Fortune watches his parents start to run towards him. They aren’t really his parents right now though. His father has that look in his eyes, the one that scares Fortune and makes Fortune feel small. His mother has hair like a zombie. Her face is blank. She looks like she doesn’t even exist within her own skin. Fortune is scared. They have been hurting one another in front of everyone in this mall. They have hurt in front of Fortune for years. For years, they have been yelling at one another and giving each other looks that they think Fortune doesn’t see but he has seen them all. And now he knows what they all mean. Fortune turns and runs away because he can’t stand to see them anymore. No more hurt. No more hurt.
Fortune runs as fast as he can. He is prepared for anything. Anything ever. He is even prepared to run away from his own family when they aren’t acting like his family. Right now, they are acting like people who don’t care for one another. They aren’t acting like his family. When no one cares about you, you don’t have anyone to pick you up off your feet. When your own family doesn’t care about you, you have nothing. You are just a person inside a place with no memories.
The idea of life without his parents starts to make all of Fortune’s memories unravel inside his brain. The memories of all the places they have ever been start to disintegrate. They begin to turn to dust on the floor of his mind. The image of his house falls apart: shingles fall off the door, the door rots through and breaks off, his room breaks apart, the dinning room table splinters into pieces, the whole neighborhood changes, the diner changes and suddenly the milkshakes aren’t as good. All the places Fortune has ever been to lose their distinguishing features and become empty places with no important features. They are places that he simply passes through. Nothing is memorable. All the places he has ever seen become one large open space.
Fortune runs and lets his mind go blank. He pushes through the door and runs out of the mall towards the parking lot. He knows that his parents are close behind him but he doesn’t want to look over his shoulder. Fortune doesn’t want to stop. His legs are tired. His lungs hurt. He has tears all over his face. They left him in the van to go fight. Now he will leave them in the mall to fight without him.
Fortune runs through the parking lot. He passes all sorts of cars. He is looking for anything with an open window. He is looking for anywhere to just stop and hide. He just needs to jump in somewhere and not move for awhile until no one is looking for him. He passes all sorts of vans, trucks and cars but none of them have their windows down. There are no small alleyways to jump into. There are no dumpsters either.
Then he spots a large red semi truck and runs towards it as fast as his legs will carry him. The truck is where Fortune knows he needs to go. It is the only place. If he can’t get inside it he can hide underneath it.
When he gets to the truck the window on the driver side is closed but Fortune moves around to the passenger window and it is open just enough for Fortune to stick his arm in and roll the remainder of the window down. He hops inside the cab of the truck and curls up behind the driver’s seat. He leans his head up against his backpack and closes his eyes. Fortune sits there not thinking about anything.