Miles Away

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
Miles Larsson's drive home gets much more complicated as he encounters his PAST, along with the tragedy of his PRESENT.

Submitted: August 07, 2020

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Submitted: August 07, 2020

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MILES AWAY

By Jordan Fos

 

 

 

 

7:02pm

 

MILES LARSSON eased onto the empty interstate. The sun was just setting, and the sky was no longer orange. He plugged his phone in and hooked it up to his Cadillac as he drove. He kept checking his watch, knowing that he still had a good three hours until he arrived in St. Bernard. He hadn’t made the drive from Mississippi to New Orleans in years, and it was a trip he never thought he’d make again. 

Miles cleared his throat and picked up his phone. He went through his contacts and landed on his mother, Tanya. He paused and looked up at the road. The sound of his car and the sound of the road relaxed Miles as he took a deep breath. He then scrolled past his mother’s name, changing his mind. Instead, he scrolled down to his sister, Millie. He pressed the call button and waited. 

Millie answered after three rings. “Hello.” 

Miles cleared his throat. “Hey Millie.”

“Miles? Is that really you?”

“Yeah. You seem shocked to be hearing from me.”

She gave a small sigh. “Well I haven’t heard from you in years, Miles. Nobody has.”

“I know. I’ve been…busy.” He swallowed hard after he spoke.

“I’m sure you have.”

Miles stayed silent for a few seconds and then said, “Look, I just called to let you know that I’m on way to St. Bernard now.”

“You’re coming here? Now?” Millie didn’t even try to hide the surprise in her voice. “Why?”

He squinted his eyes and looked at his phone. “Well, dad’s funeral is tomorrow, isn’t it?”

“Yeah. It’s just that…no one thought you’d be coming is all.”

“He was my father too, Millie.”

“I know.” She took a brief pause, like she was thinking. “Maybe you should call mom first. Before you come all the way here.”

“Dad’s dead, Millie.” He now had frustration in his voice. “I’m coming to pay my respects to my father.”

“I still think you should call mom.” Millie seemed anxious when she mentioned her mother. “She’s in charge of the funeral, and you know how she gets, especially with you now.”

“Christ.” Miles placed his right hand on his forehead, his left hand gripping the wheel. “My job has nothing to do with the funeral or dad. I’m not even thinking about work right now. My job will only come up if she brings it up. Okay?”

“Okay.” She took another brief pause. “I still think you should call her though.”

“I will,” he said truthfully. “Later.”

“Okay. Good luck.”

“One more thing before you go.” He paused before asking his question. “Do you know if Michelle and Thomas are going to be there?”

“I don’t know, Miles.” She spoke with sincerity. “No one has really talked to Michelle since you two split up.”

“Okay. I was just curious.” He merged into a different lane as he was about to hang up. “I’ll see you tomorrow, yeah?” 

“Yeah.” Her voice got soft. “See you tomorrow.”

Millie hung up. Miles looked at the highway and found himself in the same lane he was previously in. 

 

8:04pm

 

Miles was still driving in silence, the car’s headlights lighting the road like wildfire. His phone began ringing, and he saw that it was Jason on the caller ID. 

“This is Miles.”

“Hey Miles. It’s Jason. You told me to call you,” Jason said, his nerves showing through his voice. 

“Yes Jason. First thing’s first, you need to relax. I can hear the panic in your voice.” Miles rolled his eyes at the phone. “Now, do you and Malcolm have the package?”

“Yeah, we got it.” 

“Okay. Malcolm is going to go to the motel we talked about and deliver it.” He explained the plan slowly. “You’ll wait in the car for him until he gets back with the money. $50,000.”

“Okay. And you’re sure these guys are legit?” 

“Yes. Why do you think they’re paying this much money?” Miles continued speaking in a slow manner. “They want what we’ve got, which is something hard to come by. And they know that I’m the only one who can deliver such goods. They’re legit, Jason.”

“Okay.” Jason showed a sign of relief. “We’re getting ready to leave now.”

“Call me when you get back with the money.” Miles increased his speed by ten miles per hour. “When I get back home, we’ll cut it, and then we’ll get back to our next business venture. Okay?”

“Okay. Talk to you soon.” 

He ended the call.

 

8:49pm

 

Miles was rubbing the side of his face, thinking about making the phone call. One job that he was never good at was being a husband, and being a dad was no easier, but he still had a need to see his son, even if it meant crawling out of a dark hole.

He went into his phone and came across Michelle’s name. He was surprised to still have her number, but he wouldn’t have been surprised if she changed it. 

“Hello?” Michelle answered.

“Michelle,” he said softly.

“Yes. May I ask who’s calling?”

“It’s…It’s Miles.”

She stayed silent for a few moments. “Is it really you?”

“Yes.” He took a long deep breath. “It’s really me, Michelle.”

“What do you want, Miles?”

“Well, I don’t know if you heard, but my dad recently passed.”

“Yeah, I heard.” She cleared her throat and coughed. “Saw it on Facebook. I’m sorry.”

He placed his fist over his mouth for a quick second. “I was just wondering if you and Thomas were coming to the funeral. I’m on my way to St. Bernard for it, and I’d like to see him.”

She sighed, struck with doubt. “I don’t think so.”

“Come on Michelle.” Miles’ tone grew lighter. “He’s my son. I deserve to see him.”

“You deserve to be in prison.” She sounded angry. “Pushing drugs or whatever it is you do. I don’t want Thomas around that. I don’t want him around you.”

“I’m his father, and this is his grandfather’s funeral.”

She breathed deeply, and he could hear her starting to tear up. “I’m sorry about your father, Miles, but I can’t. Not again, and not with you. I got to go.”

“Michelle please.” He struggled, not knowing what was right to say. “I’m his father. This has nothing to do with us. I just want to see my boy.”

“Goodbye Miles.” Michelle hung up the phone. Miles listened to the empty line.

 

9:21pm

 

Miles was fighting back tears after the call with Michelle. He continued driving in silence, and he thought about how he wouldn’t get to see Thomas at the funeral. What could’ve been a bright outcome of his father’s death disappeared. 

He went through the contacts on his phone and went back to his mother’s name. He shook his head, cursing silently at himself. He quickly pressed the call button and glanced back towards the road. Every time the phone rang, it put more anxiety in his chest.

“Hello?” Her voice was bitter.

“Hey mom. How are you?” 

“Miles?”

“Yeah. It’s me.” He wiped the side of his mouth with his thumb. “Look, I’m just calling to let you know that I’m almost in St. Bernard, and that I’ll be at the funeral tomorrow.”

She stayed silent for a few moments, but finally asked, “Why?”

He rubbed his fingers in-between his eyes. “Because he was my father.”

“Why would you come, Miles?” Her voice got lower. “You know how your father felt about you.”

“Yes. I know.” His voice went low like his mother’s. “And I had some feelings towards him as well, but I’m putting that aside because the man is dead.” 

“I’m sorry to say this, Miles, but you were already dead to him.” His mother spoke with not a single sign of hesitation or regret. 

“That’s not true.”

“Yes. Yes it is.” She took a brief pause, like she was working up to say something. “Do you know what the last thing your father said about you was, Miles?”

“No. What?”

“He said he wished that you didn’t turn out the way you did, and that he was glad you left.”

“You’re lying.” Miles could feel himself getting worked up. “You’re just trying to send me away again.”

“Your anger. Your violence. Your drug handling.” She began speaking in a hushed tone. “It embarrassed him, like you’ll embarrass yourself if you come here.”

He placed both of his hands on the steering wheel and increased the car’s speed, merging into the next lane. “Well I’m coming, and I looking forward to giving you a big old kiss, Tanya.”

“You’re not getting near me. I don’t let drug addicts near me.”

“Oh yeah. That’s how you feel?” The anger rushed through him, like his car rushed through the interstate. He bit his tongue and hung up the phone, breathing like he’d just run a marathon. He’d never felt so hated, which at that point said a lot about how his family really felt towards him. He was no different than his father. He was dead to them.

 

9:55pm

 

Miles drove with his eyes glued to the road. He felt like he was in a form of shock. His foot kept releasing the gas, causing him to slow down. He knew he was almost in St. Bernard, but he didn’t want to be, and he now knew that he never should’ve left Mississippi.

His phone suddenly rang, and the caller ID said that it was Jason. He answered, hoping for good news. “This is Miles.”

“It was a set-up!” Jason yelled, sobbing through the phone. “They got Malcolm. I drove back to our place as fast as I could. Those guys were cops!”

“No. They can’t be,” he said softly.

“They know about us! They got us!” Jason was making noise in the background. “I’m packing up now. What do we do, Miles?”

He stayed silent and closed his eyes, shaking his head. He opened them and looked up at the mirror, hovering over him.

Jason continued screaming on the phone. “Miles! Miles! Are you there? What do we do? Miles!”

He looked at his phone and ended the call.

 

9:58pm

 

Miles disconnected his phone from the car and rolled down the window. He looked at the black screen before tossing it out onto the highway. He rolled up the window and stared at the road ahead of him, lit up by his headlights. 

 

10:00pm

 

Miles shut off the headlights, and he was now driving in the dark. He pressed on the gas and increased his speed to the max. He blinked, and a tear fell from his right eye. In only a few hours, whatever it was Miles had, was now gone. He shut his eyes completely, letting the darkness drive for him. 

 

 

 

 


© Copyright 2020 Jordan Fos. All rights reserved.

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