We settle into this different domicile without special comment.
Autumn’s furnishings retrieved and arranged aid easy transition
with familiarity. Her immediate concern is with transitions,
transformation, she wishes to effect for her future.
“It’s been like three years. I’ve seen no sign of discovery.
He probably has lost any interest by now. If he had been
searching for us, any trail is cold. We don’t even look like we
did back when he last knew us. It has to be safe to assume we
could, you know, normalize, live better than fugitives. Our
assumed identities have some mileage, acceptance as real,
you know, officially we’re Autumn and Kathy. Alice and Beth
are long disappeared, no more. We’ve traveled very far from
anyone who knew us before. We ought to be able to shift gears,
progress beyond all that drama, re-emerge as the new us. I know
we could, Kathy and I, figure it out, like outline a plan, so she
can get better work, so we could relocate to a neighborhood with
a better school, you know, less violence more education, more
opportunities for me to develop a life that works for me.
For her, too. She could have a real life, a happy future doing
the stuff that works for her, instead of just being exhausted and
nowhere. She has decades and decades to get through yet. Of
course she can make up her mind to go forward, maybe even
accomplish something wonderful. I know we can figure it out.”
I want to encourage, support her belief.
“When you move to your new neighborhood, I can set up a space
We enjoy cheerful chatter, describe visions of this happy eventuality.
I avoid clouds of doubt, sad rain of serious impediment. Autumn’s
forceful logic, impassioned argument, have not the power of
Kathy’s entrenchment. She has found security on her bottom rung,
ready only for that final fall. She dwells in limbo of death’s
Autumn, too, is aware of Kathy’s self-damnation, absorption in
“She didn’t really get so bad until this past winter. It was like she
realized, after all the mad activity to get here, there was no going
back, and no going forward. I told myself she would get over it when
the weather warmed.”
Kathy’s fear is no longer of capture. Her motivation is not now about
fear or desperate possibilities. Her driving desire is quiet, peace,
a shroud of distance from all fear, all possibility of pain or
acknowledgement. Her run was never to, but away. She has no
means to stop running, only a turn in direction from out to in.
Perhaps she could be persuaded. Autumn has too many years
of dependence on her mother’s decisions still ahead. Can that
responsibility reach Kathy, speak to her better nature? Is there
within her a better angel to lift her, if only for that time, that
purpose, from limbo?