The Jerk of a Driver

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And that's how I became to be sitting on a train going from my previously okay neighborhood to a family friend of Doctor Roberts. The friend lives in Charleston, South Carolina, and they'll keep me safe. I tried to ask Doc Roberts safe from what but he wouldn't give me a straight answer.

"Whoever went through your place."

The same answer every time, should have been straight enough but I knew it wasn't. I knew it wasn't honest the same way I knew he'd been lying about not knowing me before I'd been hurt. The only reason I ignored it then was because I was safe. I thought I'd been safe at least.

Now everytime I see the lie I wonder if I shouldn't be hiding from Doctor Roberts himself.

I crumple up the paper he gave me, the one with the address of the house I'm supposed to be going to. I've memorized it so it doesn't really matter but at the same time he said that the people who lived there weren't expecting me, and that I should give them the letter.

Parts of me wanted to open the letter and figure out what the hell was going on, but then I looked at the seal and new I couldn't just get away with trying to reseal it. They'd know I'd gotten into the letter. I rested my head against the cool glass of the window next to me.

What if it was my old family? People who knew me from before, people who weren't about to lie like Doctor Roberts had all these months. I scoffed to myself and pressed my hands to my belly. That was stupid. Doctor Roberts may have lied but he'd never go through and defile my home. He'd never tie me up and leave me all alone.

I flipped the letter over in my hands. The envelope was marked in Doctor Robert's handwriting, and addressed to a Mr. Blackbourne. What's with all these people being so formal? First Doctor Roberts insisting that I call him by his professional name, and now I'm being shipped off to live with this Mr. Blackbourne dude who probably has like eight cats and droopy eyes.

He'll also probably have super judgmental eyes when I inform him it's none of his business who the father and where he is. And he won't have any chocolate. I think that's the worst case scenario though- the no chocolate. My stomach gurgles, breaking through my wall of thoughts and making me groan.

Poptarts. I want some stupid poptarts.

****

"All right miss, are those all the bags you have with you today?"

I nod to the attendant as she helps me out of my seat and down the aisle of the train. She's got my bags and I'm wearing my backpack. The letter is clutched in my hand and I can't help but notice somehow the seal broke while I was crumpling and uncrumpling it.

oopsie daisies.

The attendant, Marsie, helps me off the train and onto the platform. I'm supposed to wait by the restrooms for my ride to come and get me. Great. I still want poptarts, I have to pee now that I can see the bathrooms, and I have to wait for some idiot to come and pick me up and take me to a house where the occupants don't know I'm coming.

On top of that Doctor Roberts took my phone and told me I'd get a new one with a new number.

After I lugged my bags over to the restrooms I found an older looking lady knitting on the benches where I was probably expected to wait.

"Excuse me, miss?"

She looked up and saw my belly. Instead of the distaste I was used to she gave a sad little smile, "I was with child around your age. It's tough."

I nodded softly, "It is. I was actually wondering if you could possibly watch my bags while I go to the bathroom?"

She smiled and agreed, setting down her knitting supplies to pull the bags closer to her seat. I thanked her and ran into the restroom. When I'd finished I leaned against the counter and splashed some cold water on my face before daring look in the mirror. I looked tired.

In a sad attempt to make myself look semi presentable I grabbed a brush out of my backpack and combed out my hair, which had grown out past my shoulder blades to my mid back. I left it down instead of throwing it up into another bun.

After a silent peptalk into the mirror I put my brush away and headed back out to the platform. The old lady was gone, and in her place was a guy about my age. He wore a black tshirt and some dark jeans. He was texting something on a cellphone that I couldn't see. The way he was leaned over on the bench I could see a golden hoop in his ear.

"You're here to pick me up?" I asked, pressing my hands to my hips in a defensive manner.

The guys shoulders tensed, his fingers froze- actually everything about him froze. He wasn't even breathing I don't think. Yeah buddy I just caught you texting on the job but I don't think it's exactly the end of the word, I thought to myself, trying to hold in a snicker.

The guy was on his feet faster than I could blink, and then his eyes were on me. Not my belly, but my face. There was recognition in his eyes, like he knew me but that was impossible. He must have seen a picture and that's how he knew I was me.

His mouth popped open, and his intense eyes swept over my face, and then inevitably down my body.

"Mother fucker," he breathed out, looking like he'd just been hit by a train as he stared at my stomach.

I started to feel uncomfortable, "Actually," the sass was out before I could stop it, "I'm not a mom yet, and if you could stop staring that'd be great."

He didn't. And I started getting mad.

"Look can you just take me where I need to go and stop staring?"

His eyes flashed and he looked up to me, eyebrows furrowed in confusion. What threw me was the deep sadness in his eyes, like my presence had cut him deeply. I swallowed and fixed the straps of my back pack.

"Well come on, let's go. I've been craving poptarts since I got on the stupid train, and you're being a dick right now so the sooner we part ways the better."

I walked past him, heading for the exit signs that lead out to the parking lot area. It was a moment before the guy caught up but when he did he seemed to have changed. He looked unsure. I ignored him. We got out to the parking lot and he took the lead from there.

We stopped at a black jeep and went over to the passenger side while he put my stuff into the back. I'd been fully set on slamming the door and pouting the whole way to where ever we were headed, but I was too fat and short to get into the lifted vehicle without help. So I stood there, glaring at the seat with my arms crossed.

The guy cleared his voice behind me, "I uh, I'm sorry if I'd known you were..." he trailed off, the insensitive jerk unable to even say the word pregnant, like he was the one effected by my situation, "... I would have brought a more sensitive car."

His voice was gruff, underlying with some kind of European accent.

"It's fine. Just help me in, will you?"

He nodded and hesitated before scooping me up and setting me in the seat. He shut the door before I could express that I had not wanted to be picked up.

I looked down at the letter. Angrier than ever. As the guy walked around the back of the Jeep I ripped open the letter and quickly read the contents.

I am sorry. There's so much to apologize for an not enough paper. Well that and she's too nosey for her own good and has probably read this by the time you get it. You need to know he's back, and he's on her tail.

-Doctor Roberts 


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