The Country Road
by Sylvia Hubbard
The radio played loudly, aggravating me seriously, but I put on a pretty face for him. We were lost and that loud rap crap he called music, was not helping any. Of course he was too man to ask for directions, so here we were out on this country road just driving. I told him to stay on the freeway. My thoughts roamed and as I stared out the window at the trees and the other passing scenery, I realized there was something in my life missing. Here I was a housewife at twenty-nine who had dreamed of being an account to world banking. I asked myself, 'Why now was I looking at my life?'
He turned the music up louder. I wanted to scream. We had been married for six years all for the wrong reasons. I had gotten pregnant in college and he thought the right thing to do was to marry. After six months and a lot of pressure from my parents and him, we married. I lost the baby in a car accident at eight months, but we stayed together thinking maybe we did love each other. Maybe it was right. Now as I look at the trees and the clear sky above hovering over the ninety-one Grand Am as it drove down this back road, I realized to myself, it wasn't the right thing to do. I should have left. "Leave now," a voice calls to me. I look at the trees as if they had spoken. 'Why can't I be like the trees?' I think to myself. 'Why can't I be like them? Free. Independent. Doing what they wanted to do?"
"Leave now," a voice speaks again. I know now it's just my subconscious.
I bet those trees are happy. I giggle to myself from that thought.
"What's so funny?" he asked.
I shake my head that was starting to throb from the bass. Why did he always have to listen to the radio so loud? I bet if that tree we just passed were sitting in this car, it would have done what it wanted to do and turn off that music.
Something guided my hand to the radio and I pushed the power button off.
"What the fu-" he sneered.
"I can't stand another minute of that gansta rap crap, Tony. Just find us back to the highway before I go crazy."
He turned back on the radio just as loud. "I'll do it, but I need my music."
For the first time in my life, I felt defiant. No it was more like tired. Tired of just taking what was offered. I wanted more. I turned the radio off and three the buttons out the window.
"Have you lost your damn mind, Terra?! Why'd you do that? Are you going crazy?"
"Am I going? Am I going?" I kept asking it louder and louder. "I had to be crazy to think that things were right."
"What are you talking about?" He looked absolutely baffled.
"I'm talking about us, Tony. I can't take this anymore."
"Just calm down. I'm gonna find the road."
He was clueless. Why couldn't he see it? I saw it. I was miserable. Couldn't he see there was so much wrong between us? "Stop this car!" I screamed. "Stop the car!" I jammed my foot on the brake.
The car swerved spun out of control for a second, then halted on the side of the road. I was a mad woman. I had to be to do this. Here we were out in the middle of a country road in the middle of nowhere.
Yet it was somewhere. It was where I received an awakening of myself. An awakening to come to life. It was funny. Nature had called, but not in a physical way, but a mental way. 'Empty yourself, then start anew!' It told me. 'Let it out!'
"TERRA! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?!" he screamed looking at me.
I looked around the car. The dust was settling, and then I laughed. I laughed hard. I knew what I had to do. "Tony, you don't understand. You have to listen to nature. You have to listen to yourself." I gathered my things and opened the car door.
He looked at me like I was crazy.
"I must go. Nothings right, don't you see?"
He shook his head in disbelief. "We're five miles away from the next town, Terra. I won't play the music if it bothers you that much."
I shook my head now. "It was never the music, Tony. It was us. It was me. I'm going to do the right thing for the both of us. I'm going to be a tree - free and independent - and just leave." I got out the car and walked down that country road.
To this day, I thank that country road for changing my life.