Back to Square One – Chapter 1: The Pick-Up

“See you bright and early in the morning?” Chad asks as the pair walk through the parking lot together.

“9 o’ clock meeting, right?” Ron double checks and Chad shakes his head yes. “I’ll be here, no worries about that. We want to win, we have to put the time in.” Chad smiles as he gives Ron a quick wave before climbing in his truck.

Ron then climbs in his Chevelle, starting it up as he pulls out of the parking lot. He could only shake his head as he looked out the windshield. Glancing at the time, he was surprised to find that it was 9 o’ clock already.

Night had fallen on Concord, North Carolina, which was nothing new in his books. He was always at the shop working late with Chad and the team, making sure that the racecars were prepared to perfection. It didn’t matter if they were ahead of schedule or not; both of them put in full days and nights to be prepared.

Normally, he would enjoy the drive back to his house, taking the back roads and at times, letting the Chevelle breathe the amount of air that it wanted and letting it stretch it legs. It was a good way to chill out and relax after putting the hours in at the shop.

Tonight, though, was a different story as he switched the wipers on and found himself staring at big huge water droplets on the windshield. He didn’t remember them calling for rain, but then again he hadn’t checked the weather. It seemed that North Carolina was getting their fair share that night, in the form of a thunderstorm with it almost looking like a water fall at times falling from the sky above.

Slowing down a touch, he knew that he had o be careful. He could handle the car skidding out a little, and finding the wet spots to slide, but wasn’t about to take any chances. This car was his baby and he planned to keep her in tip-top condition. If he knew it was going to rain, he would’ve driven the truck instead.

Coming up to the first of lights, he hangs a right and heads down the back road. It was three back roads – each considerable distance in length – that he’d go down each night to reach his house. Hence why the drive was normally fun.

He kept his eye firmly focused on the road, making sure to keep within the lines despite the visibility growing worse by the rain falling. Cruising down at a nice easy 80 mph, he immediately hits the breaks when he notices a lump at the side of the road.

He then slows down, peering closer, curious as to what it is. His jaw immediately drops as he finds the outline of a body – hair, face, arms, legs – sitting there on side of the highway. He pulls over, without hesitation, climbing from the car as he jobs back over to the person.

“Can you help me?” He hears a quite voice from the female sitting there as he kneels down to her level. You could’ve felt the sigh that escaped from him a mile away in hearing her speak.

“What’s wrong?” He immediately questions. “How can I help you?” He watches her shake her damp hair out of her face, glancing into his eyes with her own brown eyes.

“I got into a fight with my boyfriend. He left me stranded at the side of the road. I was walking and tripped over that log, and fell. My ankle…it hurts…” Ron immediately let his eyes trail down her leg to the foot. Instead of seeing a foot, he noticed the high-heeled boots that she was wearing. No wonder she had tripped. “I don’t think I broke it, but I think I twisted it…”

“You can’t stay here any longer. You’re going to soaked, more than you, and then get sick, which will make things worse. Why don’ you come with me? I’ll take you back to my place and you can get dried off, and then see what you can do?” She didn’t know who she’d call, or where she’d go, but anything was better than sitting on the side of the road continuing to get pelted by the rain storm.

“Thank you….I appreciate that…” He then wraps an arm around her, helping her stand up, before helping her over to the car and inside. He then climbs back in his side, immediately cranking the heat up as he throws a blanket from the backseat on to her. “Thank you….”

“It’s not a problem.” He then pulls off away from the spot, continuing on his way home.

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