“What do you see up ahead?” Asked Joe as they walked the long straight road from Dakota to Brentwood. “Nothing” she replied, looking at the tarmac. She still wore the wayfarers she’d found at the Roundhouse last night. “Nothing?” Said Joe. Jade ignored him, instead she took out a cigarette and frisked herself for a lighter. “You left it with that guy you were with last night.” She looked at Joe from above her glasses that had momentarily dropped to the bridge of her nose. She raised her middle finger slowly and pushed her sunglasses back in place.
They walked for an hour in silence. Joe then removed a can of red bull from his small backpack. He opened it and handed it to Jade. She smiled and swigged the drink down in one hit. She then burped. The sound echoed through the trees and made her laugh. Joe smiled then pulled out a bottle of water from his bag. “You can laugh occasionally you know,” she said.

“I know,” he replied, walking on ahead.

“You know it’s not my fault.” Said Jade suddenly; loud enough to startle a crow who flew into the forest, leaving a large pine branch waving her goodbye.

“You’re not my dad you know and it’s not my fault mum…” She turned away from Joe who had stopped and was now looking back at her. It was true of course. Her real dad didn’t want to know her. And recently her mother had taken off with a car salesman from Braintree. Now it was just him and her. 

But he’d been as good as any father could ever be to his daughter. He loved her unconditionally and would die for her if needs be. He remained silent, knowing whatever he said it would be wrong. 

Suddenly, the crow that had flown away so abruptly, swooped down and landed between them. They stared at the bird as it walked slowly across the tarmac . The crow then flew back into the forest leaving Joe and Jade in a long vacuum of silence. 

“That was weird,” said Jade with a slightly nervous laugh. Later that morning, as they walked quietly, side by side, she reached out and took hold of her dads hand. ©DMM #inspirational_photograph by @landofwhitedeer 


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