Blockston, Pt. 1

arrowHe wasn’t a man of very many words, but the few he spoke last Monday still rang loud and clear in her ears. “You’re emotionally sick, Mia. It’s time to face the past. It’s time to heal.” For some reason, her elderly boss at the local ice cream parlor had taken a personal interest in her and treated her as if she were his granddaughter.

The wind from the open car windows blew through her blonde hair as she sped down the highway. She flipped on the radio, grateful that her grandfatherly boss had given her the week off. He said she was to spend the week looking for herself, whatever that meant.

She had no clue where she was going. She just knew she couldn’t spend the entire week cooped up in her small apartment.

Her little Chevy chugged its way up the interstate ramp. I-70, the iconic interstate sign read. Her mind wandered to that day two years ago when her little Chevy had chugged down that same ramp.

She had not known where she was going that day either. She had only wanted to run… far away… from the constant stress and pain. She had wanted to leave behind the people and the memories that made her life so miserable.

It had been the conversation with her brother that morning that had pushed her to the point of disappearing off the face of the earth… or at least from the community. She had arranged to meet him at IHOP. She had picked at her food while he scarfed his down in Cookie Monster style.

“Gee. You eat much?” she had asked.

“Grump much?” he had quipped back. “What’s your deal, man? You’re just sitting there moping like your dog died.”

She cleared her throat. “Actually I wanted to talk to you about something.”

She had confided in him about the abuse she had received from their father as a child, and he had accused her of making it up. “You disgust me, Mia. Why are you so hell-bent on making Dad out to be a monster?”

She had heard enough. She pushed back her chair with a loud screech and ran out of the building. She went straight to her tiny, dingy apartment and started to pack the few items she owned. She had left town that night without telling anyone.

The low fuel signal dinged, bringing her out of her reverie. She quickly swerved toward the upcoming exit, hoping to find a gas station. She slowed to a stop at the end of the ramp and looked down the road. A tiny Phillips 66 stood tucked in the trees alongside the right side of the rarely used country road.

She turned, drove the half mile, and pulled in beside a gas pump. As she stood next to the pump, waiting for the tank to fill, she took in her surroundings. Something seemed vaguely familiar about this place, like a bad dream lurking in the dark corners of her mind. What was it?

Her tank full, she pulled out toward the road. She hesitated. She wanted to turn back toward the interstate, but something unexplainable was pulling her in the opposite direction.

Just a couple miles, she thought. She ventured down the country road away from the interstate and into the familiar unknown.

Before she knew it, the “couple miles” had turned into six, and she came to a dead end. A big yellow rectangular road sign stood its post across the road from her. The thick black arrow demanded she choose a direction. Under it was another sign. “Blockston – 4 miles” with an arrow pointing left.

Blockston. Blockston. Why did that sound so familiar? She shrugged and made a left turn, unable to resist the pull.

As her little Chevy climbed a small hill, the tiny town came into view. It wasn’t much. A cluster of run down houses and a one block wide Main Street.

“Blockston. It’s been 20 years since I’ve seen you,” she murmured out loud, as the memories began to trickle in one by one.

 

Blockston, Pt. 2

Blockston, Pt. 3

Blockston, Pt. 4

Blockston, Pt. 5

*This story is fiction and does not represent my own childhood.

 

*photo credit

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