Kacie turned left onto one of the few two-lane roads still snaking its way through that area. Then she dug into her purse and extracted lip balm. I turned my face to the window as she smeared her lips with it. I heard it drop back into her bag. Smelled the faint cherry scent.
Finally, with a deep breath I later recognized as an attempt at patience, she said, “This isn’t easy for me, Brian.”
“I know,” I said, but it was barely audible. Being here wasn’t easy for me, either, not to ride by all those memories, not to share the same air with her and certainly not to think about the last time I’d been here. The geography was fucking with me and I had to squeeze my eyes shut to blacken the familiarity of it all. I remembered thinking over New Year’s that it wasn’t my fault. That none of it was my fault. I still believed that, less than a foot from her, riding home from the airport in February. It was too soon. The wounds were still too raw.
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