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A Quiet Memory

written by: Drewbowski

It was six in the morning. The sun had not yet rose over the downtown area of Kingsport. No one should have been down in that area working besides police officers and street cleaners, but there was someone else working this night. A young man turned out the lights, set the alarm, and locked the door to the store he worked at on Broad Street. Closing up shop at this time had become routine for the employee. His drive home had also become routine, but not this time. Tonight, his drive home would bring him a sight that would touch his heart and calm his soul.
He slowly walked to his truck that was about twenty feet away. He forgot to look both ways when crossing the street. It was not like it would matter if he did. No one was in the downtown area. When he finally reached his truck, he opened the door with a grunt and slowly sat down into the driver's side seat. He leaned back and let out a long sigh. Another night was done for him, but he still had a long drive home and needed to be awake. He quickly turned on the headlights and turned the ignition key. The truck quickly came to life. It would have been an interesting experience for his car not to start in downtown Kingsport at six in the morning. He smiled at that thought and turned on his radio. Music was always good for keeping him awake, so he turned it on. As usual, there was nothing good on the radio, and he did not feel like listening to one of his CD's. Instead he turned to talk radio and slipped his truck into drive and began the 22 minute drive home.
He took the exact same way to work and home every single day. He went from downtown to the interstate from Wilcox Drive, then the interstate to the Eastern Star Road exit. He drove on Wilcox drive for about half a mile and began to notice that no one was out this early in the morning. It was Saturday morning after all. He should not have expected anyone to be out this early. If it was another day, he felt sure that he would see a lot of cars going past him. By the time he got to the light before the interstate, he was completely alone. Not only did this annoy him, but it also fascinated him that he was forced to sit at a red light with no one in sight. When the light finally turned green he pushed down on the pedal. With it still being dark out, he quickly made his way up the interstate to his exit.
When he finally got off the interstate and on Eastern Star Road, he noticed that thin trails of light had begun to form on the horizon to the east. He marked this in his mind, knowing that he would look in this direction again. This was really the only reason he liked to be up this early in the morning. The last time he had driven home this early in the morning, he had seen something that he wanted to see again. He had been looking forward to it since he had gone in earlier that night. He drove to the end of Eastern Star Road, and began driving on another road that would take him closer to home, as well as closer to what he wanted to see.
He drove for three miles before he turned off the radio. He had no intention of looking at the sight with some radio jockey talking about taking care of his plants. As he took a sharp curve, he sat a bit up in his seat. He wanted to be extra sure that he was wide awake. The curve took him into a long straight road that was surrounded by trees on both sides. Pale blues and oranges were beginning to form on the dark horizon, and he smiled. He liked the feeling of certainty when something good was going to happen. When he exited from the trees, he was not disappointed.
The road dipped down for about half a mile. To his left, he could see fields and pastures that were untouched by the hands of man. A small pale light had formed over the whole area, creating enough light so that he could dimly see everything in his view, but not enough light so that it looked like day. Looking at the horizon, he saw that a quarter of the sun had risen, casting orange light over the horizon and beginning to form on the earth below it. The sky was still dark in some areas, yet a pale blue-white light seemed to be coming from the sun and casting its glow on objects as well. Back on the land, he noticed a pond in the fields. It reflected the beautiful sunrise that had formed in the sky. The whole land was peaceful and quiet. He smiled and took the whole seen in before another curve formed that would eventually take him home.
As he finally pulled into his driveway, he leaned back and let out a long sigh. The night was over. Day was beginning, yet he had to go to sleep because he had to go back into work later that night. He opened his door and got out of his truck. He slowly walked to his house, unlocked the door, and crept downstairs to his room. It was nice and dark. He felt that he would have no problem getting to sleep. He laid back his head, and closed his eyes. As sleep overtook him, he still had the image in his mind of the beautiful, quiet sunrise that would forever stay with him.


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