She took the duffle bag out of the hands of her lawyer, then handed him the keys to the house, her cars, and the storage facility where everything she owned was stored. Her throat tightened, and she quickly slid her sunglasses on so he couldn’t see the tears welling up in her eyes.
“When will you be back,” he asked, spinning the key ring around his finger a couple of times before stuffing it in his jacket pocket.
She knew he was sad, she was too, but she couldn’t handle her own feelings, much less manage to share that pain with someone else – though it wasn’t the same for him as it was for her. She had been there when it happened. She’d been a witness to it all.
“I don’t know. A year or two, maybe more. I just… I can’t stay here right now. It hurts too much to be here,” she said, barely able to croak out the last few words as her throat tightened and threatened to close all together.
“I know. You have lost way too much for someone so young.” He handed her two cards that appeared from his left suit jacket pocket. “That top one is the card to your account. I’ll make sure to top it off every month. If you need more than what you can get access to, the second card has all my numbers. I can wire it to wherever you are in minutes. I already put twenty thousand in the account for you and you can call me collect if you need to. Just… try to stay safe, okay?”
She nodded once, grabbing her helmet and sliding it on.
“Reed, check in now and again, please?”
“I will,” she said through a tight throat, refusing to look his way. “I’ll miss you. Take care of yourself, yeah?”
“Same to you, kid.”
He stepped back, looking at her with a look of deep sadness as she started up the antique Harley she’d inherited from her uncle. She gave him a salute before turning away and driving straight onto the road. Tears slid down his face as he watched the motorcycle drive too far for him to see anymore. A heavy sigh slipped from him as he turned back to his car and slid into the seat. He covered his face with his hands and cried before he looked up at the sky, then closed his eyes as he whispered a prayer.
“God, please hear my prayer. Please watch over her and keep her safe. Help her find her way through this dark time. Bring her into your arms and comfort her; help her find the inner peace she needs to do whatever it is you have waiting for her. I beg of you, Lord, please… don’t let her die,” he whispered, choking out the last few words with a heart full of pain for the child that had been lost that fateful day and the broken woman that remained.
Reed blinked away the tears as she headed to the highway, leaving her entire life behind in the rear view mirror. Too much loss, too much pain… it had been suffocating her until she couldn’t bear it anymore. It was killing her, so she had to leave. There was no destination in mind, she just had to find… she didn’t even know anymore. She only knew that she felt so empty, so… hollow. Having no idea how to change that, the only solution she could think of was to leave and see if she could eventually find some sense of peace.
’I just don’t want to feel empty anymore. I don’t know if I can keep my sanity here, where everything happened. Where I lost everything.’
“Give yourself time. It’s not easy, but you’re strong enough.’
’No, I’m not David. I almost hung myself last week, and the week before I was going to swallow a handful of pills. Two nights ago was figuring out the best angle to hold my gun to shoot myself in the head. I have to get away from it all or I will end up dead or in an institution.’
’Okay. Let’s make a plan.’
The wind rushed around her, snatching her braid off her back to send it whipping the air behind her. Some of the weight began to slip off of her. Soon, she felt like she could breath again, but the emptiness would not vanish any time soon. She wasn’t really expecting it to, either.