That One Last Time


“You’re going to drive cross country,” Shep’s father said, “all the way to California, in that?”

“It’s a good car, Dad, it—”

“It’s a piece of crap.” The old man brought the beer to his lips, sucked the froth from the top noisily, in a way that had bothered everyone around him for twenty years or more. “Break down before Mississippi, I’ll bet.”

“Maybe. But I’ll fix it and keep going.”

The old man shook his head. “Stupid.” He turned, went back into the house to where his football game was playing.

Shep left that night. The Panthers lost, 21-3.

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