Gone For Good – A Short Story

By Meg Sorick; 2017

Moving day was finally here. I’d always hated living in the Philadelphia suburbs and at long last I was saying goodbye for good. The plan was pretty simple. Kim and I would recruit friends and neighbors to help load up the moving truck on Sunday, we’d stay with her family Sunday night, and first thing Monday morning, we’d go to settlement. With cash in the bank account, I would hit the highway in the truck, towing one of the cars. Kim hated the idea of a coast to coast road trip so I suggested she fly out five days later. “You’ll have some private time with your mom that way,” I had said.

The sale of the house netted us $53,000. Not a fortune, but enough to get started someplace new. Kim kissed me goodbye outside the realtor’s office and I took the cashier’s check with me to the bank on my way out of town. I promised to call her when I stopped for the night. My plan for the first day was to reach Knoxville, Tennessee.

At the bank, I deposited the check in our joint checking account and withdrew the small balance in our savings account which I added to the stash of currency I’d been accumulating over the past few months. The black Addidas backpack held $21,000 in tens and twenties.

The trip to Knoxville would take longer than if I were simply traveling by car. I was counting on that fact in keeping Kim from worrying if I didn’t call until late in the day. My first stop was actually going to be in Lancaster, at an auction, where weeks ago, I had negotiated a lump sum for all my worldly goods. The proprietor had also agreed to pay me in cash. When I drove away with my empty moving truck, I had another $8,000 to add to the backpack.

Next, I returned the truck to the local rental office and transferred my bags to the back of the Subaru. Now, I would hit the road for Knoxville. I arrived only an hour past my estimated travel time. Kim hadn’t worried at all.

The bank had said the money from the cashier’s check deposit would be available in increments of $10,000 per day on the first four days and the final $13,000 on the fifth day. I wouldn’t have time to access all of it before Kim boarded the plane for San Fransisco, but I’d be able to get a sizable chunk. I had planned my route based on branches of the national bank being close by. First thing Tuesday morning, I withdrew $9,990, just below the limit that would attract attention from the Internal Revenue Service. I did the same thing in Asheville, North Carolina the next day. And again in Atlanta, the day after that. Enough was enough. I was cutting it close.

That night in the hotel, I smashed my phone to pieces, cut my driver’s license and my credit cards into tiny bits and said goodbye to Perry Reynolds for good. My new driver’s license issued in Florida, read Michael Johnson, a name so common, it would never stand out.

The next morning, I parked the Subaru in the long term parking lot of the Atlanta airport and took the shuttle to the terminal for international flights. Instead of boarding a plane, though, I circled through the terminal to the area for arriving flights and hailed a taxi to take me back to the city center. After replacing my cell phone using my new identity, I made a single phone call.

“Hey, it’s me,” I said, the smile apparent in my voice. “I’m on my way.”


A fairytale poem from spring of last year:

The lady fled on gallant steed
Escaped the castle and its keep

To the river, forged the shallows
Ran the horse, through fields now fallow

Fearing the worst, she rode all night
Slept in saddle during the flight

The craggy mountains gave no shelter
The burning sun by day did swelter

Pursued by hounds, as though from hell
They caught her scent, upon her fell

If it were not for her brave warrior
They’d have sampled the lady’s flavor

But to Highland refuge she was spirited
The clan’s protection she had merited

As her distant cousin, she had sought
A haven from her future lot

Forced to marry for a treaty sworn
The lady’s fate was foreordained

But to her lover’s arms, she ran
He, the noble chief of the clan

In swelling womb his babe was carried
And he, the lady swore to marry


This is an ongoing fantasy of mine. I went so far as to buy a book that teaches you how to disappear. From last spring…

I want to be anonymous
I want to run away
Find a way to fake my death
Collect on the insurance policy

Travel somewhere sunny and warm
Where no one knows my name
Change my face, change my form
Ditch my regrets and shame

And sip a cold Dos Equis
On some pristine sandy beach
Cause my life is kinda empty
When you’re so far out of reach