Leaving the shop into the glare of the setting evening sun, Alex was met with the familiar sounds of vehicles driving on the highway as an evening breeze swept past. Hearing a car some distance away sound its horn at someone, he snapped his head in that direction, even though his view of the highway and feeder roads was blocked by trees and another building. “Some people can't drive in this city.” he thought, semi-laughing at the remark as he came to his motorcycle.
Outside of the days when it was raining profusely or bitterly cold outside, the bike had helped him through his final two years of high school and into his now sophomore year of college. Despite his folks saying he should soon move to a sedan for safety, and insurance, reasons, he was hesitant about giving the bike up for a car. He loved the thing, as well as the feeling he got riding it. A greater feeling of freedom than he felt riding his skateboard.
Taking a seat on the now warmed up leather, Alex brushed his blonde hair aside and slipped his head into his helmet. With his denim jacket already buttoned up around his white shirt and tie, he started the bike up, the engine coming to life with a brief high revolution noise. As the engine rumbling drowned out most of the background noise, he raised the kickstand and revved the throttle, heading towards Highway 59.
He was the first to arrive at the location fifteen minutes later, a place called Steakhouse Burgers. Inside, there were at least three groups of people spread around the tables, with the television playing something from the Sci-Fi Channel. With one week left before classes began, he intended to make sure the time was well spent, starting with this group dinner.
As he waited for his friends to arrive, Alex put on some music and pulled up a news article he had saved on his phone. As gruesome as it was, the report of a calf found mauled and gutted near his high school was one he kept coming back to and reading about.
Sometime later, he looked up to see Nathan entering the restaurant. Waving him over, he picked the seat next to him after getting a menu.
“You just finished with the interview?” Nathan asked.
“No.” Alex adjusted the tie again. “Just didn’t want to go home and get changed.”
“Alright. I’m getting an appetizer while we’re waiting. You?”
“Just a drink for now.”
With their orders soon in hand, the two exchanged small talk until Marcus and Catherine arrived. Both of them were still dressed in their work clothes, though with Catherine it was only her lanyard and name badge.