A Story of loss and redemption

BY ANNE LAFFERTY

Anne Lafferty books – Amazon.com

Did I ever tell you? One cracking cold night I stuffed my clothes into my old Honda, grabbed my violin and laid it on top of the pile. Then I hid the guns, slid them behind the rocking chair and shoved them under the bed. Not very clever hiding places, but, all things considered, I hadn’t much time to think about it. Of course, he knew it right away, said: “Okay! So where are the guns?”

And then he said, “I love you.”

Of course, he was right. But, never mind that. I’m seeing life backwards right now, and if you could see life backwards, like through the rear-view mirror of a car, then you probably wouldn’t be so inclined to mess it up.

So I…I just edged to the door, stumbled down the icy steps and raced to my car. It turned over twice and I floored it, fishtailing up the drive, creaking over packed snow, never slowing down, and drove through the red garden gates at Core Hollow one more time….one last time.

I drove blank-minded, staring, on auto-pilot, over the moony-white, twisting, pitiless back-roads, my heater blowing out lukewarm, useless air. A coil or something had blown in it the day before. My feet were beginning to numb when I narrowly missed a wandering deer beside Buck Creek School, became nerveless blocks when I rolled out of Rockbridge town and into the birch-white woods, the harsh bluff walls rising around me, the glancing gleam of Hawkins Creek rigid below them in the moonlight.
Gabriel’s driveway, his squatty little house, were still as death under the ghost-white moon. No sign of car or life, except for the thick plume of wood smoke lazily licking around the chimney, rising slowly into the biting cold, edging towards the pines, taking its own sweet time.

No, I guess I never told you….about that.