Riley went quiet in my arms while my head raced about the possibilities of our future. It was true that I was in no way ready to commit long-term to Riley, but now that the situation demanded I guess I’ll have to cope. Ok, that was a blatant lie. I was kind of hoping that she’ll include me in her future plans, and she did. But what are we going to do? Sure, she had a credit card and so do I, but our funds would run out eventually. Between the both of us we shared a SUV and a battered old truck, enough clothes to get through a few weeks and two mobile phones. I was about to ask her where she intended to go on her crazy train journey, but she leapt out of my arms.
“I’m going to Julian. I’m going to call Julian,” she said, sprinting up the stairs towards her room.
I stood there awkwardly in the lobby while the inn owner, Mrs Williams, offered me a smile from the room beyond. She probably heard every single word of what we said. I wondered whether she will turn us in, and decided that we must leave quickly to make sure her knowledge of our story won’t harm us. Which begged another question. Who the hell is Julian? There was no Julian at World Domination, and as far as I know Riley did not have any brothers or male cousins. This Julian can’t be from AWD either, since she said she’s not going back there. So who is he?
“Jackson, we’re leaving in five,” Riley’s voice yelled down from upstairs.
“Where to? And who’s Julian?” I asked, confused.
“Seattle. Julian’s my best friend,” she replied, “Well, he was my childhood best friend.”
“Ok... And he said he’ll house us?” I asked
“Yep, for the next few weeks anyway. Meanwhile he’ll help us to look for a place of our own,” she answered.
“And what about the money? We don’t have all that much left you know,” I told her.
“I know. I’ll look for a job in Seattle. Probably child care. It can’t be that hard to look after little kids,” she said, rushing down the stairs with her bag of clothes.
“You never had little siblings then. They are the most annoying things ever!” I told her, picking up my own bag and heading out the door.
“Well, I’ll have to see for myself whether they’re annoying or not won’t I,” she smiled, stopping at the reception desk to leave a pile of dollar bills, “Mrs William, thank you for having me these past weeks. Here’s the pay.”
We headed for the car park, Riley to her black SUV and me to my old truck. Twisting the ignition, I backed out of the car park and followed Riley out onto the freeway. Having no GPS, I relied on Riley to get us to Seattle. That night, we stopped at a motel by the highway and dropped dead into our respective beds as soon as we entered our rooms. I momentarily forgot to ask her about this Julian. I guess I’ll do it tomorrow...