My car pulled slowly up into the gravel driveway of my house. My trusty red truck bumped up and down as it moved up the uneven path. The soft movements keeping me on the path while tears blurred my vision like rain would in a heavy storm. My white knuckles gripped the steering wheel. It felt like the only solid thing in the world.

I pulled my truck into park, but didn't make any movements to get out.

Had it not been just yesterday that I was filled with excitement throwing a flat cap up into the air? Was it not last night that he held me in his arms and cherished me like I was the only thing that mattered?

I leaned my head against the leather bench of my truck. My body ached from lying on the bare floor all night, and pleaded for movement. But, my mind had different ideas. It urged me to never move again. Reminding me that every breath I took was more painful than the last. However, I had to keep breathing lest the tornado growing inside of me would surely make me crumble.

The radio hummed quietly against the silence. I eased slightly to turn it up to incomprehensible levels . The song blared and I began to sing along. My body was seeping into the seat and tingles were traveling through me. Every ounce of pain poured from my lips along with all my energy. I didn't realize that that the song had ended as I transitioned into the next one.

After what seemed only a few moments, my eyes fought to open and stared at my dash. The little green lights read 11:20. I had been sitting in the truck for almost an hour with it running.

My throat burned, but I let out a soft groan anyways. I turned my truck off and wiped my hoodie sleeves against my cheeks. The burned from the sudden contact of cloth to salt dried skin.

I languidly shoved myself out of my car and moved sluggishly towards my house. I opened the door and was greeted with the familiar smells of Mom's baking and Dad's pipe. They mingled invitingly in the entry way as I kicked my shoes off carelessly.

"Hey Dad" I called a bit hoarsely.

"Hello Dear, it sounds like you had quite a night" he replied in a joking matter.

I attempted a light chuckle and then quietly moved towards the kitchen. The closer I got the more distinct the scent of apple pie became. Before I could even reach the door frame that separated from the kitchen my Mom called out to me.

"Ginny, dear! You're just in time for pie"

I didn't answer. I just moved to lean against the door frame and looked at the woman bustling around her domain. She was like the younger version of Paula Dean and cooked like her too. Everything in the room was as warm as her dimpled face and bright blue eyes. The kitchen was the place she touched the most and it spoke volumes about my mother.

My lack of response incited Mom to look up from her garnishing. Her face was garnished with many laugh lines and they all scrunched up as she studied me.

"Ginny, dear" she said softly as she unconsciously wiped her hand against her floral apron. She moved around the kitchen island and towards me. The worry was building up in her face as she absorbed what I was sure was a wreck of a face.

I gave her a small smile even though my every muscle in my face protested.

"He's gone."

"Oh, Honey" was all she said before she drew me into her.

"Mommy" I responded almost inaudibly.

"Shush, baby" she cooed.

I felt her hand begin to lightly rub my back and her cheek rest against the top of my head. I could feel the strength in her arms and solidity in her stance. In her arms, nothing could hurt me