She woke up in the cheap motel room with a splitting head ache.
Nothing familiar around her, aside from the clothes on the floor, and the empty bottles left here and there, reminding her of the blurry evening she had spent the night before.
A new knock on the door. The noise had awakened her, and now the house keeping lady insisted… She could recognize a slightly Spanish accent as the woman asked if she needed anything through the thin door.
- Get lost!!
Yeah… Get lost, alright.
She turned to the other side of the bed, grabbed her pack of cigarettes and lighter, and brought the already more than full ashtray closer to her.
Turning on the tv, she wondered if she’d see her face on the news. Nope.
Eleven day, eleven days since she had traded her usual subway ride from work to her home for a bus ticket out of town, without notice. Going South, blindly, she had crossed the border and had landed in a New York neighbourhood.
The next days, she had gone from bus to bus, from town to town, erratically. Laredo, she read on the motel’s keychain. Couldn’t get much closer to the Mexican border. But it was still too early to think about where she would head to later…
Putting her cigarette out, she lit another one, and picked up her cell phone on the way to the bathroom, turning it on as she sat on the toilet. Two pending messages. Both from him.
Are you coming home, baby?
No. She thought he would have figured that one out a while ago. From day one it was clear to her she wouldn’t go back, unless he would need her enough to come and get her. She couldn’t tell him that, but she had been clear about not intending to hike back home.
Can you tell me where you are?
Again, no. Not until he would make her feel she was missed. Their text messaging had been pretty casual so far. It would have been totally odd if she really cared. But a voice in the back of her mind told her the obvious lack of worry in his messages proved she was just accessory to his life. It was bothering him that she wasn’t home, but it wasn’t disturbing.
She turned off the phone, postponing her answer. Instead, she threw her cigarette butt in the toilet’s water, flushed and turned towards the shower. There was no way she’d take a bath in the old tub, but a hot shower would rinse last night’s creepy feelings, and get her ready for another day.
She slipped out of her panties, threw her large t-shirt on the tiled floor, and turned on the water…
Rubbing her skin with the small motel soap, she wondered if her family and friends could get the police to check out her phone’s location, or track down her last financial transactions. She had kept in contact after all…
She wasn’t afraid of the police anyway. She wasn’t doing anything illegal. She’d just have to tell them she was doing fine. She kind of hoped they did send officers after her… Maybe she’d consider going back if they went through that trouble for her. Maybe…
The almost white towel still wrapped around her head, she picked up her few belongings and stuffed them in the duffle bag she had bought along the way. There wasn’t much to gather, before she could sit naked on the bed’s white linen, her phone in her hand again.
I’ll write later… Gotta get moving.
She was tempted to add an ironic “Love…” but she didn’t.
Putting on a short summer dress, she considered her silhouette in the mirror. Ready to hit the road, girl? She knew she was, and she picked her lucky quarter on the cheap desk.
Heads – South… Tales – West!
Tales it was… She grabbed her bag and the room’s key, and rushed out the door. She could always buy some coffee at the bus station while waiting for her next ride…
Running away from herself…