At The Crossroad
- 54.3K words
Zack is travelling to Los Angeles from New York. His car broke down along the way and he was stuck in between his journey. While shouting for help when nothing else comes up, with his phone useless at the time, James came over. The both of them met, and after an exchange, James offered to help Zack. He took him to his place, where his uncle lives in, too. James helps Zack to blend into the new town, everything odd from the city life he had known. As time goes on, both of them develops feelings, but James is scared and reluctant to show his. There is a secret, Zack notices it, and when he figured it out, he understands why James doesn't want them together. But with hope and their strong love, things could change for them.
The sun is flaring high in the sky, its radiating yellowish light shining down onto the car I am inside. I had turn on the air conditioner when the heat became uncomfortable.
I sigh, while driving, staring ahead of me through the windscreen. Every once in a while, my eyes will shift to my sides. Sideways to me, there's nothing in view but silent aura. The atmosphere is cool, even though the sun is at its peak. It's just perfect to my sight.
I am currently traveling from Ohio to Los Angeles, one of the biggest cities where there's no sleep — my perspective, really. I know New York is part of that expression as well.
I'm a writer, who luckily just got an appointment — hopefully will turn into an interview I'll pass — from a publishing company, Blank-Script its name. I assume that the name is created from the start of a writing. When a writer wants to start writing, it all begin from a blank script so, see? That's how I guessed the name was made. Voíla!
The driver seat is changing from warm to hotter-than-hot, thanks to the long drive. I've been sitting in the one position for how long now? Hours? More than ten hours of driving non-stop, just because I want to meet up with my plans.
From the door pocket, where I lie my phone, it buzzes and I pick it up. Looking at the screen, I smile at it before placing it near my ears.
"What's up, Susan?" I say into the phone, smiling cheekily as though she could see me face to face.
She giggles, her voice breaking. I can imagine her, jumping into her bed just in time when I hear a plopping sound. "Hey, Zack, I'm good. I'm missing you like crazy, where the hell are you?"
"Hey, mistress, do mind your speech."
"Tell me about it when you arrive." She laughs, and I find it contagious. I shake my head, my left hand gripping the steering wheel, while the other is handling the phone near my ear.
"I don't know yet if I'll even get to LA today. I left Ohio around seven hours ago, still faraway from Los." I say, and furrow my brows, knowing that she will be unhappy by the fact.
She groans into the speaker, "that's bad, where will you stay for the night, it's evening already, few hours, and it's all blank and black."
"I'll find somewhere." That truth is just revealing to me. I don't see any motel anywhere to spend the night, or even anyone. Everything is just earth, and nature, all surrounding me. I kind of like it though.
Leave it to me as a writer to enjoy silence. This location is pure silence. I could even use the night to write if I'm not too worn.
"Or you could sleep in the car. I've always wanted you to experience that." Ever since her high school incident, she's always been so obsess on me, doing what she did, and feel how cramped the inside car space can be. Her prayers will be answered tonight, most certainly.
"I might," my tone is exasperated, sounding defeated.
"Okay, I'll be expecting you nothing less than tomorrow, you know you have just a week to two, and within that short time, we should explore this party-filled city."
"Okay, we will. Later."
"And you're sending me away."
"It's not an excuse. Cars aren't around you. You're most likely the only one on the road."
She's right. How is she right?
"It doesn't matter."
"Bye," I say hastily, cutting her off, and hang up the call. I breath out deeply and decide my phone goes into the chest once again. But when the thoughts of music comes to my mind, I take it back, and connect my phone to the speaker through bluetooth mode.
I hum along with the song playing, as my mind drift. For starters, I came originally from New York, and stayed there most of my life. I've never been the extrovert type, all of my days are spent indoors, which is really affecting me at this moment. I don't know places. Even now, I'm using the GPS to direct myself to the right track.
About my cousin, Susan, she is my best friend and best supporter. She's always been there for me, and now she still is. I'll be staying with her once I get to LA, and start the job as a writer hopefully. Until I get my own place, she will be my provider.
And even when I first came out on my sexuality of being attracted to the same sex, she helped me with the thoughts, and rejections I had about myself. It really wasn't an easy decision to live with it, but what have you got to say in it? It's almost like an irresistible pull, not something you want to do, but can't live without. You'll always be with the burden of not accepting who you really are.
It did affected me then, but Susan being who she is made me see things differently. All in a word, she helped me come out, and for that, I'll always be grateful for her help.
My eyes widens, my brain coming back to the now when I see a fuzz coming out from the bonnet. There's white smoke, sizzling out from the bonnet...there's white smoke, oh God, that can only mean one thing.
"Oh, no, please, no, don't." It just won't listen. Ah, please, please, please, not here. Not around here at all. This can't happen. I plead with my thoughts.
The car breaks down, whilst my heart breaks apart.
"And there goes overheating?" I ask into the air.
This will only delay me the more. I bang my hands against the wheel, and yell from the inside, "fuck you!"
I am breathing frantically, unsure to why but I just am. I hate being worried.
I get out of the car, and pick my phone with me. There is no network available when I turn on the screen to check. Fuck so good, how do I get help?
You can say it once more, I do curse a lot when I'm offended. I grab the top of my curly hair, dressed to flop forward so that it's hovering above my forehead, and pull lightly at it. I won't hurt myself. Never.
In front of the bonnet, I open it and cough out when the smoke increases, and invades my sense of smell. "why do you have to punish me?"
I look around me, there's nothing really significant except nature. There's some clearing at a side, crops filling the wide land that goes a long way farther, assuming-ly, I'll say miles further. Afar into the distance is the shadowy figures of valleys and hills. The clouds seem to be moving around its peak.
I look down, back to the car and hit my leg against the front part. The resulting pain in my feet, from within my sandals make me cry out. I hate pain. And I have forgotten that I'm not wearing leather shoes.
This is the punishment you get for hanging up on your cousin. Says my thoughts at me. I groan in response.
Since I have no way out of this, I might as well start screaming out for help. Maybe there will be someone to help me out. I know it's useless, but I have to try. That should be the spirit.
"Helloooo!" I cry out into the air. When I stop, I look like someone who just finish acting a zombie scene. I suck in the air once more, and repeat, "anyone around...!"
"Stop wailing, please," I hear from behind me, and quickly turn to my back. My head tilts as I hear the whining sound before looking up to meet eyes to eyes with a boy. No, a man. Rather a daddy, a very hot daddy. As a bottom, I sure know a good taste of a human male when I see one.
I blink, using the second to regain my brain, and rethink. There's a man in front of me, sitting on a horse he so much knows how to handle. Does he live here? Oh, is he a killer? Maybe a kidnapper? My heart rate accelerate and I want to run.
His black, heavyweight boots thuds as he jumps down the horse. He is standing beside the horse, his hands smoothening his furs.
He gives the horse a pat, and approaches me, "you should know that you sound life-threatening, which is ironic since you're in a life-threatening situation." He chuckles lowly to himself.
Having a car breakdown is not a life-threatening situation.
Unfortunately, it is. And my head just has to tackle me.
He is hunky, his brown shirt tightening against his body like a second skin, showcasing his features. His brown cowboy hat sits properly on his head, slightly sided to the left. Brown eyes gazes at me, his skin golden, his black melanin glinting. His face is hard, and well sculpted so far I've watched it, and notices his heart-shaped lips, looking as though he is pouting, his chevron beard shaved around lowly.
He comes to stand in front of the car and looks into the opened bonnet. "Hi," I begin.
"This won't work today, maybe tomorrow. You'll have to let it cool down first. I'll call some help for you to wheel it away from the street tomorrow." He adds, and I frown, not sure as to why he wants to help me out.
Is this his own trick of capturing civilians? Maybe he wants me to trust him, and then, he'll kidnap me, do worse to me. I don't want to imagine it. This is why I hate those horror movies, but I do watch them still.
"Why would you do that?"
"Because you're on my uncle's farm," he points out the obvious. Let me tell you one thing; voice is everything. He sounds just like someone who wants to help, not do worse. It's just my imagination. Point of correction, my wild imagination.
"Oh," is all I can manage. "isn't there a way to contact the outside world since you're familiar with around here?"
He laughs, really laughs, "outside world? That's new. Well, this place is quite different from wherever you're coming from, so I won't hold you against anything." He then answers my question finally, I was getting impatient. "There is none, unless you send a mail... through the post box."
"How many days does it take to get to the receiver?"
"Well, it takes like three to four days for the mail officers to come and pick it from the box, and another three days to get it to the city you sent it to, when it will then get to the receiver is some days I'm unsure of. It could last seven to nine days in total." He is unfazed by that fact.
What did I want to send? Just a request from my cousin, Susan to come and pick me up, that's it. Just that few words through a mail will take seven to nine days? Today is Saturday, and I need to get to the company by next Monday after this coming Monday. I have about nine days, or even less.
"No other options?" I don't sound dazzled, but my face can't hide how annoyed, and frustrated I am.
"None." That just stamps my pre-death. I'll be sleeping in the car for the next approximately eight days, and I didn't even pack much food with me to last me those days. I can't live in the car for that long. It's torture.
"Well, when you're done thinking, you can come with me to our cabin. We'll provide you shelter till when there's an alternative." He says, and my spirit elevate. I am so relieved.
It shows all over my face, "really? Thanks. I'm so grateful."
"We do that a lot around here, so nothing to be grateful about," I need to be anyway, "we are here for cases like this." His eyes scans the car, and back on me.
"Thanks anyway, where's your cabin?"
"It's distant from here. Come on." He says, smirking. He looks sly in a way, witty, and hiding some thoughts. I don't know if it's just a normal him, or intentionally done. It makes me curious about him.
"To where?" I know "to where," but I'll act blind.
"We hop on, " he points without any hesitation, no hold back, his fingers directed to his horse. No, I can't ride that.
I've never rode horses because of the heights, and sometimes they go crazy... sorry about my opinion. They just scare me in all. Also, I do hate heights, it's like a phobia for me, I would assume.
"I don't want to."
"Don't worry, it will be fine. Or you could stay here all night. I will come tomorrow morning though, hopefully if you're still intact."
What does he mean by intact? I don't want to root out, so I gait at him, for a second, my vision glances over to the back of the horse. I am scared.
He rest his hands on my back, a motion to calm me, it works.
"Just be patient, okay? And steady." He adds as I hop on. His hands are now holding my wrist, helping me up. He is a life saver, he doesn't even complain. His personality is as gentle as his face.
Once I'm up, I say down at him, "thanks,"
"Don't start." He laughs, and I laugh as well. He gets on, in front of me, and rubs his horse by his neck, and that does it, he sprints in a direction, entering the clearing areas.
The speed, being too much, I hold onto this black man's shirt, hugging it for my dear life. I feel him chuckle at my shakiness, and makes his horse runs more. I look at the farm, watching it pass by me in almost a total blur.
"Hello," he says to me, and I quickly lean more closer, this time having no choice than to hug him fully from the back, and my chest pressing tightly against his. I can feel his heat.
"What?" I don't really hear.
"I said, "hello," his voice is raised, beating over the disturbing air.
"Hello," I say back at him, now hearing him clearly. The breezes here are just...a doze off, sleeping pills. The way they cool on touching with my skin makes me want to close my eyes and sleep it off.
"I'm James, what's your name?"
"I'm Zack." I respond, and he nods, then, shift his head back a bit so he can talk less scream-y.
"Nice to meet you, Zack."
"Same here, James." I smile, as he focuses back on the road.