2 On the Road
Evan knew that his father would never let him disappear for the summer. He had to know his son’s whereabouts at all times. His father would enlist his mother to find him; his mother would protest, briefly, that Evan is old enough now to be on his own. But she, too, would want to know what hd become of him. And his father would point out that Evan was at a vulnerable age—old enough to get into serious trouble, and then have no idea how to deal with it. His mother would look doubtful for a few minutes aftre that. She would be waffling, and then his father would run down the list of examples of celebrity kids run amok. The Drew Pendergast story would be brought up, ...view middle of the document...
She was blinded by her absolute commitment to Walker and his career; she would never do anything to threaten his ambitions, and if she did inadvertently do something his father deemed politically harmful, she’d have no trouble giving it up—whatever the cost—for his father’s benefit. She would never understand that Evan might not be willing to sacrifice his life for him, too.
She would always love Evan, but she would always be blind to his desire for freedom and his need to be his own man. In the absence of understanding, she would get systematic: she would list off all the places that he might go—all his friends and even acquaintances, from college first and then from high school. They would all get calls. Is Evan with you? All their summer homes and getaway places would be checked. That would take a while, but how long really? A couple weeks? Three? And then she would give his father the list of all the places he had said that he wanted to go to someday—and that was quite a list.
Enquiries would be made for any place that Evan could get to without a passport –and that would take a while because as the son of a powerful senator, he could go quite a few places without a passport. But Evan had never taken advantage of his father’s status like that, but that was the kind of thing his father had never noticed—
That just shows how little he understands me. He thinks that I am drawn to power like he is, and that I want to be in the spotlight; that I want to be like him or just be him. And if I don’t think that way, he figures I must be incomprehensible like a madman or a terrorist—some dangerous type that has to be contained and prevented from getting out of control. For his father, the fact that he didn’t understand the way Evan thought was reason enough to pursue him, track him down. But he wouldn’t use this line of thought with his mother unless he had to, because she wouldn’t believe them as readily as she would that her son might be unsafe or that he might—unintentionally—do something to harm his father politically.
Searching all the places he had told his mother he wanted to go someday would take some time because he wanted to go to some very remote places—although Evan wondered if half the reason he wanted to go was just to get away from his father.
Trees lined both sides of the road right down to the ditches on either side. The ditches themselves sprouted ferns like giant emerald green ostrich feathers that made him feel he was in some dinosaur infested land before time. He almost expected to look up and see a huge reptilian head rising from the treetops. He knew that the forest was deep enough now that if he hiked into it, he could hike ten or twelve miles before he might come upon a house up a dirt road. If he missed the solitary home in the woods, he might hike another ten miles before encountering a village or some other outpost of civilization. The road he was driving had switched from forest on both sides to...