145 – Free

It was never about vengeance, she had no time for that shit.

Still, she’d been lying if she told she hadn’t thought about it more than once. But she knew better than to face his goons alone, and even if she managed to somehow get him he had friends… powerful friends.

No, she just kept on the move, playing a game half catch me if you can, half hide and seek.

But this morning something felt odd. As she waited for the coffee to brew over the campfire she could feel something was not right. It was until she’d had a couple of sips that it finally dawned on her what it was. There were no signs of Brian’s hounds.

She’d gotten so used to dodging them that the road was her home now, always riding to keep one step ahead of his goons. But this was her turf, she made the rules here. She could practically smell them miles away.

That’s what she’d been missing this morning, there was no sign of them. Either they’d finally begun to get smart or she was loosing her edge, none of these possibilities was good for her.

She picked up her camp and saddled up the black and red Honda. Not knowing where they were made her uneasy, and she hated that feeling.

The nearest town was still a couple of hours away, it was bigger than the other nameless places she’d been to and she could probably find a nice bed there. She could also be easier to spot and get ratted on, that’s why she had spent the night out on the desert. But now something had changed, and she’d much rather be around people than out here alone.

The diner was old and looked as battered as the old lady at the counter, but the coffee smelled way better than her muddy instant. She was halfway thru the cup when his face caught her eye.

It was on the TV, looking as handsome and respectable as usual, the damned bastard. She tried to hear what was being said about him over the rattle of dishes from the kitchen and the country song on the jukebox but it was no use. Not that she cared. They were probably blowing smoke up his ass over another of his great business deals.

She returned to her coffee, letting her mind wander to the day she finally found the guts to get away, leaving him yelling on the driveway as she let the tires burn the road out of his life.

And then, the jukebox finished the song and went silent.

“…still present at the scene of the crime. The police chief has promised to give a statement to the press as soon as they have more information. For those of you who have just tuned in. Authorities were alerted this morning to a body floating on the river. They have just confirmed it is that of the notorious local businessman and investor, Mr Brian…”

Her heart skipped a beat as she turned her attention back to the screen. Men in blue uniforms were holding back the crowd of reporters as more men in uniform carried a stretcher from the river towards a waiting ambulance.

A new country song blasted from the jukebox, drowning the words again. But she had heard enough to understand why they were no longer on her tail.

She was free now, finally able to stop running. It should have made her happy and vindicated, but what she found filling her heart instead was pity.

“Oh, Brian.” She thought. “So you finally did it, didn’t you? You finally went and fucked over someone powerful or desperate enough to fuck you right back, permanently.”

The screen was now showing a woman making her whole family happy just by choosing a new toilet paper brand. She stared at it not really watching anymore.

She paid her coffee and headed out. The road was calling her again, only this time she was not running anymore.

• • •

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