Chapter Eighteen

It was Dan's turn to drive, and this time we stopped for breakfast at about 8:00. We agreed that he would continue driving until lunch. It was a smooth ride for the most part, except for some construction that we had to take a detour for. Before I knew it, we stopped for lunch, and it was my turn to drive. I didn't feel comfortable with two other peoples' lives in my hands. I made sure to stay awake this time, but Chris was talking anyway. Suddenly, I saw a hitchhiker, and decided to give her a ride. She didn't look dangerous in any way. But when I pulled over, Dan spoke.

"Uhh, Haylee? What are you doing?"

"What does it look like?"

"It looks like you're picking up a hitchhiker, and we don't do that around here."

"Oh give me a break. I'll just drop her off at the nearest gas station and be on our way." I replied, glancing back at Dan, who was pouting. He looks adorable!

I laughed. "Dan. Stop! You look adorable."

He raised one eyebrow, which made him look even cuter. I just smiled a smile that would make his heart jump, and it worked; I could see it in his eyes.

I rolled Chris’s window down and told her that we would take her to the nearest gas station at the next exit. As she hopped in, I could see that her clothes were ragged and torn, her long skirt stained and her shirt had worn off letters on it. Her hair was twisted and knotted into wild dreadlocks.

“I’m Haylee, and this is Chris right next to me, and that’s Dan in the back seat.” I smiled warmly. “You can go ahead and tell me if they’re giving you any issues.”

She didn’t even seem to hear me, and just mumbled under her breath, although I couldn't tell what she was saying.

“So what’s your name?” I started.

“What was that?” She rasped, as if she wasn’t used to talking.

“What’s your name?” I repeated.

“Whaa?” She said again, cupping her ear with her hand.

Dan was getting very annoyed. “She asked what your name is!” He yelled.

She didn’t take a hint of his annoyance. “Oh. Well why didn’t you say so? My name’s Daisy. What’s yours?”

“We already told you.” Dan mumbled under his breath.

I stifled a sigh. “I’m Haylee, this is Chris, and that’s Dan.” But when I glanced back, she wasn’t even paying attention, and had gone back to murmuring things inaudible to us.

I heard Dan scootch up from behind me and whisper, “Now you see why we don’t pick up hitchhikers.”

“Stop stereotyping. Not all hitchhikers are the same.” I replied.

Daisy jumped in. “Hey! You two. Quit your whispering about me.” She turned to Chris. “Do couples always gossip like that?”

There was an awkward silence, with only the hum of the car driving down the highway.

Dan spoke. “We’re not exactly a…” He rubbed the back of his neck. “Couple.” He finished, glancing at me nervously, as if I were a bomb ready to explode.

Daisy hesitated. “Oh. Well. Let’s make that happen.” She turned to Dan, clapping her hands together. “You. Boy. You need to ask this pretty young lady out on a date. Where you heading anyways?”

It was Chris that answered. “The Grand Canyon.”

“Hmm..” She thought.

“Oh, the exit’s right here.” Chris directed me.

I nodded, slowing down. Soon enough, we came to a gas station and pulled in.

Daisy got out, saying, “Here’s the deal. I did you two a favor. Now you, Dan, need to follow through. You promised me to take her out on a date, and you need to keep that promise. And you, Chris, need to make sure he follows through, keep him in check now, you got me? And Haylee, if necessary, force him to take you somewhere.” Her words were slurred, as if she had been drinking or something. She then sauntered unsteadily anaway, closing the car door.

I glanced back at Dan, who looked as if he was feeling mixed emotions. When he saw me looking at him, he side glanced me, raising an eyebrow.

I just shrugged, stifling a laugh. “Well, you heard her. I wouldn’t want to have to force you into anything.” I could only imagine the look of surprise on his face. I pulled out of the gas station, and drove until dusk to our next campsite.

The End

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