KAYLA PROVENCE - LONG ROAD HOME
Kayla Provence lives in North Carolina, and is currently a student at Full Sail University studying Creative Writing for Entertainment. When she’s not writing or studying, she likes to spend her free time with her four fun loving dogs.
Long Road Home
It was the hottest part of the day, the heat lingering in the humid air under the Louisiana sun and boiling anything that dared to stand out under it. The heat was so intense that Aveline couldn’t find any relief sitting under the trees in the shade, sweat still building up on her skin while she downed a bottle of water. She had a plan, or at least part of a plan really, she just had to make it to Shreveport; Michael would be there waiting for her and then they could go wherever they wanted without her Papa’s wrath lingering over them anymore. Getting there was the crux of the problem, between not having a car and policemen at every bus station looking for her since last night, Shreveport might as well have been another planet away. It left her with only one choice, and that was trying to get a ride from someone out here on one of the small dirt roads; one of the only places she could hide where the police haven’t ventured yet.
Aveline finally had a glimmer of hope when she heard the familiar roar of a pickup truck making its way down the road, the truck kicking up clouds of dirt as it drew closer to her. She leapt to her feet and ran out to the roadside, trying to wave them down while saying a silent prayer that the person wasn’t a creeper or an axe murderer who just so happened to have a taste for sixteen-year-old girls. The old red pickup came to a halt, it’s breaks squeaking as it pulled up right beside her, the dirt smeared window slowly rolling down to reveal an all too familiar face that made her heart sink. Of all the people in all of the parish to drive down this road and see her, it had to be Dayton Rook, her neighbor from down the street.
“You have got to be kidding me.” Aveline huffed, her shoulder slumping in disappointment, he’d give her a ride, but it’d be a ride right back to her house.
“Now what’s a girl like you doing in a place like this? You have any idea who could have picked you up out here?” Dayton asked, though his voice wasn’t filled with the condescending tone adults tended to have in situations like these, she figured it was because he wasn’t really an adult yet even though nineteen was close enough to being one.
She didn’t even attempt to run off, it’d be pointless in the end and Dayton would just catch up to her. Aveline resigned herself to her fate and pulled open the heavy creaking door of the truck, tossing her backpack onto the bench seat before slamming the door shut behind her. The heat in the car thanks to its pitiful air-conditioning was almost as bad as it was outside, causing Aveline to pull a hair tie out of the front of her bag to put up her long black hair into a bun to give her some relief from the heat; she almost wished he’d left the window down instead of rolling it back up.
“Where are you going?” He asked her; it took Aveline a moment to realize he was asking her seriously.
“What does it matter, you’re just going to take me back home.” Aveline mumbled, tugging the hem of her dirt stained white dress down slightly to cover her scraped up knees.
“Figured I’d ask.” Dayton shrugged, a slight smirk playing on his lips as he shifted the truck back into drive. “It’ll be nice to sleep tonight instead of out looking for you, where were you going anyway?”
“You were out looking for me?” Aveline asked, now noticing the dark circles under his gray blue eyes.
“Everyone was out looking for you.” He explained; Aveline was disappointed by this, though she couldn’t fully understand why even if she’d always felt weird like this around Dayton.
“Shreveport.” Aveline stated.
“Going after Michael, huh? Good thing I picked you up then, he’d just dump you like he’s done to every other girl.” Dayton was right and Aveline knew it, why was she going after him when he wouldn’t do the same for her?
“Yeah.” Her eyes locked on the road.
“I’m glad you’re okay.” Dayton replied, a smile on his face.
“I’m glad you found me.” Aveline wore a smile of her own now, feeling safe for the first time in days.