Hitchhiking

The road was completely deserted, but I figured it would be. Not many people go out for a drive at four in the morning. I walked slowly down the sidewalk, covered by the shadows of the oak trees that lined the street. I felt like a ghost, wandering in the shadows, invisible, everyone inside oblivious to me and everything going on around me. But in their defense, not much was going on. I was completely and utterly alone. Well, apart from the occasional squirrel. My phone rang, breaking the peace and quiet.
"Hello?"
"Carmen! It's Amy. Where are you?"
Of course, only Amy would call for no reason at, I looked at my watch, and couldn't believe it. It was already twenty past five. I'd been walking for over half an hour. "Umm..." I didn't actually know where I was. I glanced up at the nearest street sign. "I'm on Crescent Drive," I replied.      
"What?! That's like seven blocks from your house."
"I know, I couldn't sleep."
"So you ran away?!"
"No!" I sighed "I went for a walk. I'm on my way home now." I wasn't just saying that either. If I planned on getting home before dad woke up, I'd have to hurry. Instead of turning around I figured I'd follow Crescent onto Hero Street and cut through the park. that would take me a few blocks from my house. I'd figure the rest out when I got there.
"Did you get my text?"
"Yeah."
"So, what was wrong?"
"Nothing. I just," I paused. "I had another dream."
"Another one? I thought they stopped like a year ago."
"No, they just got less frequent."
"Oh, well why do you think they're back?"
"I'm not sure." Actually, that wasn't completely true. I had a feeling about what was going on, I just didn't want to say it yet. "Just one of those things I guess."
"Yeah, you're probably right." Some of the concern faded from her voice.
The rest of the conversation wasn't much. Basically we just talked about school. Amy was stressing out over the history test she had to take. I had to talk her out of writing down the answers and pinning them to the inside of her jacket (one of her favorite ways to "prepare" for a test.) I never saw the point. Sure you might do well, but if you get caught (with my luck I probably would) then you get a zero, which is way worse than getting a C or a D.
As I jumped the fence to the park, I saw the first pair of headlights I had seen all morning, and like a deer, I stopped and stared. A midnight blue Mustang convertible pulled up about fifteen feet from where I stood.
"Carmen?"
I forgot that Amy was still on the phone. "Amy, let me call you back." I flipped the phone shut before she could protest.
"What are you doing here?" Liam had stepped out of his car and was walking toward me.
"I couldn't sleep." I prayed silently that I looked better now than I did when I first woke up. I didn't plan on running into anyone, especially Liam. "What are you doing?"
"Just felt like going for a drive." He shrugged and hopped over the fence. He looked much more graceful than I did. "While we're here," he smiled "wanna go for a swing?" He nodded towards the giant tire swing in the middle of the park.
"You know, I would love too, but I should really be on my way home. I'm sorry. Maybe later?"
His smile faltered a little but he seemed to understand. "Would you like a ride home?"
"I would love that."
He took my hand and led me to his car. It was absolutely beautiful. I had always wanted a Mustang, but my dad said it was too "dangerous". I thought he was just being paranoid.
"So where do you live?"
"Off of Sapphire Road. it's a little white house."
"Address number?"
"1019"
The time on Liam's dashboard read 5:45. Dad would be getting up soon. What would he think if he woke up and I was gone? Hopefully he wouldn't be too angry. I sighed and laid my head back against the black leather headrest. The wind felt so good.
"So do you go to the high school close to here?"
"Wefcaine? Yeah." I replied. "Why?"
"Well, I just transfered and I was hoping I might know somebody there." He turned and looked at me for a moment.
"Oh, what about the red-headed kid you were with yesterday?"
"Ricky? No, he's my neighbor slash tour-guide. He's home-schooled anyway."
"Hmm...I see. I might be able to show you around the school. Introduce you to some people."
"That'd be great." He turned the corner and slowly pulled into the driveway. "While I'm here, do you need a ride to school?"
"Sure, just let me go get ready. I'll be back in ten minutes."
"Of course. I'll be right here." He turned off the car and leaned back in his seat. "Take your time," He smiled.
I hopped out of the car and ran to the door. just as my key hit the lock, the door swung open. I looked up to see my dad standing in the doorway. Nola was sitting at his feet.
"Thanks a lot Nola." I mumbled. "Hi dad!" I tried to look as guiltless as I could. Not that I did anything wrong, but I still did sneak out of the house in the middle of the night.
"Where were you?"
"Went for a walk around the neighborhood. I hoped to get back before you woke up, but I lost track of time."
"Come on inside." he turned and walked towards the family room. He was still in his blue and red plaid boxers and white t-shirt. "Who is he?"
"Who is who?"
"The boy head-banging in the convertible."
I glanced out the window towards Liam. He wasn't really head-banging but he was definitely getting into whatever it was he was listening to. I couldn't help but laugh. "His name's Liam. He's new in town. He gave me a ride home when I realized what time it was. I thought he might give me a ride to school."
"Do you like him?" He didn't sound angry. He seemed almost hopeful, surprised.
"Dad, please. Not now."
"Fine. Go ahead and go."
"Thank you." I walked to the bathroom and pulled out my make-up bag. A few minutes later, when I looked decently presentable, I grabbed my bag and my Algebra book and walked back towards the front door.
"Carmen."
"Yes?"
"Be careful."
"I will, Dad. Thanks"
"Love you."
"Love you, too." As my hand wrapped around the door knob, I felt two large paws against my back. "Nola. Down girl."
Obediently the dog sat down behind me. She looked up at me with big blue eyes. Her tongue was flapping out of her mouth and her tail was wagging like crazy. I scratched her head between her ears before I left the house.

The End

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