Chapter 12: Quick Change of Plans

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For the first thirty minutes after passing the city limits, Audie quizzed Barnard about his talk with Annabel, asking if she actually made a man out of him. Ignoring the question, Barnard told him that he found out what a wise and very compassionate woman she is. He related the conversation and told Audie that he had come to a major realization. He wasn't going to let other people or apparent circumstances make his decisions for him any longer. In a flash in that talk with Annabel, he could see how standing up for his own intentions could have made a major difference in his life. Most of what he had thought were bad decisions had just turned into bad decisions because he had taken the easy way out.

"Even though something may look hard, I'm not going to back down if it's something I either really want to do or it's something that I know in my gut that I have to do."

Audie considered him for a moment. "Man, I wish I'd recorded that. That would have been an awesome piece for like one of those human interest segments in the middle of your stuff."

"Forget it. That's just for you and me."

"So, like that thing with Donnie and Sid back there, you were actually scared just as much as me, but you stayed focused on the right thing. You didn't actually know how we were going to get out of that and then the garbage truck was just luck. Right?"

"Yeah, something like that. It's like all that fear turned into fuel and even though the fear was still there, it wasn't as big as knowing I had to get the job done. It's weird."

Barnard stared out the front window in thought for a few seconds and then asked the obvious question. "Why did Donnie and Sid know to show up right then and right there?"

"I don't know. That is pretty weird, isn't it? Neither one of them seemed like they would be psychic."

"We can't remember most of what we may have said the other night in that bar. Maybe we said something about the brewery?"

"Maybe. Man, there's no telling what we may have said. We've been pretty loose about our personal business, haven't we?"

"Too loose, Lautrec." That was one of Barnard's favorite little jokes ever since he'd taken art history in his only semester of college. Driving another couple of minutes in silence, he watched the scrubby scenery roll by, wondering what kind of attraction, if any, their uploaded videos and blogs had gotten. Suddenly, a realization came to him.

"Crap," Barnard muttered, almost under his breath.

"No, I'm okay for right now, but thanks." Audie was playing a game on his own phone, slightly removed from any conversation.

"No, not that. I think I just realized how our loose lips may have sunk our proverbial ship."

"Um, hang on, let me pause this." Audie pressed his screen and set his phone in his lap. "Okay, now paying attention, my liege. Tell me about your inspiration."

"You're being weird, but perhaps I shouldn't state the obvious. I just think I figured out what happened. Donnie and Sid know our names, right?"

"Right."

"And Donnie and Sid knew about our trip, right?"

"Right again."

"Did we ever tell them about my Facebook fan page I made for the trip?"

"No, but that wouldn't be that hard to find. At least, that's what we intended when we created it Sunday. You wanted it to be easy to find, but you said you wanted it private until this trip was over."

"Yeah, I did and I still do. Didn't we post a Google itinerary on that fan page?"

"Yeah, sure, you wanted people to anticipate and follow ... ohhhhh, I get it. Holy crap, we shouldn't have done that."

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