in the middle of the night,

a man is walking on the highway. 
he is trudging, really, his hands stuffed deep in his pockets, his breath visible among the freezing rain. he is illuminated once, then again, as the cars zoom past, some of them leaning heavily on their horns.

he walks.

his fingers fiddle with the cap of the bottle in his pocket, twisting it coyly back and forth. he knows he should save it for later. he is frustrated, impatient, wanting the warmth of the amber liquid in the back of his throat, trickling into his stomach, still full from dinner and a bottle of red wine.

he loosens his tie and wonders how he got here, on the highway at two am. he runs his thumb over the wedding ring he can no longer take off. it won’t move beyond the knuckle, a trait the jeweler told him he’d appreciate ten years from now. on this night, after this fight, he’s masochistically pleased it’s welded there; a gleaming, fourteen carat reminder of what an ass he’s been.

his hair is wet and matted. the 405 goes on for miles— he could walk to california if he wanted to. he thinks about his wife, about going home for the first time since he slammed the door behind him three hours earlier. his feet hurt and his heart is heavy. he wonders if he’d get hypothermia from sleeping under an overpass in the rain.

he thinks of her standing at the window. she’s still angry, he knows, but she’s waiting for him and he can feel it.

he stops short, remembering her face, the freckle under her left eye.
he takes one step, thinking of the weekend they spent in paris, on a whim.
his feet are pointed in the direction of her, of home.

he walks.