He had been walking down the long stretch of road for a couple of hours, allowing the rhythmic sound of his feet hitting the concrete to suppress the thoughts running through his mind. The sun was blazing down on him causing a trickle of perspiration to run from his forehead. The heat on his head felt good, and the blaze of the sun reminded him that darkness could be erased. He felt ready to face a little company if necessary, and a chance to get out of the sweltering heat for a while. Facing the oncoming traffic, he tried to flag down the approaching truck – perfect for a ride, especially if the back were empty of cargo. The truck slowed down and came to a standstill.
“Where to son? I am going to the next town.” The driver’s weather beaten face was a contrast to the teenager sitting beside him. “You can hop in the back if you don’t mind being cushioned by the hay.”
“No problem at all. I will take a ride right into town.” He climbed with agility into the back and rested his back against the window of the truck. Watching the road pass under him, his thoughts returned to the past. No one had understood his burning desire to leave the luxury of his parents house to go towards an unknown destination. He had tried, really tried, in the last few months before leaving to erase the grief he had felt deep down in his core. No one had understood that Melanie had been more than another girl to him, more than just a girl friend. She had been his core, his guiding star. He had woken each day knowing that he would see her and spend time with her; he had woken each day knowing that time spent in her presence would make his day richer than without her. She had been his best friend, his confidante, his raison d’etre. Her sudden marriage and pregnancy had thrown him off course. The unexpectedness had derailed him such that he had no idea who he was. He had based so many of his ideas and decisions for the future on her wishes and desires.
The rushing wind around him strengthened his resolve to find out who he was. He was beginning to get a sense of who he was and who he wanted to be. For six months he had been surrounded with no expectations. Mindless odd jobs had enabled him to think while he mopped floors, or hauled boxes. Travelling through this land in the back of a pick-up truck helped him acknowledge that the environment he had grown up in was one he no longer wished to survive in. He craved for, instead, a life that took him out from rooms with closed doors into the openness of God’s creation.
The truck pulled into a parking space in front of the town’s post office. This was a small town consisting, it seemed, of one street. Deciding to stay a while, he asked a question of the driver: “Any place a hard-working man could find a job?”
“Well now, the farm I work on needs an extra pair of hands. It is hard work, and many hours. The pay is fair as is the taskmaster. You’re welcome to come back with me to have a look see.”
“Don’t mind if I will. I like the feel of this place and have a yen to spend some time here.”
Do you think the hitch-hiker will stay and work at the farm?
(This creative piece of writing was inspired by Kellie Elmore’s image prompt)
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013