The sign said twenty miles to Sunnydale, TX and the nearest gas station. As I glanced down at my fuel gauge, the empty light flashed at me. Like I didn’t know my car was starving; we were all starving! The last stop was over a hundred miles back, and I forgot to buy food. My stomach growled at me the minute I thought about all the things I didn’t buy. I rubbed my abdomen in a circular motion trying to ease the hunger pains.
“Well, Benny, I hope we can make it.”
I glanced over at my Beagle and rubbed his long brown ears. He was the best co-pilot a girl could ask for as he never complained about my driving or my choice in music. Benny opened his one good eye, giving me a long look before he yawned and went back to sleep. He didn’t have a care in the world.
“I wish I had your life,” I muttered to him before turning back to the stretch of highway.
The empty light stopped flashing as my car started to spit and sputter.
“No! No! Come on! We only have a few more miles to go.”
With a last sigh, the car died as I guided it over to the shoulder of the road. I pounded my hands on the steering wheel in frustration, silently seething inside. I pulled out my cell phone, but all it said was “Searching for Service”.
A tightness started in my chest and tears filled my eyes. Come on, Melanie, hold yourself together. The tears leaked out, running hot trails down my cheeks. Not this too, on top of everything. My retreat to my best friend stymied by a lack of fuel in my gas tank. Just perfect. What to do now? I looked over at Benny. He curled into a little brown ball, squeezing his one eye shut, totally ignoring me.
“Well, buddy, I guess we are going to have to hoof it to town.” I wiped at my tears and blotted my mascara. “No need to have coon eyes as we walk into Sunnydale” I muttered to myself.
I strained for his leash and my purse, both of which had slid under the seat. Next, I searched for some sneakers, or boots, or anything besides my cute strappy sandals. But, alas, in my haste to leave I’d only packed those super cute sandals and a couple of pairs of heels. What was I thinking! Stupid, Melanie. Just stupid. I grabbed the sandals without a heel, blew my bangs out of my eyes, and clipped on Benny’s leash to start my trek into town. I sure hope Sunnydale is more than just a one-horse town.
The sweltering heat plowed into me when I stepped out of the car and onto the road: immediately, the sweat beaded on my back and ran down my body.
“Why is it so hot in South Texas? It’s not even noon.” I complained to Benny.
Of course, he didn’t care. He was too busy sniffing all around, making happy little noises in his throat the way Beagles do as he explored the large cacti, flowers, and jackrabbit trails. The sun continued to beat down as we walked. Thirty minutes later, my shoulders were burnt and the dirt clung between my toes while I dabbed the sweat from my eyes. How did everything fall apart? Where was my life going? Sunnydale could not get here fast enough.