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This Damn Car

“I can’t wait to see you this weekend,” Anna heard her best friend, Lea, on the other end.

“Me either! This is going to be amazing! Just us two, no boys, no drama, no normal life stuff that we have to deal with. We can just get away for a few days.” She replied as she continued down the highway. A loud knock from within the hood of her 1997 Plymouth Relient K forced it to slow down. “Shit!”

“What’s wrong?” Lea asked.

“Stupid life stuff.” Anna scoffed. “This damn car, I swear I’m so tired of it.”

“What did it do?”

“Damn thing broke down, and God only knows what’s wrong with it.” She slammed the door as she made her way to the hood of the car to open it.

“This is why I told you not to get another beater car, you know.” Lea scolded.

“Yeah, I know. But it seems like the beater cars are the ones that I actually like.” She tried to open the hood with one hand and realized she couldn’t. “I’ll call you back, going to fight with this piece of shit. I’ll let you know how it goes.” And with that they said their goodbyes and she shoved her phone in the back pocket of her denim shorts. The heat raged down as she carefully opened the hood of her car with both hands this time. “Dammit!” She shouted, noticing antifreeze and oil everywhere. Threw the damn rod. She thought to herself. She slammed the hood shut and made her way to the back seat. Muttering obscenities, she reached in the back seat and grabbed her backpack off the seat. With that, she set up her GPS on her cell phone and made her way down the road on foot. After a few hours of walking, she decided she’d try to hitchhike to California. Anna continued walking, holding her thumb out as she walked. It wasn’t long before Anna heard a diesel vehicle behind her. She turned around to look, and she saw a 2010 GMC 3500 pass her, slow down, and then pull off to the side of the road.

“You okay?” the voice of a southern-sounding man called out to her.

“I’m fine, just trying to get to California.” Anna replied, still annoyed at her car breaking down.

“That’s quite a walk. How long ya been walking?” He asked.

“At least a few hours, if not longer. My car broke down back there.” Anna motioned behind her.

“Something fixable?”

“Nope. Beater car threw a rod, so whoever wants it can take it to the scrap yard.” Anna said.

“Need a lift? I’m heading to California and wouldn’t mind bringing you where you need to go.” The man asked.

“I don’t see why not.” Anna shrugged.

“Hop in.”

Most of the drive was made in silence, but at times they’d talk. He’d ask where she was going, she’d tell him she was going to meet her best friend for a music festival. He’d tell her he was headed to go see family and they’d continue to have generic conversation. She told him what hotel she was supposed to meet her best friend at, and he told her he knew exactly where to go.

“Do you see her?” He asked her as they pulled up in his truck. Anna looked around, and smiled when she noticed Lea walk out the double doors and stand out front. She sent her a quick, ‘I see you’ message, and turned to the southern guy.

“I do. She’s right there.” Anna pointed as he pulled up front. “Thank you!” She beamed as she got out of the truck and met Lea with a hug. Despite the bad, she knew the weekend was going to be great. She was determined to make it so, too.

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