Note: This is part 2 of my story entitled Alone. For Part 1 please click here:
He didn’t have his thumb up very long before a small beat up Toyota Tacoma pick up truck pulled over about 20 yards ahead of him. Lee guessed it was somewhere between a 1985-1989 model, not because he knew that much about cars, it was the rust on the back bumper that led him to that opinion. It wasn’t rust from an accident that was never painted back over, this was hard earned rust from miles and miles of hard work. The bed of the truck was all dented, probably from the odd construction jobs the man had worked.
He walked to the passenger side of the car and peaked in, asking politely where the man was headed. The tall, slender man replied that he was heading West. Lee wasn’t sure why he had asked that question, because there wasn’t an answer he would have gotten that would have made him decline a ride. He needed to get away, and get away quickly. Although, he had nothing in the town left staying for, other than maybe that pretty little red haired girl working in the convenient store on the edge of town that winked at him as he bought his first pack of smokes. American Spirits were what he picked. He wasn’t sure why other than Marlboro Reds were Mom and Dads favorite cigarettes and he wasn’t trying to remember any of those times, especially as he was escaping that prison.
The man driving the pickup truck was wearing a bright yellow hat, but he had so much hair it was spilling out the sides and back. The hat almost looked like it was balancing on the top of his hair. The man told Lee to jump in as he could use the company on part of his trip. Lee opened the passenger side front door and looked at the seat. This was something he did every time he was getting in a car. He didn’t have the luxury to just “jump in” as he always needed to move the seat back so his giant frame could fit in to the seat. Never comfortably, but tolerable. An old Toyota Tacoma was not built for someone of his size, but then again, not many cars were built with him in mind.
They exchanged in some small talk, the quick how are you, what’s your name type of stuff, but before long the driver was dominating the conversation. He talked like he hadn’t had a human interaction in the last twenty years. Lee was quite alright with this as he didn’t have much to say. His story hadn’t been written yet. He was on chapter one and this older gentlemen seemed to be somewhere closer to the end, not quite at the end, but certainly past the middle. He had a couple pictures taped just about the radio, they were of Oliver and Jamie, his two grandsons. He talked about those two boys, but the stories all seemed to be just as old as his truck. He wondered why that was, but thought better of bringing anything up. No need to start something he didn’t care to hear about. So, he turned his head and watched as his past slowly got smaller and smaller in the rear view mirror.
About an hour into the ride Lee was starting to doze off when he felt the car change lanes and slow down and pull into a Mobil gas station. He opened his eyes fully and the driver jumped out and headed into the store. Lee decided to get out of the truck and stretch his long legs. He lit up a cigarette, but quickly put it out when he realized he was sitting on top of hundreds of gallons of gasoline. Walked to the bathroom to take a piss and put a little water on his face to wake him back up a bit. He glanced at himself in the mirror and smiled, happy with his decision to leave town and excited for whatever the future might be. Life was going to be different for him from this day on. He saw a man in the mirror, no longer a boy.
As he stepped back into the truck he saw that yellow hat running quickly at him. The man jumped into the drivers seat, tossing a bag into the back seat and pealing out. Lee was confused, until he saw a middle eastern man running at the car screaming with a cell phone in his hand. The truck was speeding down the road. Before Lee could really even ask anything he heard the sound of a police car in the distance. He was again paralyzed with fear, just as he had been for all those beatings he watch his mother get. Lee thought about jumping out of the truck, but with speeds already at 70mph he knew the pavement he would hit would hurt or kill him. The roadway they were traveling on was a two lane road. Each side has two lanes, without so much as a barrier between the directions, just a double yellow line. The sirens from the police car was now very loud and he looked in the rear view mirror and could see two officers in one police car approaching quickly. As they got to about 10 yards away, Lee saw the driver reach under the seat and grab a 38 caliber revolver. He knew it was a 38 because he had seen that same gun under his fathers bed one night when he was hiding and trying to avoid his drunken fathers beatings. It still had the box it came in next to it, along with some user guide for loading and maintaining the gun. After that, on nights his father came home looking for a fight he would run up to that room and take all the bullets out of the gun. It was really the only “hero” thing he ever did. He couldn’t stand up to his father, but he could stop him from stumbling into the room and grabbing the gun to do some final permanent damage to Peggy or even Lee himself.
The driver raised the gun, looked into the rear view mirror, seeing the two police officers in the car fastly approaching, pivoted the gun to face the officers and began firing his weapon. The sound of the shots startled Lee and he jumped and hit his head on the console in front of him. The police car swerved off the road quickly and was getting smaller and smaller in that rear view mirror.
TO BE CONTINUED…