I had used most of my money and gotten on a bus the next morning. After realising I had no idea where I was headed, I then realised that I didn’t care. I was on the bus for a few hours, thanking the lord when I got off and was able to stretch my legs. As I walked around aimlessly for a while, the blood began to circulate all the more better and I no longer had pins & needles running through my legs.
As I walked around, I noticed we had stopped outside of a Gas Station in a small town... I’m not sure where though. As I looked around, I noticed a pay phone and had a strong urge to call. Before I knew it, I had picked up the receiver, put some coins into the slot and dialled the first number that came to mind. I had only memorised two numbers in my lifetime. One being Holly, the other being-
“Hello?” he asked, his smooth voice sounding slightly anxious.
“B-Brendon?” I asked quietly, wishing I now hadn’t called.
“E-Evie?!” he asked shocked to which I replied with a small ‘yeah.’
“H-hang on Evie.” He said to me before I heard the phone exchanging hands.
“Evie?!” Holly asked frantically. “Evie, it’s Holly, please, come back!” she was crying, and I was too.
“Holly, I-I can’t.” I told her, “It’s all my fault.” Tears had began to leak over my cheeks, and I shakily wiped them away with my free hand.
“No!” she shouted. “No, Evie! It’s not your fault. Shit happens! Please come back!” her voice was cracking from crying. “We need you here. I fucking need you here. Please, don’t do this! I can’t be without my best friend, my sister! I don’t care that you’re homeless, you can live with me, or-or Bill, or Ryan! Anyone! Just please, come home! Please Evie. I miss you.” She finished quietly.
“Holly, I-I don’t know.” I told her honestly, not wanting to put her through a great pain again.
“Evie, listen to me. I can’t do this without you. You’ve always been there for me, and now it’s my turn to be here for you. Please.” She begged.
“I’ll think about it.” I told her, choking on a sob before hanging up.
I sat on the ground and buried my face in my hands, continuing to cry into them. Why is it that she wants me back?! Didn’t I hurt her enough? I’m sure that if I go back, something else will happen that is my fault and she’ll realise she should have never wanted me back! Then I’ll just leave again. Wouldn’t it just be easier if I stayed away?
“You alright there?” a voice asked from in front of me.
I looked up and squinted in the sun, seeing an outline of a man.
“Y-yeah. M’fine.” I replied shakily.
He studied me for a while, “You lost?” he asked.
I shook my head, “No. I’m just... trying to stop myself hurting people.” I replied to him honestly.
He seemed to nod in understanding, turning around and slinking down the wall and sitting beside me on the cold ground.
“What do you thing you caused?” he asked me casually.
I turned to look at him and studied how he actually looked. He seemed to be in his late 20’s maybe early 30’s with sandy blonde hair, dark eyes and dressed in a simple shorts and shirt combo. He had a surfer vibe about him... Although I’m pretty damn sure we’re nowhere near a beach.
“Do you surf?” I asked, changing the subject.
“Yep.” He replied simply.
“Why are you out here then? I’m pretty sure there are no beaches around for miles and miles.” I said.
“Well, I’ll answer you if you answer me. Deal?” he asked.
I was a bit hesitant but agreed in the end.
“Good. I just wanted to get away for a while. Travel around the USA for a while y’know? Get to know it a bit better before settling down... now you.” He replied.
“I hurt people.” I whispered.
“Care to elaborate?” he asked me.
I sighed, “I’m the cause of the death of my best friend’s baby.” I replied quietly.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
I then began to tell him the entire story. How it began, what happened during the middle and how it ended.
“Well darl, to me, it doesn’t sound like it’s not your fault at all. You really shouldn’t blame yourself.” He said to me.
I shook my head and leant my chin on my left knee, “It is though. If I’d have never gone on that date, if you can call it that, or if I’d have never met her, none of this would have happened.” I replied.
“Look, it’s not your fault. Honestly. From a third party opinion that has no personal involvement in the matter whatsoever, I can assure you it’s not your fault. I think you should go back. Your friends are going through a really tough time right now and could probably use as much help as they could get.”
I looked up at him a showed a small smile, “Really?”
He nodded, “Really. Now where do you need to get?”
“Chicago.” I replied uneasily, not even knowing where I was.
He nodded again, “I’m headed there next. Do you want to come with me?”
I stared at him wide eyed, “I can’t pay you. I don’t have any money.” I said, now looking at the ground.
“Don’t worry about it. I’d like it if you came with me. That way I can feel that I helped you in some way. From what you told me, this Holly character is really worried about you and wants you home ASAP.”
I smiled slightly again, “Ok.”
“Ok. By the way, I’m Tom.” He introduced, holding out his hand.
I chuckled, “I’m Stevie.” I replied, taking his hand and shaking it gently.
“Good, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s hit the road!”
It took us 2 days to drive back to Chicago. Tom owned a campervan which had a small bed and couch to sleep on. At night, we would pull over in a caravan park, sleep the night and continue driving in the morning. I found a $10 bill in the bottom of my bag which I slipped into Tom’s wallet the next morning. I knew it wasn’t much, but it was all I had. And it was a small way of me saying thank you and putting some money towards the food he had bought me and the gas he had used.
“We’ll be in the windy city in a couple of hours.” Tom told me as I sat in the passenger seat beside him.
“I’m never going to be able to repay you, but thank you so much.” I told him sincerely.
“Don’t worry about it kid. Besides, I found that ‘tenner’ you slipped me.” He smirked, looking at me out of the corner of his eye.
I chuckled guiltily and looked down at my lap. Tom just laughed and began to focus his full attention onto the road.
“Thanks again.” I said, getting out of the campervan, the street down from Ryan’s house.
“No problem. Good luck with everything, and I hope one day, that we may meet again,” He smiled, “but, in better circumstances.” He chuckled.
I chuckled a little too, “Yeah. Thanks Tom.” I smiled graciously before walking up the street.
Nerves began to fill my body as I walked up the street, along with dread, fear and a small amount of excitement. Another odd feeling was consuming my body at that moment. I couldn’t help but feel something was missing...
“EVIE WATCH OUT!!!” a heard someone scream.
I quickly turned around and noticed a car hurtling towards me extremely fast. So fast, that I didn’t feel a thing as it hit me. All I saw was darkness. But before that, I worked out what was missing. I left my backpack in Tom’s campervan.