My adrenaline began to subside, being slowly replaced with fear as the glimmer of a handgun connected to a shadowy figure came into light from the store windows. It was a tall, skinny man. 5’10 with short hair and a dark blue cap. I glanced at Kevin before turning back to the figure, thinking that sudden movements wouldn’t do well for my case.
“Thought you could outsmart us, huh?” He started. My first thought was “Aw shit” but instead I lowered my head like a predator waiting to strike. “I don’t know why ya’ll had to run away like that. We coulda been nice. But now you have our attention about what ya’ll got in that car.”
“It’s a car. Few supplies. Just like most of the small groups out there. Nothing special.” I replied. Didn’t think common sense would work on him but damn, was I hoping.
“I don’t believe you. Where ya from?” “Does it really matter anymore?” I asked him. “You sure aren’t very friendly. No wonder you’re out on your own” Oh, thank God. He didn’t notice Kevin when the truck drove towards us. I was afraid to make eye contact with him in fear that I would reveal his location behind the counter.
“Alright. How about we take things nice and easy? I’ll show you to my car. There’s nothing in there. Really.” I put my hands up towards my head, thinking he would understand. I shouldn’t have given him much credit. “I could shoot your ass right now and get into your car myself, you fuckin liar”. He keeps the gun on me as he takes out a walkie talkie. “Bruce. I got em. They’re in the super-”
Just as he begins, Kevin maces him with pepper spray from under the counter. The man howls in pain, tripping over a can on the floor and firing the gun into the ceiling. All I could do was roll my eyes in disbelief before motioning to Kevin. He nodded and we bolt for the car, driving off down to one of the open streets. I hear the truck’s engine roar towards the supermarket as we drive away from it, leaving the small ghost town as a dozen undead monsters begin stumbling towards the gunshot. After a safe enough distance, Kevin and I cheer in happiness, celebrating with yet another AC/DC song.
Eventually, we come across a highway and stop. I check the map to see if I’m going in the right direction. Kevin takes a look, noticing my destination and the route I’m taking.
“Wait, we’re going to Minnesota? We just passed the Florida-Georgia line! Why are we going across the country?” Kevin asks. “I have stuff to do up there” I reply without batting an eye, closing the map and turning onto the highway. “Uhh. No. I call bullshit. Tell me why you’re really going” “Do you have a problem with going to Minnesota?” “Only if I don’t know why”. I gave out a big sigh and decided to tell him. He saved my life. Might as well owe him an explanation.
“I’m meeting someone”. Kevin gave me this look like I was crazy. I gotta say it was priceless. “You’re joking. You can’t be serious”. “So what if I am?” I said. “You can’t just meet people at a place anymore! What if this someone had to leave and you would come all that way for nothing?” I shrugged. “Guess I would. Then plan another trip. Never went across the United States before” I replied.
He gave me another look. This time he was analyzing me. “It’s a girl, isn’t it?” I just stared at the road and gulped. That was all he needed. “She better be seriously cool if you’re going all this way for her. Is she your girlfriend?”. “No” I answered immediately before mumbling “I wish” to myself. I could tell he heard it. Otherwise he would have asked what I just said. He gave me one final look, one of sympathy. Empathy really. He turned to the road and watched as we sped down the long, straight road. One mile down.