She put her travel mug on the roof as she put her bag in its designated spot in the backseat and slammed the door. She got in the driver’s seat, closed the door and put her keys in the ignition and turned the car on. She carefully watched her screen as she backed out of the driveway and drove down her street. Right turn, left turn, stop sign. Check hair in rear-view mirror. Right turn, on ramp. Three minutes. On time.

As she accelerated and merged with traffic, she heard a bump. She checked her blind spots, but no one was there. No collision. Blind spots, hm. Those needed a better name.

She turned on the radio at 7:48am and the announcer from her public radio station was again quietly asking the the traffic guy what the highways looked like. She reached for her mug of tea and her hand kept going. Huh? Oh no! The thump! Her mug of five years was gone! And a darn good brew of Kona. That mug fit perfectly into her cup holder. It had been hard to find. How would she find another?

Her fingers traced the empty cup holder, round and round and round. Damn! That was good mug! The reporter on the radio spoke about executive orders being signed. “Blah!” she grunted and swatted at the off button. She missed and knocked the knob for the radio stations. She heard a twangy guitar backed up by strings and a nasally voice whine,

“So put me on a highway

And show me a sign

And take it to the limit one more time.”

“Well, that’s weird,” she said. She saw exit 52 coming up. There was a Wawa there. She could get coffee.

“You can spend all your time making money

You can spend all your love making time”

She wished she’d spent all her time making money. Exit 52 slid past without notice. Then she could pay someone to drive her to work. Exit 53 was coming up. No chance for good coffee there. Donuts and gas. Not at the same place.

“If it all fell to pieces tomorrow

Would you still be mine?”

“I would, if I had someone that wanted me to be theirs,” she mumbled while biting her lip.

And there goes exit 53. Missed opportunity there.

“And when you’re looking for your freedom

Nobody seems to care”

Work was coming up, exit 54. Work to make ends meet. Her lips were numb and she didn’t blink. Nobody did seem to care. About freedom. She’d been driving this highway for seven years and didn’t know what was at the exit after work. She missed a few lines of the song, and when she focused again the compelling drums and crooning voice said,

“When there’s nothing to believe in

Still you’re coming back, you’re running back

You’re coming back for more”

Exit 55. She was done going back for more, she was already gone.

495 words

Today’s prompt is to write about a discovery.

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