Dustin and I sit in the empty burger king in silence. Our table is located in the furthest corner from the door. We’re the only two here. I want to say something but I can’t quite seem to find any words. The only sound is that of his keyboard as he searches for a place that we can live. Somewhere we can be safe. I look out the window to assess our surroundings, dirt, more dirt, and the occasional rock.
“Hey I think I found a good spot.” He states, still staring at the screen. I scoot closer to him to look over at it.
“Bloom Port, Georgia?” I ask, hoping he’ll confirm.
“Yeah, just read the numbers.” He answers before turning the laptop towards me.
Growth Rate: 0%
Crime Rate: 0
I didn’t need to read any further to realize it’s perfect.
“How long will it take to get there?” I question, he turns towards me.
“Another day, or so.” He pauses “Including stops etcetera.”
“Sounds good.” I answer “I’ll meet you at the car.” I get up from my seat to head towards the door. I grimace at my reflection in the glass. My hair looks terrible. I rush to the car to fix the mess.
I drag the brush I found just moments ago through my hair. It takes me several minutes to tame the wildest knots. Eventually I settle for a messy bun. “So did you find a house too? Or are we just going to go with the flow?” I bite the inside of my lip.
“Well there was one house I saw, it looked nice and affordable.” He taps his index finger on the steering wheel. “Are you sure that note was real? How do we know it wasn’t fake?” To be honest I don’t know what to tell him. We can’t be sure it’s real but I’m not taking any chances.
“Why would Hannah kill herself? I can’t come up with one reason she would ever want to do that. And Dustin you’re all I have left. My parents are gone. Hannah is gone. You are the only piece of family I have left. And you are a fool if you think I’m going to lose you too!” I begin shouting before I can even take it back. I try to keep the tears forming in my eyes from escaping but they squeeze through.
“I’m sorry.” Dustin whispers, he doesn’t say much after that for a long time. We sit in silence as the sky grows darker and darker each passing minute. I wish I could say I know what I’m doing right now, running off with him. But I don’t know what I’m doing, I have no clue whatsoever. Man, I’m so dumb.
The car behind us honks furiously as though they were personally offended that Dustin has been driving ten miles under the speed limit for an hour or so. I watch as the angry car drives off into the horizon until I can’t see the tail lights anymore.
“Maybe we should call it a night.” I suggest, not wanting him to fall asleep while driving.
“Yeah. Okay.” He nods. A few minutes later he turns into a motel. “We can just get a room with two beds.” He explains, his eyes drooping so low I’m surprised he’s not already asleep.
“That works.” I drag myself out of the car with my single piece of luggage. I follow him inside the main building to get a room. As soon as we enter the smell of smoke fills my nose. Okay so this isn’t exactly the nicest place but it’ll have to do for a night.
“What do you want?” A scruffy old man asks from the desk. He seems to have not shaved for a few weeks, or slept.
“We need a room with two beds please.” Dustin responds groggily.
“We only have one room with one bed. I’m sure your girlfriend won’t mind.” The overweight man answers from across the room. Dustin doesn’t even attempt to correct the accusation, he must be too tired to care.
“How much?” He asks.
“Eighty-dollars.” The old guy grabs a cigar from his pocket. I walk over to slide forty-dollars on the counter next to Dustin’s forty-dollars. He already knows I don’t like people to pay for me. I grab the small silver key and head towards room 08. I’m guessing that’s the room anyways the tag on the key says so. I nearly pass the door before halting to a stop, causing Dustin to run into my back jolting me forward to fall, ever so elegantly to the floor.
“Sorry.” Dustin mutters in his half-conscious state. He helps pull me up so I can open the door. I don’t even bother to look at the furniture inside, I’ll just be slightly disgusted. Dustin collapses on the bed.
“Dustin get up you need to brush your teeth and put your pajamas on.” I order while shaking his leg.
“Okay mom.” He huffs with irritation. I get ready in the bathroom. Brush my teeth, comb my hair, put pj’s on and I’m finished. I step out of the micro-bathroom expecting Dustin to be waiting so he can get ready as well but he’s already asleep in the bed. I inspect the window and door to make sure both are locked.
I just now realize I’m going to be sleeping in the same bed as my best friend’s ex-boyfriend in a crappy motel while we’re running away together. I reach over to turn the lamp off, he must have turned it on so I didn’t walk into a dark room. And then I just lie there listening to him breathing. I should be tired but I’m not. How can you sleep when everything already feels like a nightmare?