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Set Free

I can't change you.



"If you gave me the keys when we stopped for gas, we would never end up here." I turned in my seat of the Mercury, grabbing the back of my neck. I glared at Perseo.

"Shut up, heifer!" Perseo said, turning the key in the ignition.

"Stop it!" I waved the fumes from my nose. "You're so stupid; you can't drive out of here. Are you trying to kill us? Your drinking has gotta stop."

"Nothing is wrong with my drinking!"

I braced my hands against the cinnamon-colored dash board. "You broke through two road barriers and landed us in this hole. And you don't have a problem?"

"You should talk. You look like a disco ball," Perseo replied.

"This is a sequined outfit."

"I didn't beg you to come with me." He stared out the window into the blackness.

"Nope. I came because I love you. And I didn't want you to get hurt. But every time I love you, Perseo, I get hurt." I wiped the blood off my cheek.

Perseo reached over and held a handkerchief against my wound.

I removed his hand to hold the handkerchief myself. "I can't keep forgetting this bad part of our relationship."

Perseo made a call on his cell phone. "Help is coming."

"Then what, Perseo."

"I'm not an alcoholic!"

"Then maybe I have the problem."

"You heard me just call for help. We'll be all right." He moved closer to me and hugged my shoulders. "Stop nagging."

"It's over." I yanked away from him dropping the handkerchief in my lap. And then forced my door, to widen the opening.

"You're scratching my freakin door!"

I eased back in the seat and slapped him. "You're worried I'll damage the door to the car that you drove into a ditch."

"Don't hit me again." Perseo stroked his face.

"Look at the baby, he's about to cry because he got smack." I said, throwing his handkerchief at his face. "Wipe your tears."

“Leave me alone,” Perseo said, balling the handkerchief in his hand.

“I can’t be with you,” I paused. “I’m tired of being upset with you. You won’t change.”

“You say all this now,” Perseo said. “But you won’t leave me because you depend on me to love you.”

“Not anymore.”

Perseo held my hand between his hands. Then he caressed my fingers. I slipped them away. Then he flipped his phone opened, a blue light reflected on us.

“I haven’t played this game in long time,” Perseo said, pushing a few buttons.

“I want to live my life not expecting to die, I have hopes and dreams.” I spoke the words deep inside of me.

“One time I made it to a thousand points,” Perseo replied. A light flashed over our heads. His phone rang.

“I’m Max, a foremen who works on this site,” the guy said. “Is everyone okay down there?”

“Yes!” I said.

“The firefighters are sending down a cover. Put this over both of you.”

“What for?” Perseo said.

“They’re going to cut the roof of the car,” Max said.

“Don’t!” Perseo said. “Can’t you just lift the car out?”

“It wouldn’t be safe,” Max said. “Anyway, the fire department doesn’t have a crane, son.”

I grabbed the phone. “Go ahead!” I said, and then I snapped the phone shut.

“I’ve got to see if my insurance will pay for this, Cassandra,” Perseo said.

I pulled the cover through my window. Perseo had taken too much to his side of the car.

“Stop it!” I said. I yanked a large part of the cover back and I held it tight over my head. I reclaimed the cover and who I used to be, a strong independent woman.

After the roof of the car was cut off, we were rescued. I stood on the highway with a blanket from the fire department around me. The police gave Perseo a breathalyzer test after he finished screaming at Max and the firefighters. He failed. I didn’t care enough anymore to help.

“I’m safe and my heart will be okay,” I whispered.

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