“It’s too big to be a trash bag,” Brent thought, conceding that it did look like a trash bag, sort of. As he squinted into the pouring rain through his windshield, a battle between fear and curiosity raged within him. “This is stupid,” he finally said. “I’m getting out,” he spoke aloud, curtly this time, as if his fear had been riding shotgun. He unlocked the doors and had already reached for the door handle, never taking his eyes off the mystery ahead, when the object shifted, not just a little, but a lot. Brent paused. The object moved again, this time only at the top. Brent’s heart moved from a trot to a gallop in his chest. As he looked on, the head of the slick, black object jolted, and the headlights illuminated what had to be the bluest eyes Brent had ever seen.
The set of eyes squinted into the assault of high beams amidst a small mountain of glossy black vinyl. Brent chuckled to himself, “It’s a person. It’s a freaking person. Of course it is, what else would it be?” He sat back hard in his seat and sighed before reaching down behind his seat and pulling out a tire iron, just in case. He opened his door and emerged into the torrential ambush and moved slowly and cautiously toward the blue eyes, not knowing what to expect.
As he moved toward the object, he could see more clearly that it was a person, hunkered down in a ball, wearing a black poncho. Brent yelled out above the rain, “Do you need help? “What are you doing so close to the road? I could have hit you!”
“I knew you weren’t going to hit me,” a man’s voice called back, with a weirdly calming cadence. The man peered up at Brent, his blue eyes piercing through the gray haze of weather with an intensity that seemed surreal. “I also know you’re probably not going to clobber me with that tire iron,” his words came out as a melodic chuckle.
“Oh, that. Well, yeah, sorry, I…” he instinctively shifted the iron behind one leg, his body now drenched, his hoodie nothing more than a wet towel. He was somehow spellbound by the man, crouching there in the rain, and before he could form a logical thought, he blurted out, “do you want a ride?” Brent was shocked by his own offer. The words hung in the air, anticipating a response. His thoughts teemed with instant regret, “What did you just ask? Are you crazy? Why did you do that? Moron! Please say ‘no,’ dude, please, please say, ‘no.’”
“Yes. That would be ideal!” The man sang out, still oddly crouched beneath Brent’s gaze. As he stood, Brent became aware that his mouth was gaping open in shock.
Tylie Eaves is the CEO and Founder of Vertu Marketing LLC and Vertu Publishing. She is a wife, mother, author, speaker, coach and research analyst who strives to carpe the crap out of every diem.