AlvernoINK Spring / Fall 2017 - Page 77

“Is that a camp ground?”

“I don’t know but it looks like a good place to stay the night,” he turned into an opening and stopped some distance away. “I think we should introduce ourselves?”

I stared into his eyes for a few moments considering our options. The distant pain from the grocery store was swirling in my chest. I don’t think I could take any more if these people were the same way. I looked over at the group. However, we should announce ourselves so we can alleviate suspicion. We are intruding on them.

“Your silence tells me you want to wait.”

A smile formed on my face as my eyes drifted back into his. He leaned in closer. “How about we uh-”

“Nuh-uh.”

“Those people aren’t going to see us.”

I shook my head.

He shrugged it off. “What did you buy for dinner?”

“We can have sandwiches, I bought ham and cheese, your favorite just without the bacon and ranch.”

After dinner I grabbed the quilt from the back, we reclined our seats and while the heat blew on us he ran his fingers through my hair.

“You know, we really deserve this trip. I know things haven’t been easy and -I love you and will do anything for you. We’re in this together.” His big, round, full lips left a warm impression on my forehead.

Trey was the first to fall asleep, like always, I usually stayed up pondering but today was very exhausting that I fell asleep right after him. Sometime later I awoke. I turned off the heat and midway from lying back down rapid movement caught my curiosity. There were two men hunched over a fainting fire eagerly whispering. They kept stopping to raise their heads to look around. It was clear to me they were having a disagreement. The tall red headed man shot up in frustration and stomped into the mobile home leaving the blond haired man to sit before the growing ashes. Eyes stinging, I laid back down slightly alarmed. The night did not go smoothly for me, it seemed like every twenty minutes or so I was jolted out of my slumber because the branches on the tree next to me kept cracking. It always seem to be in the same area. Annoyed, I figured it must be the owls. I was hoping the branch would just snap off. Why did they have to be by my window?

The next day, the suns light shot its beams in the corner of my eyes and through my grogginess I crept out of sleep. But what creeped me out was about a dozen people standing in front of our car staring at us with expressions of curiosity, uncertainty and exasperation. I quickly nudged Trey. He didn’t open his eyes but he answered me.

“Tavia,” he moaned.

I nudged him again but harder.

“What?” he croaked.

“You said you wanted to meet the neighbors.”

His eyes fluttered open. “What the hell?”

I pulled the handle on my door but it only opened an inch. A thick branch was lodged in between the door and the tree.

“Crap!” I slammed the door shut and climbed out the driver side behind Trey.

“Hey, what’s going on ya’ll? I’m Trey and this is my girlfriend Tavia,” his huge hand engulfed mine and brought me closer to him. “We got here last night and-”

“When last night? We didn’t see anyone pull in,” a short but well-built man with tan skin and short curly black hair stepped forward. He looked us both up and down.

“Just after it got dark and-”

“How did you get here?” A tall blond woman asked from within the crowd.

“What do you mean?” I thought that was a stupid question to ask and I let it be known in my tone.

The tall blond woman stepped through the crowd and walked towards me. “I mean, we haven’t seen anyone pass through here in almost a week!”

“And-and-,” an Asian man struggled to move through the crowd. “Things went missing last night, my watch for example and my wife’s bank card went missing. They weren’t missing before last night.”

Trey jerked his body in defense. “So? What does that have to do with us?”

I stepped forward but Trey had a hard grip on my hand which prevented me from moving any further. “If we stole from you, do you think we would still be here?”

“Maybe you ran out of gas,” said the first speaker with his arms crossed across his chest.

“What? Man we filled up yesterday! What are you talking about?” Trey boomed.

“How would we know that?” The first speaker shrugged his shoulders as he took a few steps forward passing the tall blond woman and coming face to face with Trey. He made an exaggerated thoughtful face. “Maybe you syphoned the gas while I was sleeping , put it into your car, decided you wanted to stake out to see what else you could take, fell asleep and got caught. What do you think amigo?”

Trey stiffened. “I think you need to get up out my face with all that crazy talk man!”

“And what if I don’t-”

I quickly stepped in front of Trey. “Hey! That’s enough! We didn’t steal anything. We parked here last night because we saw all of you here and thought it would be a good place to stay. Apparently we were wrong.”

“What do you mean you haven’t seen anyone in a week?” Trey questioned.

The crowd was quiet. The first speaker looked over his shoulder at them then looked back at us. “What we mean is that you are the first people we’ve seen pass through here in a week.”

I shook my head in disbelief. “Is this some sort of camp ground?”

“No,” the first speaker said. “We’ve been stranded here more or less. So, you don’t know anything about my gas huh?”

I answered before Trey could. “No! We filled up last night before we got here.”

“So prove it, where’s the receipt?”

I looked at Trey. His jaw was set tight. “I ain’t got it. There was no one at the register in town so I left the money on the counter and bounced.”

The crowd stood in silence.

The first speaker raised his eyebrows. “If you say so. I don’t know how our stuff magically disappeared but if what you’re saying is true then we have nothing else to talk about.”

“We can go through their car-” suggested a voice within the crowd.

“Fuck you!” spat Trey. “Ain’t nobody touching our shit!”

“No, no” said the first speaker. “Let’s leave them alone.”

Trey and I stood there until the crowd dispersed back into their tents and vehicles.

“That was some bullshit,” Trey squeezed my hand before he let go and slammed the door shut.

“I know,” I rubbed his back.

Trey walked over to the trunk and sat down. As soon as he did the car took a deep dip and Trey rolled off the car.

“Trey!” I rushed to his side and knelt beside him. “Are you okay?”

“Other than my arm, I think I’m okay.”

As I rubbed his arm, I looked at the car and saw that the back tire was busted. “Look! The tire is busted.”

His head snapped over. “That’s impossible! I just got brand new tires not even two weeks ago.”

“We didn’t run over anything did we?”

“No. Man-”

“It’s okay, we’ll get through this. Is the spare in the trunk?”

“Yeah.”

I popped open the trunk. I saw the tire but none of the tools. “Where’s the jack and cross wrench?”

“Is it seriously not in there?”

“Yeah.”

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