The Hitcher, Part 1

(by, 22 January 2002)

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The Hitcher:

Part I

John Franklin had to piss in a bad way. It had been 2 hours since his last
stop. He had bought a 32 oz. Fountain Drink from a gas station in Spokane and
decided to pass on stopping in Moses Lake. 

"Bad idea," he thought to himself as he peered out the window.  The rain was
coming down harder and the windows were beginning to fog up. He reached
towards the dash and turned on the defrost then cracked the window slightly.
His hand reached across the bench seat and he felt the pack of cigarettes and
matches that lay on his coat. He really wanted another cigarette, as it had
been two hours since that as well. 

John Franklin, among other things, was a closet smoker. No one, as far as he
knew, was aware of his secret habit. At age 26, he had been secretly sneaking
cigarettes for almost 12 years. He began sneaking from his mother. A puff or
two here, a full cigarette there. He really had no pattern. Sometimes he
would go weeks without one, and then something in the back of his mind would
bring on a full nicotine fit, and he would have to purchase a pack. Usually,
he would smoke just one, taking just a few quick drags and then toss the
remainder of the pack away. He would drive miles out of his way to go to a
side of town where he wouldn't be recognized. He went to great lengths to
keep his secret just that.

He was ashamed of himself as he thought it was a weakness that he secretly
smoked. He also felt ashamed of the fact that he couldn't be open and honest
about this one thing that he truly enjoyed. Why did his wife so adamantly
oppose smoking? She was a 'Nazi' about it sometimes. She constantly berated
John's mother about her smoking. So much that it was starting to affect their

When he got the opportunity to change careers to be a traveling sales rep.,
he jumped at the chance. Being on the road, in strange towns where no one
knew him would provide more opportunities for him to smoke.

John tapped the pack thoughtfully with his index finger and then grimaced as
he fought back the pain in his bladder. If he pulled over to pee, he'd get
soaked in the rain. If he didn't do it soon, he'd get wet regardless.

Up ahead he found his answer: an exit with an underpass. He quickly signaled
and turned down the exit. He checked his rearview mirror and saw no one else
following him. Once at the bottom, he turned left and parked under the
shelter of the Interstate overhead. John turned his wiper blades off and
dimmed his lights. He quickly shook a Marlboro Light King out of the box and
placed it between his lips, and grabbed his pack of matches.

He stepped outside and was greeted with a chilly breeze and moist particles
of rain. He turned his back to the wind and struck a match and greedily held
it the tip of the cigarette. It caught, and he drew deeply then inhaled the
rich smoke, rewarding himself. He stepped in front of the Jeep Grand Cherokee
and exhaled lightly as he unzipped and removed himself.

He finally let lose a powerful stream of urine and moaned. He brought the
cigarette to his lips again and drew deeper, this time double pumping. His
exhales were lit up by the parking lights of the Jeep and he thought it must
look pretty cool from behind. A steaming puddle grew between his feet and
began spreading towards his shoes. He side stepped and turned.

"Hi," a voice said suddenly, "Thanks for stopping!"

John acted like he was hit with 10,000 volts of electricity. His body
contorted. His first reaction was to cover his crotch. His brain however
hadn't turned off the faucet and he proceeded to urinate on his hands and
pants. His cigarette fell from his lips and to the ground and he coughed out
a choking cloud of smoke.

"JESUS CHRIST!" he shouted and then turned and managed to zip up. He shook
his hands and droplets of urine flew in all directions.

"Fuckin A," he said a little softer. A loud laugh reminded him of the visitor
and he spun quickly to confront the villain.  

"Who the hell are you? Where did you come from?" he demanded as he walked out
of the lights of the Jeep. He stopped short when he saw the face that
belonged to the voice.

"Hey man, I didn't mean to startle you like that," the face said, and then
giggled some more. "I certainly didn't expect a reaction like that. Classic!"
it said with a final laugh.

"You scared the living shit out of me," John said, restating the obvious.

"Sorry, I've been down under here for about an hour keeping out of the rain.
I thought you saw me wave at you when you came under here. I'm trying to
hitch a ride to Seattle. Any chance your heading there?"

John stepped forward another step and the face became clearer, and he was
struck with sudden, simple beauty. The voice's face was long and oval shaped
and surrounded by dark, straight, slightly damp hair. She had high
distinctive cheekbones, delicate soft skin, a thin nose, manicured eyebrows,
and full lips. Her eyes were a light color, but he couldn't make them out in
the darkness. If she wore makeup, it was unnoticeable. She seemed flawless.
John guessed her age to be about 19.

John stammered as he regained a bit of focus. "Uh yeah," he said and offered
his hand. "John Franklin. I'm headed to Seattle. Hope to make it late

"Konni," the face responded and folded her hands across her chest. "No
offense, but I'm not shaking your hand, at least not yet..." she said with a
smart smirk.

"Oh shit, sorry!" John said and once again wiped his hands on his jeans. His
face turned a shade of red and he hoped the darkness concealed it.

"So, can I catch a ride with you?" Konni asked again.

"Yeah, yeah, that's fine. I've never picked up a hitchhiker, You hear all the
stories, ya know, but you seem pretty harmless. Do you have a bag or

Konni began retreating as she spoke. "Yeah, it's over there. I'll get it."

John watched as Konni spun and jogged after her bag. She stood about 5'8" and
appeared to be in good shape. His mind wandered as he began to think about
what was under her raincoat. He turned as well, and walked further away from
the Jeep. He unzipped his pants and finished his business he began just a few
short minutes ago. He felt in his coat pocket, instinctively reaching for the

"Shit," he muttered, remembering the pack was on the passenger seat. The few
drags he had left him hopelessly unsatisfied.

John finished and returned to the jeep. Konni stood near the passenger side
door holding her large backpack.

"Let me get that for you," John offered.  He opened the passenger side back
door and tossed it in casually and then rounded the back of the Jeep to
drivers side.

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