The Passing at Highway 10 – part 6

As she stood, I hurried behind her to help slip the jacket on that she’d carried over from behind the bar; it was long and red, and had a faint smell of sweet flowers and summertime.  The back of my hand grazed her bare arm, and it felt warm and smooth, and my heart damn near jumped three feet out of my chest.  “You ready?”, she said out of smiling lips.  A blast of thunder exploded outside with a crazy boom, and it sounded like a friggin’ nuke got detonated.  She jumped at the sound, and I glanced outside into that swirling mess of a storm.  The wind had picked up rapidly, and I thought to myself that it was going to be a slow, careful drive.  “Yeah”, I said, to answer her question, and I jerked my chair in and walked her to the door; we both flashed a wave and a smile to Jack behind the bar, and readied ourselves for the race out to the rig.

I grabbed her hand, and we took off for the truck; the rain was coming down in tubs and buckets, and we had to squint our eyes just to see through it all.  I laughed that neither of us had an umbrella.  The rig was in my regular spot in the corner of the lot, and I yanked the passenger door open and helped her jump up inside.  It’s weird, but I started to loosen up as soon as I climbed behind the wheel; maybe it was because I was back in a familiar place that made me feel comfortable, or because Sally was sitting right there next to me, clear as day.  I don’t know if it was her or the truck, but I felt like I was home.  It hit me, and I felt like a schmuck for acting like such a shy teenager back at Harvey’s; I was probably as boring as a chunk of cardboard back there, but who gives a shit now.  She was in my rig, and it felt good.

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