***Read Part 1 HERE
The black sleek car whizzes past vacant streets and store fronts kicking up a mist from the late afternoon rainfall.
The quiet streets eerie with a deep darkness.
Silence and stillness; a lethal combination.
The streets she’s known and walked millions of times before. The streets she called home, now so far from home, so far from safe. So far from normal.
Inside the car there is this deafening sound. A sound of strangeness and silence drenched in fear.
The air thick with concern.
“What the hell was I thinking?” she thinks.
The panic sets in. Her body breaking into a cold sweat.
Her heart begins to pound faster and faster by the second. Her whole body feels like it’s been scortched. Firey and hazy. Shaking, she finally gains the courage to look into the eyes of the mysterious stranger who just saved her ass, coincidentally. Or not? She wonders.
As brown meets blue, there’s an electricity, that neither really understood in the moment, but will surely find out later on.
She musters the courage to finally break the tension-
“Where are you taking me?” she says her voice raspy and barely above a whisper.
“Wherever you want to go,” he answers with complete ease.
“I don’t really have anywhere to go. At least not anywhere safe,” she looks down, feeling ashamed and lonely.
He looks at her through the rearview mirror again. Her eyes still searching. She’s visibily shaking and clearly frightened.
“I know a motel a little ways off the back highway, low traffic. I can take you there. You can lay low- until to figure out your next move.”
“It’s ok. You’re gonna be ok.”
She looks up at him, and then away, obviously uncertain of her decision to trust a perfect stranger.
The car rolls into the parking lot of the old motel. The blue eyed man steps out of the car, he leans down to speak into the back window, “Stay here. I’ll check in, and be back for you in a few.”
She responds with a small fragile nod of the head.
He walks into the motel and disappears out of sight.
She sits in the back seat, caught in a daze, a trance. Her mind somewhere else entirely.
“Help! Help me! Please.” She hears in her mind, the only words she can vividly remember, from that night.
“Hey. Hey…your room is ready.” The handsome stranger opens the car door for her.
She snaps out of it, finally noticing him. Looking at him, obviously confused.
“What?” she says in a low perplexed tone.
“Your room is ready.”
“Oh. Thank you.” She says stepping out of the car and following him toward the room. See looks behind her as her eyes take in her surroundings.
Darkness. One or two scattered cars in the lot. Traffic pretty non existant on the highway at the late night hour. Flickering street lights, and a motel sign that looked like it was on it’s last hinge.
If a black cat walked across her path, it wouldn’t be a surprise.
She walks slowly behind the mysterious man. Her random hero. Or her next nightmare. Either way he’s her best bet right now. The future remains to be seen, she contemplates.
In her haze of fear and nervousness, she isn’t thinking like she normally would, reason and rationality are a blur and anything seemed safer than being where she started the night.
The handsome stranger unlocks her motel room door, and steps aside to let her in.
She staggers in, her mind finally starting to slow down at bit, her feet rooting themselves into the ground a little more, step by step.
The handsome stranger stands at the door way, looking at her.
“The woman at the front desk said the hot water is a little in and out in the mornings, she advised you shower at night.”
“Here’s your key.” He says placing it on the dresser near the door.
Still standing on the other side of the door, as if respecting her imaginarily drawn boundries.
She reaches in her back pocket and pulls out some money.
“It’s not much, but it’s all I have,” she says extending it to him.
“That’s ok. Keep it.”
“No please take it-”
“No. Keep it,” he smiles, a smile that surprises this dark beauty on the run.
She looks at him and smiles slightly back, placing the money back in her pocket.
“Ok. Well- have a good night. I’ll be in the next room over, if you need anything,” he says turning to leave.
“Thank you,” she utters in a whisper. “I don’t know why you decided to help me, but thank you.”
“Why did you decide to help me?” she finally asks the question she has thought since the minute his blue eyes met hers over the brim of that car window just a few short moments ago.
“Call it a gut feeling. I think there’s more to your story. I think there’s a very good explanation for that blood on your hands.”
She looks down, newly ashamed once again.
“I did something. Something bad.”
“We aren’t perfect. Everyone does bad things sometimes.”
“Not this bad.”
He nods, trying to read her face. She adverts her eyes from his.
He notices, but he feels for her, and wants to reach out and help her. Instead he resists and offers some words of advice.
“You should rinse that off, and chuck those clothes. Physical evidence isn’t exactly your friend.”
She looks away with a nod of understanding. The man turns to leave yet again, and the woman can’t help but express her wonder.
“You aren’t going to ask me what I did?”
“It’s none of my business. The way I see it, if I know, I can’t defend you. So let’s just keep things where they are for now.”
She looks at him in awe and confusion.
“Why would you defend me? You don’t even know me?”
“Like I said…gut feeling. If the burden gets to you, and you need to talk, I’m here. But I’m not gonna force you to tell me anything. You can come to me on your own time, or you don’t have to come to me at all.”
“Thank you. You’re very kind. I don’t know why you care. But I’m grateful.”
“Get some rest, maybe the morning will bring you some new perspective,” he says with a smile. He then walks away closing the door behind him.
She looks after him as her heart skips a beat, she wonders what it is she is actually feeling.
To Be Continued….
Welcome to Michelle Leigh Writes latest short story series…I hope you’re ready! 😀
*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*