Journey for Answers – Chapter 9 “Reunion”

Raindrops hit against the windshield, splashing water on a glass surface. For every second it became stronger and stronger. The white line in front of a car became straight one, instead of countless separate ones. Howling of the wind, and rain hitting above the car, felt like going through endless water tunnel – without expecting an end of it. Mike placed both hands and drove carefully – making an accident on the road wasn’t on the table today. By his side stood a bottle of vodka – untouched. His mind was focused only on himself and how could he get to the gas station, before it gets any worse.

The gas station was now in eyes reach and he began dropping speed slightly. Speedometer lowered itself, a car slid into the gas station and Mike stopped at nearest parking spot right next to the shop. Turned off the engine and sat briefly for a few minutes. Pulled key out of the ignition and went into the shop, for few snacks on the way. Quickly shifting through it he came up to the cash register.

“That will be two fifty.”

“Here, keep the change.”

He dropped her three euros in coins and went for the exit, without intention to stay there for long. With paranoid feeling, he taught everyone is looking at him and knows that he’s high as a kite.

The gas station had an automatic door and the bell, which rang every time someone would enter or exit. Mike was almost at the door when he heard the bell ringing and lifting his head, he saw him. Gary.

“Oh, whats up Mike. How’s going? Listen, is there something going on today? My shift just ended and would like to have some party. You know what I mean?”

“Emm… dude, it’s Wednesday. I don’t think there is anything interesting going on today. Besides, look at the weather.”

“Terrible right. Mike, you’re high ass shit man. You sure you can drive? Never mind I know you ignore it anyway. But if something comes up, you let me know okay?”

“Sure Gary.”

He picked up the pace and left for the car. Gary looked at him, how he goes and wondered why he’s in such hurry.

Quickly he got in the car, dropped bags of chips on the passenger’s seat and put the key in the ignition. Turned his favorite playlist on a stereo, which consisted of ten songs playing over and over again. Lowered his seat and sank down into nothing but a peaceful state of mind. His body was there, but mind tried to escape somewhere else.

Out of a sudden, passengers doors open and the strange-looking man dropped an envelope on a passenger’s seat. Mike looked around and nothing; the strange man had disappeared without a trace, leaving strange envelope behind him. He wasn’t surprised what was in there, he knew. It was the whole reason he was there. Opened the envelope and countless bills of Euros with a note: ‘looking forward to next time’, now stood in his lap.

He started the car and lightly muttered under his nose ‘Ahh, feels good to have side business’. Feet pressed pedals like it was a piano lesson and he would be a maestro in it. Heading towards home, he began ringing his girlfriend.

“Hello sweetie. Miss me?” he paused for a moment “I’m on my way to you, with ‘good evening’ by my side.”

“Listen, dude.” Strange males voice occurred on the other end of it “I don’t know what is going on between you two, but she’s already having a good evening.” He slightly laughed and another voice occurred on his end, it was Amanda.

Mike could hear her vaguely “Whose there Chris?” “Oh, just phone company-” The line broke and he hung up.

“FUCKING ASSHOLE. FUCK.” Mike grew furious and began thinking about going over there, to smash this Chris’ face. “But what good that would bring? FUCK.”

He didn’t know what to do. Rain got more intense and he remembered Matthew, who called him last night, completely drunk; explaining to him why he should join him on a trip to South. Mike picked up the phone, which he threw in the passenger seat and began dialing Matthew. Beep after beep he got more anxious.

“Come on man, pick up. I know you looking at the phone.” It continued beeping and then it stopped.

“Ye man?”

“Matthew! You alive. Thank god.”

“Alive? What you mean by that?”

“You don’t remember, do you? Well, you had some night. Listen, I thought about your proposal, the one about going south.”

“Aha, what is it? How’d you changed your mind about it? And what I have to remember?” questions kept coming from a phone.

“Oh boy. Listen I’ll explain everything. Where are you now?”

“At Edg… I’ll just send you an address.”

“Yes. Do that and I’ll be on my way.”

After the conversation ended, he waited for an address and stopped at the closest parking lot, under the post lamp. He decided to take some edge off and unscrewed the bottle of vodka. Poured small amount in his mouth and turned the music louder.

Right after the sound of receiving message occurred in the car. He began staring at the screen, at the address Matthew had just sent him. Even though Matthew had told him about that place, Mike never remembered the way. His memory was only good when it came to money or weed.

Rain got worse. All windshield looked like there was nothing on it, besides the water. With both wipers working on fastest pace and navigation showing half an hour to the destination, he stepped his feet on the gas pedal. Blazing out of the parking lot, under a small amount of booze and a huge amount of weed.

Mike never cared for being stopped by the police, he always pushed his luck until the end. Whenever he would perform stunts like this, his sense of following the law would strive to its highest peak. Not crossing speed limit, not driving past red light – everything that was in law, he followed. Turn after the turn he would imagine police being there, with their stick swinging for his car to stop. Mind began playing tricks on him. The weather got worse and daylight began settling down under the tall trees in the far distance. He looked at phone screen ‘only five more minutes and I’m there’ and gave a gas pedal good push to the floor. From asphalt, it turned to dirt road and Mike knew that there won’t be any police. Being one kilometer away he took another sip from the bottle, pushed the pedal stronger once more.

The car drove fast enough for Mike to pass by Edgar’s yard. Mike glared at his phone, as it did a rotation in navigation and pulled his cars handbrake – trying to spin it 180°. It began spinning and next thing Mike sees is the front of his car in a ditch. Fastly flickering his eyes, he tries to understand what’s happened. Not the slightest feeling of regret occurs in Mikes’ head, instead, he tries to get out of there. Spinning the wheels of his car makes it worse and now he needs someone to pull him out of there. Once again he checks his phone and decides to walk for destination Matthew sent him. The distant fence comes closer and he begins peaking through it – shouting Matthews name.

“Matthew! Matthew! I know you hear me.”

“Dude, are you driving drunk again?” Matthew pulling up his pants steps out of his van, which stood fem meters from the entrance.

“Woah, dude. Seems like someone having a good time.” Pointing towards Matthew’s crotch he grins “Listen, Matthew. I need your van, I ran into a ditch. I could really use your help.” After this sentence, Matthew just couldn’t help himself, but to start clapping sarcastically

“Bravo man. Unfortunately, I can’t help you.”

“Oh come on. Do you have to be like that all the time?”

“No, I mean it. My battery was gone out of a sudden and I have to charge it for a day now. So I can’t help you if I could.”

“Fuck man. This is fucked up.”

“Listen, dude. Get your shit from there and we’ll meet up in the house. In the morning we’ll figure out how to get that junk of yours out of there.” With a tiny grin he slightly laughed “Besides, no one drives here, perhaps twice a day.”

Mike flipped him off and went for his stuff. The car wasn’t too far away, despite being drunk. Mike could reach it in minutes.

Opening passengers doors – he began grabbing everything that was on the seat and the car keys. With everything in his hands, he began walking towards the house once again. In which now was Matthew with Caroline. Walking towards the door, the bottle lifted above his head and he began pouring it down his throat. Barely walking, he stormed into the house. Both were sitting by the table and joking about some funny topic, that appeared Matthew brought up.

“So. You are the one he had fun with.” He glared towards Caroline, who had a glass of booze in front of her.

“And you’re the mate who crashed his car nearby. Nice to meet you, I’m Caroline.” She smiled towards the wasted face of Mikes. “Cheers” lifting her glass in hope, Mike will do the same.

“Oh no, I’m not doing this thing. Matthew, are you drinking?”

“I’ll pass.”

“Come on dude.” Mike began encouraging Matthew and Caroline would join him.

“Yeah mate. We haven’t properly introduced ourselves to each other, so.”

She grabbed another glass cup and Mike would shove her bottle aside, pouring his booze in Matthews glass. Now the half-filled glass of vodka stood in front of Matthew.

“Here, that’s better. Cheers dude. Salute!”

“Cheers dudes.”

Matthew looked at his glass and feeling how his will began breaking down in front of the of two. All three of them lifted their drinks. Matthews face again turned into a disgusted face of a guy who can’t hold strong stuff. Caroline and Mike began mocking him for it but quickly laid off. The short moment of silence passed by and Mike began asking questions – he never enjoyed having silent moments.

“So Matthew. When do you plan on leaving?” he pulled up a chair and sat down.

“As soon as the battery gets charged enough for it to start, we begin leaving this place.”

“Wait, you two are going? This can’t be much better than it is now.” He gave sarcastic laugh and Caroline would interrupt him

“Why so? By the way, you seem familiar. What’s your name dude?”

“Mike” Matthew voice steeped in

“Holy shit mate. Mike Sottak?” she began laughing and couldn’t stop.

Wait. You know him?” Matthew grew curious about her knowing his last name

“Dude. We went to elementary school together. Damn, I can’t believe it,”

Caroline poured a tiny amount of booze in her cup and began telling a story – how she knows him. About their time in elementary school, when everyone would call Mike ‘hando’ because of his last name. Mike stood there and couldn’t grasp a word she was saying; either this was booze that blocked his memory or amount of weed he smoked these years, giving him hard time to remember. He scratched his head, but couldn’t remember.

“Are you going for smoke Carol? I’ll call you Carol now if that’s okey.” He pulled out a pack of smoke and pointed towards her.

“Mate. You can call me how you want it, Sottak.”

She couldn’t stop mocking him. Both stood up and began going outside for a drag. Matthew stood with them but began going in a different direction. He knew, that the next glass would pass him out by the table and he would rather pass out in the bed. Mike couldn’t let him leave like that. He spat out a few phrases about him leaving, but Matthew just flipped him off and continued wobbling towards Ruth’s bed. The last thing he could hear was Caroline’s words.

“Good night mate. I hope you won’t be dead when we finish this bottle of his.” slightly giggling she went outside with Mike.

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