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It was nearly midnight when Carmella switched off the radio. 

“I’ve had just about enough of this shit” she wailed. “How the hell did we get so lost?!” 

I sighed, knowing she’d take a moment to calm down. I gazed down the dark empty road ahead, gripping the steering wheel. It’s better not to answer Carmella’s questions when she gets like this, I’ve learned the hard way she isn’t usually looking for a response. 

“This wasn’t the way this was supposed to go” she said sadly. 

“I know, I know” I reassured her, “but lots of great people have done amazing things as a result of getting lost” I smiled, “you know in1947, a goatherd went in search of a stray goat and found a cave he’d never seen before. Inside there were old clay pots containing old scrolls which would be latter declared the greatest manuscript find of all time.I said proudly. Carmella rolled her eyes and did that scrunching thing she does with her eyebrows when she’s bored or just about to lose it. 

“Oh my god, Mira you are such a nerd!” She said throwing her arms in the air. “I don’t care about some stupid scrolls!” She crossed her arms slouching into the back of the seat. “We planed this trip 4 years ago; we were supposed to be at a luxury hotel and here we are in the middle of nowhere completely lost.”

“Remember why we planned a road trip to Sun Valley spa in the first place?” I said in an attempt to lighten the mood.

Carmella smiled, “yeah, we read in that article in Cosmo that said it was a good way to “cleanse the soul” after a rough breakup.” She glanced at me “we were going to get massages from some really hot guys and live it up as single ladies!” She frowned “but then you messed it all up by getting a stupid boyfriend.”

“I thought you liked Peter!?” I said incredulously.

“Yeah yeah, Peter’s fine and all, it's just when Finn dumped me, we had this great plan.” She twirled her hair tight around her finger as she looked out the window into the night. “But now Finns got his new dumb girlfriend with her dumb hair and dumb perfect smile while you’re here with some guy.”

“Well you’ve got Mark,” I said

“That’s not the same, Mark and I, we’re friends.” Friends with benefits maybe.

“There’s still hope, who knows, the middle of nowhere might have some cute guys,” I said jokingly.

“God Mira, there’s nothing out here!” Unfortunately, it seemed Carmella wasn’t in the mood to joke. “We could be at a nice fancy restaurant eating some expensive food we’ve never heard of but here we are!” She exclaimed waving the empty McDonalds bag at me from a pitiful meal hours ago. “This is what we’ve got instead, like honestly, this is so ridic- “

“Wait shut up for a sec” I interrupted.

“Did you seriously just tell me to shut up?!” She cried.

“No seriously,” I pointed, “look”. Up ahead we could see a flickering string of yellow lights hung on a little faded sign reading “Country meadow Inn”.

“This is perfect!” I said.

“What?” Carmella asked, “oh no, Mira we are not staying in some little rundown Inn.”

“Oh, come on,” I said laughing, “it’ll be an adventure!”

“I prefer my adventures in a five-star hotel thank you very much,” said Carmella. “Plus, old creepy Inns are always haunted in the movies.” Well, she’s not wrong.

“Look, we’ll make this work” I turned the car into the gravel turn off “Maybe they have some food we’ve never heard of,” I said laughing.

“Oh, shut up” she grumbled. Oh, so it's fine when she tells me to shut up.

We sat in silence as I drove down the little gravel road into a small parking lot. There were four other cars parked, one covered in fine dust. Snuggled amongst the trees stood a small building with four big shuttered windows and a large red double door.

“That doesn’t look so bad!” I said glancing at her.

“Yeah, whatever,” said Carmella unimpressed. “It’s small.” Ignoring her I unbuckled my seatbelt and opened the door.

“Omy gosh, wait,” Carmella interjected, “you’re not seriously going in there?”

“Yeah, I am.” It was late and I had been driving for 8 hours straight, the little Inn was looking pretty good right about now.

“Fine!” Carmella huffed, “I guess I’ll come or whatever.” Climbing out of the car I grabbed our suitcases, one in each hand. I walked towards the cozy little cottage along a small dirt trail. Carmella followed me slowly. On the door was a small sign reading “please come on Inn!” I pushed open the door with my knee and awkwardly struggled into the foyer.

Behind a long desk sat a little old lady fast asleep. She had her wisps of hair tucked under a dainty little yellow hat and wore a long bright green dress. The lady let out a prompt little snore.

“Oh you have got to be kidding me,” mumbled Carmella.

“Excuse me?” I said quietly. The lady slowly opened her eyes, upon seeing us she sat up with a jolt.

“Oh hello dear!” she said cheerily. “I’m Susanne, welcome to the Country Meadow Inn!” She shuffled around some papers on the desk and smiled as she plucked up a little plastic card. “Would you two like a room?”

“Yes please,” I said as I paid for the room.

“Well there you are dear!” she smiled and tossed me the little plastic card.

“Sweet,” I nodded to Carmella, “let’s go.”

The room was moderately sized and had two single beds with bright pink bedding placed in the middle of the room. I’d never slept as soundly as I did that night.

In the morning, I somehow convinced Carmella to go for a quick walk to explore a little before breakfast. The area was beautiful, there were flowers planted everywhere.

“Well I’m bored,” said Carmella sighing. Ignoring her I continued walking.

“Is that a donkey?” Carmella asked.

“What, where?” I responded. I looked around a little confused.

“Over there” she pointed past the gardens by a little grassy clearing. There was a small fence and behind stood, well, I suppose a donkey.

“Let’s go check it!” she said smiling.

“I don’t know Carmella, I’m not a huge fan of animals.”

“Oh, come on!” She said laughing, without waiting a moment, Carmella took off running towards the fence. Sighing I chased after her. She was right, an old gray donkey stood munching on some hay.

“Hey there donkey,” I said approaching the fence.

“Hey there darlings!” said a cheery voice. It was Susanne.

“Good morning,” I responded, “is this your donkey?”

“Yep!” she said happily, “don’t get too close though, he’s a little afraid of people.” Too late. The donkey jumped back as Carmella approached and knocked his water trough. The water tipped, almost in slow motion, towards Carmella. She let out a shrill scream, she was completely drenched.  

“Oh, I am so sorry about Finn hon!” Susanne said apologetically.

“Wait, hold up,” Carmella said, “your dumb old donkey is named Finn?”

“Yep,” Susanne shrugged, “we named him after Huckleberry Finn.” Carmella stood there for a second, dripping on the ground. She looked down shaking.

“You okay there Carmella?” I asked unsure what to do. She looked up at me. Carmella was laughing. She bent over chortling, she laughed so hard tears came out her eyes.

She stood up and walked down the path, “guess you got your adventure after all” she said chuckling to herself. 

September 13, 2019 23:54

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