Nai drives down the highway at a steady pace. She squints to see the road clearly, which appears hazy from behind her tears. She’s not sure how long she’s been driving, but when she drove like a bat out of hell from that building, it was a sunny morning, and now the sky is going grey. Looking at the mountainous backdrop, she’s not quite sure where she is, but it feels distant from the Colorado mountains she grew up with. She also doesn’t care and could just as well drive off the road and down the cliff. At least then she’d no longer have to feel.
Feel this pain, or the betrayal or such misery. She wouldn’t have to feel the heartbreak of discovering that the man she loved more than anything, was deceiving her for their entire relationship. She was his toy, his project, something to mess around with. He said he loved her, and perhaps he did, but he did so in a way that left her no room to retain her individual self. She was his property, something to own and control. He spent all these years building her up to fit his ideal, and she let him do it willingly. She’d let his pretty face and kind words blind her to the fact that he was just another selfish being she must share this world with.
She drives along, in a daze, only mildly aware of an alert sounding in the background. It’s not until she feels the car slowing down and rattle, does she snap out of it and pay attention to the notifications on the dashboard. The gas light is illuminated, and as though to ensure she really understands what that means, the car comes to an abrupt halt. No matter how much she turns the ignition or presses the gas, she’s met with silence. It’s clear the car has gone completely dead, just as her soul has.
She bangs on the wheel and screams, unable to do anything else. She rests her head against it and allows her tears to fall again; heavier than before. She wails and ugly cries in a way that she’d roll her eyes at those who did so in movies. She couldn’t understand why those women were so weak that they acted as though their world was ending because they no longer had a man. She found it ridiculous that they’d need him so desperately that they’d contemplate going back even when he was horrible or taking their lives rather than live in the world without him. She called them idiots and weaklings who deserved no pity. She laughs. “Look at me now. I’m the weakest idiot of all.”
It starts to get dark, and she begins to feel mildly concerned that she’s stranded on a deserted road in a place she doesn’t know. This is exactly how all the psycho killer movies start. This is the part where she’d get out the car and walk down the road to find a house in the woods. Or maybe it’d be a closed gas station or auto shop. She’d inquire about the nearest city and a phone, because hers would have no service in such a desolate place. The creepy shopkeeper or caretaker would offer her solace for the night and a ride to the city in the morning. However, the morning would never come, and she’d end up raped, battered and even killed by sunrise if she was lucky, or his caged pet if she wasn’t.
Thankfully however, this is not a movie and her phone has an extraordinarily strong signal. The issue she faces now is who to call. Should she bite the bullet and call Him? She’ll never forgive him, and they are still over, but at least he’s someone she can depend on to find her and get her back to safety. She suddenly feels sick to her stomach; her body violently rejecting the idea. “Ok, that’s a no go.”
Should she call her parents? That’s the obvious choice and the most reasonable, but what if they’re busy with work? When her mother is in a groove, she hates to be disturbed or she’ll lose it. Her mom is often with big name artists at the studio, and if they’re in the process of producing a big track or album, pulling her away from that will be rather troublesome to her. Not to mention, how can she face them now? Her mother would probably be ashamed that her daughter could be so gullible and weak as to let herself get lost in the middle of nowhere. Her mom would probably laugh and say, “I told you so you foolish girl.” She’d prove their oppositions right; she was a fool.
Ok, they probably wouldn’t be that cruel, but all the same, she doesn’t want to call them. So then who? Who should she call? She ponders this for a while, and then suddenly her fingers begin to move, as if on autopilot. They select a contact and the phone is ringing. It’s not until she hears his slightly raspy voice, does she realize who’s on the other line.
“Hello? Naomi? This is you, isn’t it? Are you ok?” She knows she needs to answer, but her voice is caught in her throat. “Hey, what’s wrong? Naomi, please answer me! Are you in danger?” Her voice cracks and she releases a soft sob, which soon becomes a constant chain of sobs as fresh tears begin to fall. “Where are you Naomi? Are you in danger? Is someone there with you?” Her sobs become cries of anguish.
All she needs to do is ask for help, but she can’t bring herself to do so, as she feels she doesn’t deserve his help, especially with how she acted during their last encounter. She doubts he’d consider her important enough to venture out for at this time of night, to pick her up from a place likely hours away. No man would do that for someone they barely know, especially when she was so insensitive. She considers hanging up, but something in the back of her mind compels her to squeak out, “I’m safe, but I need help. I don’t know where I am, and I’m out of gas. I’m lost....”
It’s silent and she thinks that he may have hung up on her, which would be perfectly understandable, but she’s surprised to hear him say, “Hold on Nai, I’m coming to get you. I’ll be there as soon as I can. Keep the doors locked and your head down. Be careful.” He hangs up and she’s left feeling confused, yet oddly at ease.
She does as he says and immediately locks the doors and climbs into the back seat. She lies down, covers herself with her jacket and closes her eyes, willing herself to sleep.
Lukas flies down the highway at a speed he’d never considered going, but every second that he wastes hesitating, is another second that she might be in danger. Luckily, the roads are pretty much empty outside a truck or lone car every now and then. He’s certain he’s blown past several cops, but none have stopped him. Likely, the message he left with his commanding officer did the trick. Even if they had tried to stop him however, he wouldn’t have allowed that to slow him down. Ultimately though, fate seems to be on his side.
He runs his hand through his hair, his nerves shot. When he got that phone call, he wasn’t sure what to expect. He thought that she might be calling to make amends and he was more than happy to do so. He was ready to take all the blame and plead with her to forgive him if he had to. Whatever it took, he was determined to make things right between them, because he’s certain that he couldn’t handle letting her go again.
He was not however, expecting her to call him in such anguish. Her silence unsettled him, but it was her sobs and eventual cries that pushed him into despair. Initially he thought He’d done something to her or hurt her, and he was ready to kill. However, when she told him that she was lost somewhere, but safe for the moment, he knew that she’d finally become aware. She must have finally found out just the kind of man he is and made a run for it but got carried away and went too far. He hates that she’s probably suffering from so much pain, and never wanted that for her, but he’s also glad it happened now, before that man could dig his way into her so deep, that she could never return.
About four hours later, he approaches the area that the GPS tracker estimated her to be based on her phone’s location. He doesn’t see any cars at first and begins to worry, but finally a small car comes into view. He pulls up behind it, and after cutting his engine, he gets out. He glances around, taking in his surroundings and ensuring no one is waiting to catch him unaware. Once he’s satisfied that no one is around and the area is secure, he walks up to the side of the car. He peeks in through the window and eventually his eyes come to settle on a figure in the back. Upon closer inspection, he confirms it’s her.
He can feel his heart slow, finally able to rest easy knowing that she’s safe and sound. He gently taps on the window, doing his best to wake her, but not scare her to death. After a few intermittent taps, he can see her begin to stir and after a few moments, she sits up. She slowly crawls towards the front but doesn’t open the door immediately. She squints her eyes and stares at him, obviously confirming it’s him and not a stranger. Once their eyes connect, she seems to relax and finally opens the door. She sits in the seat and stares down at her hands.
He sighs and then lets out a laugh. “Don’t you think it’s a bit late for a joy ride Miss?” He uses humor to break the tension.
She looks at him with frown and crossing her arms she replies, “It’s a free country, I can do whatever I want as long as it’s within the limits of the law. I just overestimated my gas.” She tries to maintain a stubborn expression, but it breaks. She starts to laugh and soon he joins her. They must find a little humor in the absurdity of it all, and it calms them both down as well.
He leans against the car and says, “So, do you want to talk about it here, or should we try and find a motel? I’d say we could head back home and get a tow for your car tomorrow, but I’m worried it won’t be here if we wait that long. Scalpers won’t hesitate to take it in. Unfortunately, no tow company is open this late, so our only option is to wait it out in a motel until morning, and then call for one. Unfortunately, there’s no gas stations for miles.”
He waits for her response in words, but instead he feels her pull at his jacket. He looks down and finds her glancing at him sheepishly. “I’m tired, cold and hungry. I just want to go someplace warm and safe for now, please.” She doesn’t look at him directly, but with the way her hand trembles, he can tell she’s in distress. She needs a safe haven and peace of mind.
He takes her trembling hand into his and with a gentle squeeze he says, “Ok, I’ll get you out of here right away. My car is right there and there’s a motel close by. Do you trust me?”
She finally looks in his eyes now, and she can see he’s searching for approval. She doesn’t know him that well, and he very well could be a bad person, leading her to her doom. However, nodding and allowing him to take her hand and lead her along; it was the easiest decision she’s made in a long time. Somehow she could trust him without hesitation and just knew that at this moment, with him is the safest place she could be.