. We had a late start and the holiday traffic held us up. I was always surprised by the amount of people who could not merge onto the interstate correctly. How could you be an adult and slow down as you should be speeding up? Even at sixteen, I could merge better than most of the adults we were passing on the interstate. Half of them were staring at their phones and going either ten miles over or under the speed limit.
This year I knew it was different. That it would always be different. This was the year we were running away from my father. Running away from his alcoholism. Running away from his abuse. My mother and I were heading to my grandparents new house in a different town and are hoping and praying it will be a few days before he realizes we are not coming back. Hope and prayers. That’s all we have left. Every few minutes I looked in the mirror for his beat-up Chevy truck. What would happen if he showed up. What would he do? Where would we go? Would my grandparents call the police? After so many hours, I thought maybe we were home free. Then I saw the headlights in the mirror and knew we were doomed.