Chapter 1: The Start
It was cool. He lit a cigarette, inhaled deeply, and rolled down the window. The breeze felt good as it blew through his curly brown hair. A glance down at his phone made him aware of the time. 6:38. It was getting close to dark. Before he could pull out of the parking lot of the gas station another car pulled up. A young woman jumped out, slamming the door and quickly turning on her heels to march away. The car peeled off creating a cloud of dust. He tapped his cigarette and the woman appeared through the dust. They caught each other’s eyes, and he felt his heart skip a beat. She smiled at him and without meaning to he smiled back.
“where you headed?” she said.
He looked around, he wasn’t sure that she was talking to him. No one else was around. He shifted his feet back and forth before he could find his words, she was walking over.
“can I catch a ride?” she said. Leaning into the car, raising her eyebrows at him, opening her eyes widely. She had a blue backpack slung over her shoulder. It was pulling down the wide strap on her pinstripe dress.
Sure. Hop in. He watched her through the mirror walk around the back of the car. She opened the back door and threw her backpack on the seat. Then got into the passenger side and sighed heavily looking at him with a huge smile. Thank you! She exclaimed. “Where are we going?”
He stepped on the gas and said with a laugh well I’m headed home. “Where’s that?” she asked. He looked over at her and replied. No offense miss, but we just met. I don’t even know your name!
She looked back at him. Clearly insulted. The names Yaraiah, and I apologize I didn’t mean to pry. I guess it is a bit odd, the way we met. I honestly was just trying to make conversation.
He felt bad almost instantly. No, I’m sorry. I’ve never picked up a hitchhiker before. “I’m not a hitchhiker she said quietly. Looking confused and embarrassed. “Oh, he said under his breath, looking out the window. They both sat quietly. A few minutes passed. “May I have a puff of your cigarette?” she asked. He handed it over. And what’s your name?
“My name?, oh sorry. My name is Penson. Penson, she repeated. That’s a nice name. She handed him back his cigarette, pulled her hair up into a bun and turned to look out the window. She was sleeping within 60 seconds.