The Last Word

I stretched out my legs and let out another yawn before turning to look at my boyfriend Holden. He was staring intensely at the highway in front of us, his eyes fixated on the road, his mouth clenched in concentration -- or maybe he was just thinking. Thinking about the how we had been driving for nearly 6 hours now with no destination in mind. Maybe he was thinking about the reason behind our impromptu road trip and starting to question if it was really worth it. I tried to shut out those quiet little voices in my head that were wondering the same thing. Was this really all worth it? Was love worth it? I don't know, but at this point it's too late to turn back so I'll guess we'll find out. Find out if love is all it's cracked up to be.

---

Love.

Ah yes, that wonderful little thing that has ruined my life.

Up until I started dating Holden things with my mom were pretty good. We fought on occasion, but generally over stupid little things that were soon forgotten. Then after Holden came along, things went to hell with my mom -- she didn't like him the second she saw him. She was always making comments about him, constantly dropping hints that she didn't approve. I tried to ignore it, tried to let it slide.

"He dresses like he's homeless." she said after the first time they met. By my moms standards anyone who doesn't wear a suit or a nice white polo dresses like they are homeless.

"What's with the piercings? He'll never be able to get a job." she said one time. "He can take them out." I told her, but it didn't matter, he might as well have a tattoo on his face as far as she was concerned.

"I know you're only dating him to get back at me." she sighed another time. I rolled my eyes and thought "Yes because I'm so transparent like that." but I didn't say anything. At that point she and I had been having a lot of arguments about him and I wasn't in the mood to start another.

Then last night I finally had enough.

"You couldn't possible like him." she said as I helped her put away the dishes. "Like . . . I just don't understand it, there is no way you could like him."

I clenched my jaw as I stared at her, but she acted like she didn't notice. "You're right." I replied. "I don't like him -- I love him!" I snapped.

And that was it. She had enough. The lit fuse finally reached the bomb. She could handle her daughter dating some little bad ass to get back at her -- to be rebellious. She could handle the clothes and the piercings. She could handle the way he talked and his attitude, but she could not handle the idea of her daughter loving him. Every thing came undone. Every possible hurtful thing that could be said was said. It was screamed and it was yelled. There was no sparing each others feelings anymore.

Words of hatred were fired off at each other as endless rounds of ammunition. This wasn't a fight; it was a bloody war that went on for hours.

Afterwards when our voices were hoarse and our eyes puffy from crying we retreated to our rooms, but not without her having the last word. "You don't even know what love is you ungrateful bitch." she hissed as she shut her door.

I closed my door and grabbed my cell phone instinctively calling Holden's number. I explained to him what happened and how I needed to get away from it all. We talked for a little bit longer, coming up with a plan. "Ok." he said. "Pack your bag I'll pick you up outside your house in an hour."

Our plan was impulsive. It was stupid. It was careless and thoughtless and all the things I wasn't known for. Which made it all the much sweeter. No one would expect this. No one, especially my mom would see this coming. So an hour later when I saw the car headlights outside my window I couldn't help but smile.

Not once did I look back to see if I had woken my mom up, what did it matter anyways? I wasn't going back.

---

So that's how I ended up here, on the highway headed who knows where with my boyfriend. I turned to look at Holden again and he looked at me. "I love you." I said.

"I love you too babe." he replied as he placed his hand on my thigh, and with that any doubt about what we were doing washed away.

"Do you think she's up yet?" he asked as he nodded towards the clock on the car radio.

I looked at it and it read 6:28. "Hopefully." I said. Right now she was probably going into my room to wake me up for school, but instead of finding me fast asleep with tear stained cheeks she would find my bed made up and a letter on the pillow addressed to her.

Dear Mom,
It's love. How do I know? Because it was something you never gave me.
Love,
Your ungrateful daughter.