The road is hard to see through the rain that comes down so heavily. I want to close my eyes after so many hours on the road. I decided to stop at the next exit to rest and wait for the storm to end.
I can see a group of buildings down not far from the exit, so I pull up to one that appears open. It’s a restaurant. It appears open. I run from my car to the entrance. The door is open but when I enter I find it empty.
I walk behind the counter. There’s a cup of coffee and a folded up newspaper on one end of the counter. The cup is still warm so I walk back through the kitchen looking for the employee that the cup must belong to. The staff must be in the back, and I will have a cup of coffee.
I walk through the kitchen looking everywhere as I go, but there is no one. It appears as though everyone stopped what they were doing and left.
I walk briskly back towards the front. I walk next door in the rain to a small gas station. The garage is closed but the store of the gas station is open. I begin to call out for the attendant, but all I hear in reply is thunder.
I look at the dust covered shelves of candy bars. I wonder how long has it been since anyone has bought anything here.
My clothes are damp. My entire body shakes. I retrieve my luggage from my car and enter the restaurant again. The tables are set for service so I push aside the dishes and utensils of one table. I begin looking through my clothes for something dry.
I hear the door opening, but I must be hearing things. I find something warm and dry to wear. I begin undressing when a hand touches my shoulder. I look around to find a woman. She is half naked. Her eyes sparkle like diamonds and her lips are a bright red.
She tells me that I do not need clothes. She helps me out of my wet clothes. Her voice is calming but there is something about it that makes me wonder if I should leave. She kisses me. Her lips inviting. I could stay here forever.
I stop her and tell her that I have to go. She laughs and tells me that she can be anything I need her to be. I turn to leave. I want to get as far from this woman as possible.
I turn back to find a man. He looks like a model. He asks me if this is what would keep me from leaving. I tell him no and he changes again to a small girl and then pre-teen boy. Each time I am asked if this will keep me here. Each time I reply no the person changes.
I push the boy aside and grab my things up in both arms. I don’t mind the cold rain as I cram my things into the back seat of the car. I pull out of the parking lot without looking at the restaurant window. I see a car full of a family drive past me towards the restaurant but I do not stop. I keep driving until the sun comes up. It’s not until I am miles away that I stop to dress.