Journey for Answers – Chapter 30 “Getting Closer”

For past hour on the road, he kept thinking about Janna and her girlfriend – Hanna. Trying to pick up the thought behind their encounter, thinking that perhaps it was the faith which brought them together. Without a doubt, he knew that there was something out of ordinary, some sort of ‘gods finger’. Nevertheless, Matthew dropped that though out of his mind after Mike began goofing around in the passenger seat. Clock barely passed ten in the morning and Mike already was anxious about driving into the country. His goal of this travel was to smoke a joint in every country they pass. In the middle of rolling and preparing for marking himself in the next country, he asked Matthew about the route they’re taking. For a second it looked like Matthew ignored him. He almost did, swimming somewhere in his thoughts made him almost forget about Mike sitting right beside him.

“I’m thinking about sticking with the highway for the next hour or so. Until my ass gets sore from sitting in the same seat for some time. You know – the casual.” Matthew chuckled, but Mike anxiety couldn’t be so easily satisfied.

“Come on Matty! I know you want to spark this up on the first chance you get,” he waved a rolled up joint in front of his eyes “All we have to do is to roll off the highway and spark it up. Easy peasy.”

“Please don’t say it.”

“Lemon squeezy.” Mockingly he tried to convince Matthew into pulling off the highway.

“Mate, we’re not stopping,” out of nowhere Caroline urged for argument with Mike “Matthew keep the wheel straight, and you mister. I need you in the back.”

“Here we go again,” Mike rolled his eyes and slowly lifted from the seat “I’ll be back in a sec, Matty.”

Matthew didn’t waste his look for Mike, instead, he kept looking into the vast and empty highway, which was covered with a thick fog. Completely clueless about which day it is, or better yet which day of the month. Small things like that didn’t bother Matthew, there was a lot more going on in his mind and paying attention to the calendar wasn’t one of them. As soon as the argument started he slid his hand on the vans stereo and pumped up the volume. Music slightly helped to quiet their argument a little. In moments like this Matthew wished for silence, but loud music and friends arguing in the back was the reality of these circumstances. While it was clear that Caroline is right about the idea to keep moving, while Mike tried to shove his idea anyway. The stubbornness was the reason why most of the time Matthew got distracted from his goal. Mike wasn’t a person who would take no for an answer. If they wouldn’t agree with pulling off the highway he will probably just light it up in the van, which wasn’t the brightest idea either. At some point it felt like Mike is a bomb, which requires defusing, otherwise, it will go off. From time to time Matthews’ head turned in their direction. Out of curiosity, he wanted to know where’s the argument leading. Besides both of them shouting at each other, windows covering with humid layer and some of the stuff flying around. It was like a circus going on in the back. Matthew tried to understand how does such a small thing could turn out in an argument like they had. All of them lost the sense of passing time, until Matthew, who’s head was empty at the moment, shouted for them.

“GUYS!”

Suddenly both of them stopped and turned their looks to the back mirror, where Matthews eyes could be seen. Once their looks locked together, he said.

“Finally. Look, the border’s just twenty kilometers away. Buckle up, we might get pulled over for a check,” Matthew gave a serious look at Mike “No funny business, Mike.”

For a moment, Mike acted like he was insulted, and at that very moment, Caroline chuckled at the sigh of Mike being such a queen in their group. A small pause of silence passed after denouncing of Mike and Caroline raised her voice.

“Matthew! Don’t you think you could use a shower? I’m telling you, I can smell you from here.” She chuckled, while Mike laughed louder than before, perhaps too loud.

“See Matty, even she has some insults for you from time to time.”

“I don’t think it was an insult mate. Just a statement, and Matthew, if you don’t want to take a shower, at least buy some deodorant from the next shop.”

After hearing that he stood silent, no word raised after that and Caroline fell into the mattress, deciding that she should take a nap. Mike seeing her falling for a nap quickly got to the passenger seat, to continue planting ideas in Matthews’ head. For a brief moment, Matthew could see through his bullshit, but he couldn’t follow up with the next one. Mikes mind was a brilliant tool for proving a point if he knew about it, but when it came to ideas, then brilliance often disappeared. The best thing for Matthew was to ignore him, he knew that and Caroline encouraged him often to do so. Somehow Matthew didn’t liked listening to what people about what he should do. Starting with Caroline and finishing with Mike. Problem with Mikes attitude was that he never quit trying for planting ideas in his head, while Caroline knew when to back off. After Mike spent generously fifteen minutes in the passengers’ seat, a border of the next country hovered above their horizon. Matthew exchanged looks with Mike and blasted to the border. He wanted to be done with it as soon as possible, no matter the outcome.

Coming up to the border, where many of police cars stood abandoned. Border patrol mixing together with police made it more stressful. Knowing that his van didn’t have anything to bust him over, he could feel trembling in his legs anyways. Small sweat began to form in his armpits. Out of a sudden it got hotter in the van, Matthew was getting nervous and Mike was there, saying that he could use a joint for calming down. Matthew evasively answered him that it’s the last thing he needs at this moment, he couldn’t be stopped, not again.

Slowly driving through the border and moving past the countless law enforcement cars. Hoping that they will pass the border without stopping for a passport check. Not that he didn’t had it, he just didn’t wanted to stop before the middle of Germany, which was the next country. He heard that people there are serious about everything, but he wasn’t sure. Perhaps other people ideas of it made him think that he will be stopped at the border and checked. Surprisingly he was wrong. None of them were stopped and he could drive into the county without any worries of being stopped once again. Matthew hasn’t felt closer to his goal that he was now. He got more determined of getting through this country – the last country before reaching Ruth. Without a doubt, he pushed the pedal to the floor. Through the sound of old engine screaming from the back and loud music from the front, he blasted towards Ruth, who was waiting for him in Amsterdam. At least he thought she’s still there, waiting for him. There was one way to find that out, but before that, he has to make it through Germany. Meaning that the time he’ll get to her depends on him and his will to resist Mikes nasty ideas.


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