run away with me

The field flickered with sunflowers as the wind whipped strands of dirty hair in her eyes. The truck growled with rusty ferocity, and for the first time in three years, nine months, and nineteen days, she felt on the verge of peace. Blinking softly, she turned her neck, pressed deeply into the ledge of the open window, and watched Jem, his eyebrows furrowed in his odd, determined expression. He was thinking.

“What are you thinking about?” she asked, the linger of salt from watermelon still tingling her lips.

Jem flushed red, and he thrust his shaven chin out awkwardly, as if shoving away the embarrassment that polluted his demeanor. He offered her a quick glance before darting his gaze religiously to the dirt road. “I’m not good with words, Min,” he mumbled, his voice so drowned by the sound of his old truck that she had to strain her ears to catch the sentence.

A smile flickered like a phantom on her thin face, and she hunched her arms around her chest, saying softly, “I know.”

“Is your life …” Jem began and then hitched his shoulder up, drawing back within himself. He bat his hand on the steering wheel, his eyes not seeing the world. Only the spiraling thoughts in his disjointed mind. Mindie smiled, tracing his face in her mind. Funny, she thought, how the boy she once knew still occupied his eyes, his nose, and the thin-lipped mouth that quirked at a half-smile angle.

“Min,” Jem tried again, his knees twitching, “Let’s go.” He glanced at her furtively, his hesitant eyes suddenly on the brink of wild enthusiasm, and Mindie drew up straight, abruptly feeling the urge to fight the breeze whipping her hair.

His eyes flickered but didn’t give up. “Let’s go,” his mouth whispered, urging with honest emotion. “Let me be your ride out of town.” His familiar nose dipped as he ducked his head, searching for the words caravaning through his head. “Let me,” he whispered, “Be the place that you hide.” The truck grumbled on, but Mindie caught every word, echoing distinctly in her whirling mind.

“I have plans--all these plans,” the words started tumbling from his lips, faster than could form, “For a house, and a farm, and a treehouse for kids--and dogs, three--and a wild goat that will escape every evening while we sit on the porch. You’ll strum your guitar, singing with that free falling voice, and I’ll think--and think, and write--and Min, can’t you see? I’m not trying to tie you down. Unless you--well, Min … I’m just saying there might be a life here.” He lifted his foot from the gas pedal, and the truck drifted to a stop in the middle of the hellish, captivating town that held her hostage with all the pain and misery from the past three years, nine months, and nineteen days. Jem reached over and grabbed her hand, massaging her palm with his familiar, brown thumb. “Run away with me,” he whispered, daring not to lean closer. “Run away with me.”

Mindie felt her breath pulsing, caught in her throat and containing the flying pieces of her heart in a whirlwind of turmoil. His thumb massaged her palm, and the touch sent fireworks shooting up her arm and jolting her mind, numb with shock and longing--sweet, utter longing.

“Mindie.” Her name on his lips. “I’m in love with you.”

She closed her eyes, fighting the longing with every ounce of strength she possessed. Fighting the surge of joy heating her heart, suddenly molding the broken pieces into a lopsided resemblance of something whole. She blinked, her fingers trembling as his firm, sweating hand closed tightly over them. Assurance.

“Just run away with me.”

A nod. That was all it took. She fought it, fought the urge, fought the longing, and suddenly found herself weary--very weary--of constantly fighting. The fingers around her own were scarred, but they were familiar and comforting and beautiful because they belonged to him. Finally looking into his face, she found the eyes--so unusual and thoughtful--were swimming with wild emotion, and she leaned her lips over his hand, kissing it with a mixture of salty tears.

“Run away with me,” she whispered, burying her face in his shoulder and melting away from the fighting. “Let’s go.”


(Disclaimer: I have no idea which musical this song is from, but I adore the song
for what it is, and found it incredibly inspiring and full of story.)