Téa had just climbed out of the ‘borrowed’ tow truck we’d been driving around the back roads of country America 1969. She was headed over toward the farm paddock, or meadow, or field, or whatever American’s call those things where farm animals feed. She’d asked me to stay in the truck and wait for her because she wasn’t entirely sure what she was headed into and didn’t want to get both of us caught. I wasn’t sure I agreed with what she was doing but it wouldn’t have mattered if I didn’t since I had no idea what else to do.
Téa was about three steps away from the truck when she turned, came back, leaned through the open driver’s window and said, “Maybe you better get in the driver’s seat, just in case.”
“Just in case what?” I asked.
“I don’t know, in case we need to get out in a hurry.”
“Why would we need to do that?”
“I don’t know, I said just in case, that means just in case!”
“I’m not taking off without you!” I said slightly defensively.
“You bet you’re not!” she replied, it was a threat! Then almost as an after thought before walking away she added, “Oh and if you see the old lady, don’t approach her.”
“What do you mean? How is she…” but by then I had realised my words were not being heard because Téa had walked off.
It’s a pity she didn’t hear me because I thought it was a relatively sensible question. Last time we’d seen the old lady she was nearly a kilometre away, although we were in America so she was probably closer to zero point six two three of a mile away, and she’d been on foot. Since then we’d been travelling for nearly two hours along main roads, back roads and even dirt roads, even if she too had stolen a car unless she was in sight of us I couldn’t figure out how she might actually know where we were.
I did move to the driver’s seat as Téa suggested but I don’t know how long I was sitting there because back in the sixties putting fancy things like clocks into vehicle dashboards wasn’t a huge priority. However long I was there it was long enough for me to have a wee visit to the land of nod, which means she could have been gone forty seconds or forty minutes, I wouldn’t know, but I was woken by her yelling.
At first I wasn’t sure what she was yelling, because she’d woken me up and I don’t always function perfectly as soon as I wake, but when I opened my eyes and saw her running across in front of the truck and banging on the bonnet, or the hood maybe, I knew it was time to wake up and kick myself into action.
I pushed myself up in the seat, stretched and yawned, grabbed the steering wheel for support and looked at her. “How’s things Miss America!”
“Move it!” she said rather anxiously.”
“Ok, ok, I’m moving.”
“Not fast enough! Get this jalopy started and get us out of here.”
“Jalopy?” I questioned, but I have to say it was lucky I had my hand on the ignition key and turning it because the look Téa gave me felt like red hot daggers piercing my skin. “Ok! OK!. We are moving.”
We took off with a small squeal of the tires, it would have been a louder squeal had they been tyres but I’m not sure American’s know what tyres are! I didn’t know where we were going but since the road was straight and there was no immediate side roads I figured directions was that last thing I needed.
“So what’s the hurry?” I asked as we headed off down the road.
“Well if you’d been paying attention what was going on around you instead of the inside of your eye lids…”
“Hey, it’s not my fault I nod off during times of boredom and inactivity.” I replied.
“Yeah remind me to hire you as my next security guard.”
“What do you need a security guard for?”
“To stop me from killing you! Turn left here!” she said pointing to the road just ahead.
I slowed the truck down, indicated to turn and then took the corner. “So is there any reason in particular that you want to cause me physical harm?”
“You only want one reason?” Téa said with a smile.
We drove on in silence for a few minutes before I decided to push my lucky just a little bit. “So is there anything worth telling me about our last stop?”
“Well that depends. Do you think the fact that the old lady was standing behind the truck was something worth telling you?”
“What? You’re kidding. I’d have seen her.”
“Not unless she was tattooed on the inside of your eye lids.”
Well I had to admit she did have me there. I would have thought that I’d have seen the old lady in the rear view mirror as we took off but the fact that I was asleep when she arrived meant that it was easier to just agree with her and focus on the important bit.
“How? We’ve been on the road for ages. Even if she stole a car like we did she couldn’t have possibly have followed us. She couldn’t have known all the turns we made unless she could see us and I presumed you were watching for that.”
“Of course I was watching the mirrors, what sort of driver do you take me for?” She said forcibly but not angrily. “But it wouldn’t have mattered.” I half expected her next comment to be something along the lines of the old lady being magic, but apparently she didn’t need to be. “Think about it Mr. I.Q. I made a bee line for one place and one place only, don’t you think she would be heading the same place given that she’s trying to stop us?”
”Umm. Ok, I guess that makes sense. Was she chasing what ever it was you were chasing too?” I asked.
“Yes. If she had gotten it I would have had no choice but to work with her to get us home.”
“Get what? Why didn’t you tell me we were chasing something in particular.”
Téa answered the questions in reverse order. “I didn’t say anything because you didn’t ask.”
“Pfft!” I said, not bothering to add anything else.
“Thing is, I really didn’t know what we were going to find. I was hopeful I was leading us to the right place but even when we got there I really didn’t know what I was going to find. Not saying anything was really just a protection thing. Fact was, if we didn’t find what I needed I have no idea what we were going to do.”
“So you got it?”
“What it is?” I asked and looked over at her.
Previous Silliness here.