So Far Away

They get out of the car two spaces from mine as I pull in. Cement dark brown, puddles dotted like fallen mirrors.

They have a boy, wrapped in a jacket too big, puffy and faded. A wool cap with long sides hanging over his ears, pom yellow and white frizzing in the chill wind. He takes three steps away from their car while they pull groceries from the back. He stands, looking away, almost not with them.

The dad, skinny in jeans torn in the knees and plain white shirt. Cigarette behind his ear, his back curls forward a way it shouldn’t. He points at her. So far away. I can hear his voice through the windows, hoarse with accusations.

The mom, hair bleached into something it wasn’t, clothes fitting for what she used to be. Makeup like a night out, but she was told it was another night in. She wants to keep walking. So far away. She can’t let it go. Whatever he said, she had an answer. She had to say. He had to know.

The boy sees me through the window. I smile. His eyes widen before he tilts his head, curious. He hasn’t seen this in so long. He waves. Smiling, while he can. Through a window. He just wants to be seen, two spaces between. So far away.

More Fiction By Chris La Porte