The tarmac road stretches, winding through ridges of the green countryside. Jack’s month-long annual is leave approved and to spend the time, a road trip to meet a girlfriend of three years Molly is the plan. Departing in the afternoon in a sedan car, windows lowered for glances at the eye-catching scenery along the way while sipping a fizzy cola drink. The weather conditions perfect for a long journey into a different City.

The fresh cold breeze is refreshing on the face, with dark hair flowing in rhythm and sunglasses covering the eyes. Two dozen motorists are headed in the same direction and back into the City destinations unknown, "are any of them on a love quest?" He ponders. Molly's City is a hundred miles South hence a twenty-mile head start. Sounds of the tyres gripping gravel, launching grits of gravel to the undercarriage is a rare treat in the City. The radio which's colour is a contrast to the crimson synthetic leather interior, is an update made to make this trip memorable. Installed a week ago for of purposes are listening to audio novels or the great road trip music thought of at the last minute. 

An hour elapsed when to behold a river half a mile ahead, the water glittering flocks of wild ducks swimming with grace leaving beautiful waves. Jack slows down and parks adjacent the river. With a brown leather-covered notebook scribbling a short poem on the scenery, a view-point from the bridge a presentation for Molly. Dipping bare feet into the shallow clear cold water, picking a water-carved smooth pebble startles schools of fingerlings. Feeling it with both hands the mind wanders for a moment. A vibration in the pocket, the phone ringing Molly is calling "what great timing," thought Jack while answering the video call.

“Hey, love how far are you? I just boarded an executive coach,” Molly says.

“Whoa!, those are fast! Why tell you while I can show you,” responded Jack flipping the front camera to show the stretches of the green horizon.

“That is breathtaking, you better bring me pictures,” says Molly.

“Is that all do you need a fingerling?” Asks Jack.

“That gives me a great idea, race you to the meet way last to arrive drinks a raw blend fish smoothie for dessert.” Says, Molly.

“That is kind of gross you know love? It is interesting, great not sure.'' Says Jack.

“Giving up already I should toss in an egg as a bonus?” Asks a giggling Molly. 

“It is getting psychological now see you there bye love.” Says Jack pacing to the car.

“I am paying the smoothie See you there love,” says a half-laughing Molly.

Molly looks into the dense forest the trees on the edge aligned, seeming to race in the opposite direction of the bus. The bus drives inside a lit tunnel and into daylight again. A tall slim steward red-clad is moving down the rows serving cold beverages and snacks and with a generous smile, wishing safe a safe journey to each passenger. Adjacent the bus are smaller vehicles, big rigs and cyclists all appear to race the bus disappearing above as the bus drove under a bypass bridge.

The black leather seats are designed for comfort with curtains separating individual seats. Molly's seatmate is a lady in the thirties, reading Stephen Hawking'' A brief history of time. On hearing the phone call a curious inquisitive question follows, “He sounds sweet will you make him drink raw fish?” The two laughs and a friendly introduction ensues. A chat on a wide range of topics follows ranging from education, career and life choices and the reason for the novel choice. Stories on wins and struggles in field physics, Tracy drifts to sleep. 

Molly still wide awake wears headphones and turns up music to set the mood of the road trip. Music plays as Molly ponders on the anticipated date, looking at the Countryfolk on the roadside. Cattle are grazing, horses running through the fields and stretches of land cultivated with leafy green crops. The window is clear enough to capture details of the trip with a camera. A sparrow flies adjacent the bus circles back towards the window as the camera records the photogenic bird. Chasing and barking at the bus is a chihuahua, a child is hot heals after the animal brandishing a leash. Two hours on Tracy is awake.

“How was the cat nap?” Enquires Molly.

“Amazing I slept like a baby, excuse me,” says Tracy walking towards the washroom.

“Baby needs a diaper change?”Asks Molly as the two giggles.

“Oh yeah do you have an extra diaper, though I pity that poor boy, you are so puny,” said a still giggling Tracy.

The steward is announcing the remaining time to destination, walks in a thirty-minute interval to check up on the passengers. A mother of a beautiful baby is suffering from motion sickness, the steward is pondering on a solution. Tracy offers to hold the sleeping baby. The steward pats Tracy’s shoulder says a sincere thank you, smiles and leads the lady to the back. Molly stares at the baby for a while admiring the little one's face.

“You want to hold her?” Asks Tracy in a jovial tone.

“I have done babysitting but not this young,” answers Molly.

“Well class in, session hold her.” Says Tracy.

“I have never done this but it's worth trying right?” Molly asks Tracy as handing the infant.

“Think of it this way I am the past present mother, she is the present mother and you are the potential future mother.” Said Tracy to Molly drawing the window curtains shut to shield the baby from the light. 

Jack is nearing the city, the journey is smooth a single stopover at a gas station for a refill and a light lunch at the glass-walled motel. The car spins losing control and a minute passes, as it stops a police officer pulls over to assess the situation. "Dangers on this road exist a driver could ram or run you over," explained the Officer. A tyre change is the best solution, with the officer's help the change happens with the siren on to warn oncoming drivers. Dusk is approaching with thanks to the Officer who had aided in the repair the drive into the city resumes. Lights of the city's streetlights lit the road, neon lights dance and giant screens display a product or a sports channel. The journey is over the challenges are worth documenting in a poem, "the journey had a few challenges should I let her in on my struggles?" Thought Jack driving into the Hotels parking lot. 

"Hello Love," says Jack to Moly.

“ Welcome to the Marine Velocity Hotel are you, okay Love?”Asks Molly in a concerned tone.

“Everything is amazing,” says Jack smiling with confidence.

September 08, 2019 03:13

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RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

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