Love Me Like That

By: Marie James

The goal for the day is to make it there by midnight, and from the looks of the road I should add in-one-piece as well. My Mini was not made for driving in the snow. Not the wisest decision considering I live in Montana. Lived in Montana as it were.

The roads are cleared pretty quickly in Great Falls, and this is my first winter in this car. It’s becoming apparent very quickly that a vehicle change, although that will be another thing to break my heart, will more than likely be necessary.

Now Leaving Poison. Population 4,488.

Poison, Montana. Fitting to see the sign in my rearview, knowing I’m leaving behind more poison than a small town with the name. I grin for the first time since leaving my life behind at the prospect of starting over. That is until my phone chimes with a new voicemail alert. Reception must be bad out here because it didn’t even ring this time.

Trent has called numerous times throughout the day, but he hasn’t left a message until now. Not once did I want to pick up the phone when he called, but I struggle with indecision knowing he’s left one this time. Unable to resist any longer I use the controls on my front radio display to play the voicemail he’s waited hours to leave.

“London,” he sighs loudly into the phone. “I…fuck.” I hear papers crinkle, and I know he’s still at the bar, sitting at the same desk he fucked my best friend on earlier. “I wish you’d pick up so I can explain. I’ve just been stressed out lately. I wasn’t even thinking. Please, Kitten. I need you to come home so we can work through this. I love you.”

“Fuck you!” I scream at the term of endearment that means absolute shit now. I see red at the three words he’s always given so freely. I cut my eyes over to hit the end button, completely done with his ass and when I turn my gaze back to the road, I see the biggest fucking moose in the world, standing directly in my lane.

Hitting the brakes was the very last thing I should have done but, of course, it was the first thing that I did. Swerving back and forth, the only thing I could think of was my parents’ tragic death. That involved a drunk truck driver, not a moose, but I just knew I’d see them soon, my fate inevitably aligning with theirs.

The car jumps and bucks, twists and turns, but thankfully never becomes airborne or flips over. I hit the ditch on the side of the road and somehow manage not to die. I watch with wide eyes as the huge moose huffs a breath of frigid air from his nose and walks away from the resulting puff of thick steam, absolutely unfazed by the near death collision he just caused.

I need to get out and assess the damage, but it’s freezing cold and that oversized mammal may want to eat me. Fat chance of me getting out of this damn car with the hell-beast out there stalking me like prey. I have just over a half a tank of gas, and the functions of the car don’t seem to have been affected.

I put the car in reverse, planning to get out of the ditch and spend the night in Poison until I can gain my composure and make sure the car isn’t damaged too badly. I gently hit the gas with a shaky foot, not fully calm yet from the near death experience I just had.

The tires spin and the car doesn’t move. I give it more gas, and the same thing happens. I try to convince myself not to panic but as the tires spin and spin that notion is becoming impossible. I put the car back in park and engage the emergency brake. I turn the hazard lights on for good measure, knowing I’ll need someone to stop and help me.

I follow my cell phone charger cord and find my cell phone lodged between the passenger seat and the console. This situation will end quickly if I can reach a tow truck. Just my luck, there is not one bar indicating any level of reception. NO SERVICE mocks me from the top left corner of the screen.

I’m fuming as anger over the entire day hits me. I would ask ‘what’s next?’ but fate or karma or whatever’s been acting against me recently has been one vindictive bitch, and I don’t want to press my luck. The last thing I need is for a logging truck to plow over me while I sit helplessly in my car.

I crank up the heat and sit back, praying someone happens to be just as crazy as I am and is out driving in this weather. That thought also scares the shit out of me. What kind of person will I encounter out here? All of the sane people are at home, warm in front of the fire.

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