I stepped over the warped floorboard on the porch, thinking its crack might wake him. The baby was bundled into her blanket– a yellow one Nana knit after Poppa died. This October night was cold and brittle, but the grass hadn’t yet frosted. It was so quiet I could just make out the horses shuffling and stamping in the barn. The ground around the house was uneven, so I stepped my way carefully until I reached the road.
I should be able to make it to Tammy’s easily, if not quickly. Two miles straight down 14th, a left, then three blocks into town. She wasn’t expecting me, but she’d never turn me away.
“Next time he does it, you just up and leave,” she’d made me promise. But I didn’t the next time or the next.
Tonight I’d flinched before he even straightened up out of his chair and that’s when I knew it was time.
Ceci stirred in her blanket, one little fist popping through, so I folded her in more closely. I couldn’t carry Ceci and a bag, so I’d need to come back for some things. But not tonight. Tonight it was just me and Ceci on our way. Ahead, the asphalt of the road met the dark autumn night–I fixed my eyes to where they met and walked.
[The flash fiction “Leaving”, 2016 draft, appeared first on This Is My Symphony.]