Broken down

Genre: Romance

Plot: The car breaks down, and a person finds love on the journey to get a repair.

Words to use: mechanic, hitchhiker, road, rest stop, highway, stranger, allure, attraction, metal, engine, parts, together, rev, oil.

The car started to sputter while Jake was in the middle of no where, with no phone service. He cursed his car and pulled over to the side. He was lucky that it was not the middle of the summer, stuck in the desert with a broken down vehicle. Popping the hood, he got out to look at the engine, pretending he knew what he was doing. He had figured that he would just walk back a mile to the rest stop not too far back. and to try to get a ride toward town that was even farther back the same way he came that morning. It was a two lane highway so he walked on the other side, but he figured he probably wouldn’t have much luck as a hitchhiker. The road was very new, the bright yellow and white lines sparkled in the bright light. An effect of the luminescence in the paint. 

Jake had thought it was a mile, but it felt like more. His feet ached in his loafers. It was completely empty and his phone still had no service but fortunately there was the last pay phone on the planet available. He scanned the yellow pages for tow companies to come get him and get his car to take them both back to a mechanic shop. That too felt like forever. The anxiety had risen because he had to get to an appointment the next day and he wanted to check into the hotel and get some sleep. It had been a long day. At this point, he would never get there in time so he sat one of the picnic tables and waited.

When the tow driver arrived, a woman with dark sunglasses, a dirty work shirt and jeans. Her blond hair was pulled into a pony tail through the opening of her work cap. Her skin freckled and clear, a strength emanated from her countenance. 

“Hello, thanks for coming out to help me.” He told her, shaking her hand.

“No worries, jump in, let’s get your car and get it back to the garage.” She said smiling but efficiently. It was a small town, so not a lot of new faces visited. It was nice to meet someone new, tall and handsome, someone very different than what she was use to. She didn’t realize how bored she was at the time. A breath of fresh air hit her lungs. 

At first, they drove together without speaking, the radio played jazz music, that streamed out of the speakers and into the air through the open window.  It seemed unusual to him to hear jazz coming from someone who lived in the country. The smell of motor oil permeated the fabric of the seats. He found his courage.

“I love jazz too.” He said. Smiling at her. She turned up the radio.

“You probably figured I would listen to country music, being out in the country.” She replied, laughing. “It was my father’s favorite.”

“I was pleasantly surprised, but everyone is different, don’t you think?” He repositioned himself, he was pulling the loose string on the edge of the seat.

“Yes, very true.” She replied. She had her left hand on the steering wheel, her right under her thigh. He glanced quickly at her right hand.

They drove the rest of the way, listening to Miles Davis and Billie Holiday. Jake wished his car was stuck farther away.

She positioned the truck in front of the car and they both jumped out of the cab of the truck. He watched her as she loaded the car onto her flat bed, the chains put on around the wheels, the sound of metal on metal and the rev of the small engine made him cringe. Soon the car was safely secured. “Hopefully they have the parts you need and you won’t have to wait for them.”

“So what brings you out here?” She asked him as they pulled away from the spot that he broke down. “The allure of the our quaint towns out in the boonies?” She laughed. 

“No, I am on my way to an appointment up north. A new client. I was hoping to get to the hotel and get some rest.” He replied.

“So what do you do?” She asked him, removing her sunglasses and as the night deepened its darkness around them. He noticed the her deep brown eyes now and studied her face as she watched the road. She was so much different than the other women he met. They were always so full of themselves. He liked her down to earth manner.

“I am a lawyer. I am doing a favor for a friend.” He told her, he was looking at his watch.

“It’s going to be way after dark by the time we get there. I can drop your car off at the shop and call a cab for you.” She said. She had lowered the music and they talked more about their careers and life in general. The difference between the big city and small town. The traffic got thicker as they got closer to town. 

The pulled up the shop. He finally got reception and called for a car to take him to a hotel. She had unloaded his car, positioning it in a spot for the next day.

“Thanks for your help.” He said, not ready to leave yet. “I was wondering something.”

“What’s that?” She was wiping her hands on a rag. 

“Would you have a drink with me?” He asked. “ I would like to get to know you some more. If you don’t mind.” He felt an attraction instantly. She looked at him, thinking about it.

“Sure, but I will meet you somewhere.” They agreed to a place that she knew, her turf, and he readily agreed. The rest is history. 🙂

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