The Empty Ride Home

by Kevin Michaels

This one was special; she held a place in your heart none of the others filled – the two of you shared such a unique bond that it hurts now to let her go. You love her the same way you loved them all but there is more to it with her, although every time you told her that, Kylie just laughed and brushed the long strands of hair away from her face with a sweep of her hand, leaving only a knowing smile. It was the same kind of smile she gave other guys vying for her attention and affection; the kind that would bend your heart in ten different directions and leave you searching for words to fill the spaces left behind. All summer you had tried in vain to bridge that distance between you in an attempt to get back the closeness that had disappeared but you already knew Kylie didn’t mind what was there - she was more comfortable with awkward silences than you were. You sit now in the car with the engine idling, looking for the right words but she is oblivious to that longing you have to be significant to her for just a little while longer. She opens the door and turns to give a half-hearted kiss good-bye; it is only when she sees the tear inching down your cheek that Kylie says, “Dad – please,” in such a way that you are both embarrassed and proud, but she is quickly out of the car and off to her dorm room before you can say anything else.


Kevin Michaels, whose full catalog is here, is everything New Jersey (attitude - edginess - Bruce Springsteen - but not Bon Jovi). His work can also be found at Word Riot, The Literary Review, Darkest Before the Dawn, and Dogzplot. He is a writer and a surfer who lives at the Jersey Shore.