It will be cold comfort to know, Gay Lynn Pierce, even before you drop your daughter off at school and drive yourself away from your hometown, if not forever then pretty close to it, that you are not alone. Plenty of other women have gone before you. Plenty of them couldn’t stand the place either. By the time you find yourself parked in the fire lane at Sam Houston Elementary School, two suitcases and a shoebox of family pictures hidden in the trunk, you will know plenty of stories about those other women, the ones who ran off.
Your daughter says, Mama, why are you crying? And you tell her, I’m not, Debra Ann, it’s just allergies, and she says, It’s February, too soon for allergies. And you swallow the stone in your throat. Could you scoot over here for a minute, Honey? Let me see your face?
Your daughter is eight years old. She is going to remember this—the two of you sitting together in the front seat of the getaway car, a shaky and capricious Pontiac you have driven since high school, you clasping her to your shoulder, smoothing her fine brown hair. You will remember the… Read more »