EOL - Book 1, Part 1, Chapter 9

The Hitchhiker


The road was flat. The air, dry and the sun, blistering.

She stopped a moment, pulling out a bottle of water from her backpack, and took a long swig. Squinting up and down the empty road, she put the bottle back in her pack and started to walk again. But only for a moment, until she grimaced and stopped. Spying a large rock, she hobbled over to it, dropped her backpack to the ground and sat. Untying her laces, she removed her irritating boot. Exhaling heavily, she turned it over to watch small stones and dirt pour out.

With a furrowed brow, she inspected her boot for signs of holes or some explanation as to why every few miles, her foot-ware tended to collect small mountains of debris. However, like many other great mysteries of the universe, the answer was not to be revealed at this time, she considered thoughtfully, and slipped her boot back on.

As she tied the laces, she heard a vehicle in the far distance. With a smile, she flung her backpack on her shoulder. At the side of the road with her thumb out, she squinted, barely seeing the car which through the waves of heat that blurred the view. A ride would really be nice right now, she considered as she wiped the sweat from her brow and readjusted her floppy desert camouflage hat.

As the car came closer, she could see it was a Mercedes, with air conditioning no doubt, she thought with a smile. A midnight blue, she admired as it sped past her in a blue blur, kicking up a cloud of dust that quickly engulfed her.

She coughed and blinked her eyes, which started to water from the grit assaulting them. "Spitfht, spitfht," she expelled the dust from her mouth. As the cloud settled, she groaned, like she had done for the last seven cars.

She sighed, wishing she had enough bus fare for the exodus from the city. But she didn't. And she had to get away from the police, who got too damn close that time. So she took what remained of her worldly possessions, which conveniently fit in her backpack, and hit the road by foot. Alone.

Walking down the road, she shook her head, feeling surprising sadness over blue-eyes. Why didn't she follow, she wondered, recalling their wonderfully intense encounter. She rolled her eyes, knowing exactly why. Blue-eyes didn't want any trouble, she considered. It's not like she could really blame her. Getting involved with a lunatic being chased by a couple cops who only wanted to just shoot "the crazy bitch" had to be a major turn-off she considered. At the very least, it put a damper in their promising evening.

If only she had another chance. Then she could show blue-eyes that she didn't have to fear her. And she could apologize again for slugging her, which she still felt bad about. But despite that rocky start, she though blue-eyes could feel their connection. She certainly started to feel something more when blue-eyes took the lead, just before they were rudely interrupted by those idiot cops.

Finding and losing the woman of your dreams in the span of a half-hour, she considered, shaking her head sadly. What a bad day. What a bad couple of years, she amended, wishing things had turned out differently.

But it didn't do any good to be wishing for things, she considered, taking a deep, fortifying breath. She had spent far too many years wishing for what she didn't have. For a less stressful job, more trustworthy friends, a family that understood her, someone . . . anyone . . . to truly care about her.

But she had learned that wishing didn't do any good. She shook her head at the years wasted on wishing for a better life instead of making a better life. Funny how it was all so clear now, she considered with an ironic chuckle.

She looked up to the vast blue sky. A few large, puffy clouds sailed lazily by, casting large shadows of relief down on the hot road. In the grand scheme, her problems were nothing. Life continued, regardless. And she was going to live it while she could.

A large bird soared across the sky. She smiled. So beautiful. So free.

Hearing another car, she turned and stuck her thumb out.

To be continued. . . .