Vanessa, Expecting Her First Child, Feels Conflicted About Coming Back to the Old Homestead

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Vanessa had drifted back to the dry-stubble fields, the lowering sky, the bug-infested heat of a Texas July, simply because it was home, a comfortable uncomfortableness. These people she loved, but had escaped years ago, kept pulling her like a magnet, so that the needle of her compass always pointed to this ramshackle farm, her Granny’s porch, late night conversations with cousins and cousins of cousins. Her family roots ran deep. It seemed right her baby should be born here. So why did she want to grab her keys, hop in the Chevy, and drive the impossible miles it would take to be shed of Texas? Why did she want to say goodbye forever and for real this time? She could feel the steering wheel beneath her hands, the way it would brush the dome of her belly as she turned the truck toward the end of the drive. She could imagine the dust rising behind the tires as she made her way down Farm Road 1080, headed toward the highway, and who knows where from there.

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