All I could see were the spires

„Shut up, you big dummy!“ I said and hit him hard on the shoulder.
„You’re nike air max classic the dummy!“ he said and hit me hard back. We tossed a few more punches and then looked at each other awkwardly.
The one bus out of Welch left at seven-ten in the morning. I needed to be at the station before seven. Mom announced that since she was not by nature an early riser, she would not begettnike air max sale ing up to see me off. „I know what you look like, an d I know what the bus station looks like,“ she said. „And those big farewells are so sentimental.“* * *I could hardly sleep that night. Neither could Brian. From time to time, he’d break the silence by announcing that in seven hours I’d be leaving Welch, in six hours I’d be leaving Welch, and we’d both start cracking up. I fell asleep only to be woken at first light by Brian, who, like Mom, wasn’t an early riser. He was tugging at my arm. „No more joking about it,“ he said. „In two hours, you’ll be gone.“Dad hadn’t come home that night, but when I climbed through the back window with my suitcase, I saw him sitting at t nike air max 2013 he bottom of the stone steps, smoking a cigarette. He insisted on carrying the suitcase for me, and we set off down Little Hobart Street cheap nike air max and around the Old Road.
The empty streets were damp. Every now and then Dad would look over at me and wink, or make a tocking sound with his tongue as if I were a horse and he was urging me on. It seemed to make him feel like he was doing what a father should, plucking up his cheap nike air max trainers daughter’s courage, helping her face the terrors of the unknown.
When we got to the station, Dad turned to me. „Honey, life in New York may not be as easy as you think it’s going to be.““I can handle it,“ I told him.
Dad reached into his pocket and pulled out his favorite jackknife, the one with the horn handle and the blade of blue German steel that we’d used for Demon Hunting.
„I’ll feel better knowing you have this.“ He pre cheap nike air max ssed the knife into my hand.
The bus turned down the street and stopped with a hiss of compressed air in front of the Trailways st nike air max 90 ation. The driver opened up the luggage compartment and slid my suitcase in next to the others. I hugged Dad. When our cheeks touched, and I breathed in his smell of tobacco, Vitalis, and whiskey, I realized he’d shaved for me.
„If things don’t work out, you can nike air max always come home,“ he said. „I’ll be here for you. You know that, don’t you?““I know.“ I knew that in his way, he would be. I also knew I’d never be coming back.
Only a few passengers were on the bus, so I nike air max 95 got a good seat next to a window. The driver closed the door, and we pulled out. At first I resolved not to turn around. I wanted to look ahead to where I was going, not back at what I was leaving, but then I turned anyway.
Dad was lighting a cigarette. I waved, and he waved back. Then he shoved his hands in his pockets, the cigarette dangling from his mo nike air max uth, and stood there, sl nike air max 1 ightly stoop-shouldered and distracted-looking. I wondered if he was remembering how he, too, had left Welch full of vinegar at age seventeen and just as convinced as I was now that he’d never return. I wondered if he was hoping that his favo nike air max 90 sale rite girl would come back, or if he was hoping that, unlike him, she would make it out for good.
I reached into my pocket and touched the horn-handled jackknife, then waved again. Dad just stood there. He grew smaller and smaller, and then we turned a corner and he was gone.
Chapter 12
NEW YORK CITYIT WAS DUSK WHEN I got my first glimpse of it off in the distance, beyond a ridge. All I could see were the spires and blocky tops of buildings. And

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