Friday, November 1, 2013

2nd Chance

Just another spur of the moment tale -s-.

2nd Chance-

He was bone weary in the night. 'Hitchhiking just was not what it used to be', he thought as the endless ribbon of road trailed on. There had been only a couple of vehicles, a semi and an old model sedan, cutting right by him and not noticing him and his thumb extended in solicitation.
He shrugged and turned his collar further up, morning chill having increased.
He used to hitchhike all over. A lot of people did in pre-terror America. It was a common way of transportation, not just for hobos, but for students, soldiers on leave, hippies and others seeking to see the country. Did anyone really find themselves doing it? Probably yes and no.
He had been ill recently. Determined not to let it beat him, he came out of a deep sleep and was resolved to make one last trip, just to see, to breathe, to be.
All kinds of tunes rambled through his mind, including 'On the Road Again', his eclectic thought the sole company in a long dark late Autumn night.
He wasn't sure what this trek would prove, but it harkened back to a freer time for him. His youth was gone but his spirit was young.
Sighing , he continued, knowing it was best to keep moving, the only way to get anywhere, one step at a time.
Looking back there was the empty road, as it was in front. It was always a thoughtful palette for a portrait in the living of his life.
As if in answer, he noticed a light up ahead. As he approached, a diner, set back from the highway, was lit up, like an electronic oasis.
His weary body felt relief at the sight and he passed a handful of cars parked, mostly to the side. It was a traditional diner, set in chrome, with rectangular windows emitting golden light.
Entering, the girl behind the counter said, "Welcome to Second Chance!' She was cheerful and quite young, in spite of it being the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere.
"Thanks", he said, as he ambled to the counter.
With a sigh, he gratefully sat, his feet already relieved. He thought if they could speak they'd cheer and sing as the ache left them.
"Looks like you could use some coffee sir", she offered an old fashioned white mug.
"Please Miss" He smiled at her smile.
"Kinda quiet", he noted. being the only customer.
"Yeah. It can be. But sometimes we're almost bursting with business." She regarded him, further saying, "Come a long way Mister?"
"Yes. Don't know how much farther I'm gonna go. Just wanted to get out and walk the world again." The coffee was just right, warm and robust, seeming to make him glow inside.
"Good coffee" He smiled at the pretty girl and noticed something familiar about her, but whatever it was lay over the cusp of memory.
"We aim to please. Want a piece of pie too?" She made a proffering gesture.
"That would be good just now. Sure. Thanks. Any peach?"
She smiled and immediately handed him a plate with a large slice of peach pie, lattice topped and a brown sugar glaze.
"Wow you're quick and a mind reader", he said all at once. It was delicious, like, well Mom used to make.
'Second Chance", he remarked. "I've been to the Last Chance Saloon, but I like the name here" He chuckled a bit.
The owner likes it too", she laughed back. "He thinks everyone deserves a second chance."
Her hair was light brown, pulled back in a pony tail. Her eyes were bright, brown and snapping, her lips wide with laugh lines, rather odd in someone so young.
"You know and I don't mean to be forward but you sure do seem familiar", he remarked as his eyes narrowed. Her ID pin said 'Lyndie'.
As if in answer she smiled even more and said, "It's alright. Why don't you put your head down and rest. No one will kick you out."
He simply nodded and said, "Ok."
As he nestled, he heard the jukebox playing something about millions of miles and just being with you. Lyndie had picked up the tune as well.
As he drifted off, it gently came to him She was a girl he knew in high school, tragically killed in a car accident. There was no fear, only comfort in knowing.
Sleep took him and the last sound he heard was a baby crying.
One life gently ended and another noisily began.

Above copyright 2013 by Michael S. Hiland and BurlyRose Productions

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