65. Layla and Jake

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We went West, because that's what outlaws do

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We went West, because that's what outlaws do.

And we'd end up spending a total of six months on the road.

The memories are blurry, a surreal period of my life spent floating through a labyrinthine dream of deliriously monumental highs and monstrous lows.

The beginning was agony.

New Mexico, The Land of Enchantment, was anything but, only arid, endless deserts and yellow skies.

Alone in the poorly lit bathroom stall of a truck stop near Carlsbad, I had my first meltdown. Bone-tired, starving, and terrified, I'd sobbed my heart out, regretted everything.

We had no idea what was happening back in Canyon, but we had to assume that an APB was out on Jake.

He was a fugitive. What did that make me? An aider and abetter? If so, what were the consequences if we got caught?

Money was a problem too. We were down to twelve dollars and sixty seven cents, and running out of gas.

With both of us bruised and battered, looking sketchy as all hell, where would we go? What would we do?

"Don't worry, Layla, I have a plan. I'm gonna take care of us."

"There is no plan! We're screwed! We're totally fucked, Jake! We're gonna die!"

But he did have a plan, a nightmare of a plan. The house he'd broken into had belonged to Gunnar's brother, and the duffel bag he'd stolen had been full of Meth.

"Oh my God! What if we'd gotten pulled over-"

"We didn't-"

"We would've gone to jail forever."

"But we didn't!"

"We're not dealing Meth!"

"No we're not, I am. Layla, we don't have a choice. Calm down, I'm not gonna let you down."

It took him almost a month to get rid of it all.

And it was bad, all of it, sleeping in rent-by-the-hour motels, venturing into the seediest areas of town at night. Locked in the car, I'd sit and fear-cry while Jake sold. And because we couldn't roll into town and start dealing on somebody else's turf without getting killed, we'd had to move around. We went all over New Mexico, always fighting, always tense.

"We can't live like this, Jacob! This wasn't the plan. We have money now, we need to get real jobs, figure out a long term plan. I hate this place. This place is horrible!"

"You don't understand, it's not that easy. We need more money to get started, we're- aw shit, Layla, don't cry. Please don't cry. Okay, Alright. You wanna leave? We'll go."

The very next day, he sold the rest of the Meth at a "bulk discount" and we skipped town, Jake grumbling about all the money we'd thrown away.

I didn't care a lick about that.

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