She was ready. When Rae had woken up, she had gone to her room and packed. Srarting up her bike, she mentally went over what she had in her bag: 97 bucks; a change of clothes; her dad’s hunting knife; a water bottle; some beef jerky, a pillow and blanket; a tarp; and a compass. That was everything. She had left a note for Maggie and Damon, and a separate one for Nick.
She pulled out of the driveway and almost ran over Sam. Busted, her subconscious said. His mouth was moving, but she couldn’t hear him over the motor. Knowing it wouldn’t help her plan, she turned the bike off to talk to him.
“Where ya off to?” he asked like he already knew she was leaving for good. Rae thought up a lie and said
“Just going for a ride”. Sam didn’t look convinced. He stood in the middle of her path, arms crossed, blocking her. She shifted tactics. “I’m going whether you want me to or not, so stop slowing me down” he didn’t budge. Again with the whole security guard thing? UGH STOP TALKING TO YOURSELF. She decided to tell him the truth as a last resort. Rae sighed “I’m leaving, Sam I shouldn’t be here, no one wants me here.” His arms fell to his sides and he gave her a hug.
“Okay” he consented, “I’ll let you go” and Rae could see something in his eyes. He knew she needed this. Sam moved to one side after flipping the visor of her helmet down for her. With one more glance in his direction, she was off, sticking to back roads where no cop would pull her over. Hopefully.
Out on the open road, she realised something. She had no clue where she was trying to go. She pulled into a gas station to think. South, the voice in her head whispered. Well, looks like that thing was going to be there awhile.
Pulling out again, she saw a blue truck, suspiciously similar to Sam’s. Great. Ugh. GET OUT OF MY HEAD STUPID VOICE! Rae felt crazier by the second, screaming at herself internally. Now, what to do about Sam?
He’d said he would let her go, so why was he chasing her? Gunning it before he came any closer, she took sharp turns, knowing they would slow him down. She was probably overreacting. Maybe she had left something important, or he wanted a real goodbye. Fine the voice said, she pulled over so the high speed chase would stop. 20 minutes away from home and you already feel like a criminal.
Rae pulled off her helmet and cooly glowered at the driver of that gaudy truck. The Ole Miss rebel black bear mascot shined off the hood in the summer heat. He pulled up beside her. She was just about to make a smart aleck remark when he commanded, “Get in”. It was said with no playfulness, said it like it was the most serious thing in the world. Rae was so shell shocked she obeyed. He grabbed her bike and threw it in the back and without another word, he got in and they drove off.
They sat there in silence for who knew how long, Sam thinking only he and God knew what and Rae wondering what had just happened. When she finally remembered she had vocal chords, she asked the obvious question “What is going on?!” He didn’t even jump at her sudden, loud voice. Instead, he answered with a smile
“You didn’t think I’d let you go alone, and me miss out on all the fun did you?”
Sitting there awhile longer, she tried to comprehend his words. Giving up, she sighed “What?”
“I’m going with you” he said laughing a little. “Where to?” he asked.
Without hesitation, a voice resounded in her head came our of her mouth without her consent “South” it said.