The day that I ran away I really didn't know where I wanted to go. I just wanted out of Tampa. My cousin lived in Denver and I thought why not, let's go see what he's up to. The drive started about 2pm and we arrived in Atlanta about 10pm. I didn't feel comfortable letting either of the two guys who came with me drive but I was so tired. I let one of them get hold of the wheel when we got out of the city. I figured he could drive to Tennessee which was about an hour and a half away from Atlanta. I woke up about half an hour on and saw that he was driving in the emergency lane. Needless to say we pulled over and I drove the rest of the way. We stopped in Oklahoma to rest my eyes for about two hours, but otherwise I drove straight through to Denver. My cousin wasn't too surprised when I showed up on his door step. His mother had already called to fill him in.
The two of us talked for a little while and when I told him what his mother had been doing and saying back home, he got pissed. He called my Aunt and she didn't deny a thing. My Aunt was one of the main reasons why I left. She was the biggest pain in the ass you could ever meet. My Mother called and we talked and I told her everything. She wanted me to come back and said that my Aunt would not be allowed to come over anymore. She told me to spend the weekend and then head back on Monday. I told her I had to drop someone off in Ohio and she said fine. So we sat back for the weekend and for a little while life was good. My cousin and I had some pot so we were all set. Sadly, we couldn't find any more while we were out there so it was a dry drive back. We did pick up 10 cases of Coors and brought them back to Florida with up. You see at the time you could only buy Coors on Military bases east of the Mississippi River. We bought them for $9 and sold the cases for $25 a piece. We didn't make all the money back for the trip but it helped.
I lost my job and I had to go see my father and hand in my credit card. He also lectured a lot but like usual I let it go in one ear and out the other. The trip back via Ohio was beautiful. The saddest part was that as I got closer to Florida I felt that something was wrong. It was when I walked into my Mom's room and saw her condition that I knew her time was near. I had only been gone a week but she was completely bed ridden now. The only good thing out of all this was that my Aunt was nowhere to be seen. The next two weeks were the worst time on this planet that I had ever experienced. I stayed around the house and watched my Mother die and there wasn't a thing I could do to help ease her pain. We talked as much as she could. She told me the money that I had been taking from the drawer in her room was to be my money when she died. So I had been stealing from myself the whole time. She told me how to pay the bills. She didn't know if my Father would come back. They hadn't talked about it or what to do with me until I went into the Army. I was 18 years old and in that two weeks time she told me what I had to do to be a man.
That Thursday of the next week after my trip to Denver my Mom slipped into a semi comatose state. She would drift in and out. I would go off for an hour or two to get high and just cry. I cried like a baby and sometimes when I came back people would think I was stoned but in reality I had gone to a park and just cried. I was alone. My friends were not around. The friends of my youth had moved on and for the first time in my life I was alone with no one to talk to. The person I wanted to talk to was dying and she and I would only converse a sentence at a time. This was the first time I felt like joining my Mother and just dying. I didn't feel like there was anything to live for. Funny, my mom told me one afternoon when she was coherent that I couldn't go with her that I had many years to go before I would be able to see her again. I was stunned I hadn't told anyone about my thoughts. Some how she knew. She always knew my thoughts or how I felt.