“It’s hot out there,” she said. She wore dark sunglasses.
His mind focused on the bead of sweat that was forming at the tip of her nose. He nodded.
“Get in,” she said. They tore off into the desert. The sun was high.
“Yes, it is hot,” he said. She turned for a second.
This was after the sex, after the cigarette. After the night had passed, and after the coffee. The sun was high again. I wondered if they had met before.
“Where are we going?” asked the hitchhiker.
An hour passed, maybe more. I don’t remember. We were still in the desert then.
“There.” She pointed forward. She did not turn.
The hitchhiker and I both looked into the distance. The road was all we could see.
Time passed. And then, she stopped the car.
“I can’t take you any further,” she said. We got out. We listened as the familiar hum of her engine slowly faded, and was gone. The spec of red that was her car vanished, swallowed by the land that surrounded us.
We walked for many miles. Cars passed, but none would stop for us now.
The sun burnt our skins. The sweat poured, and finally, we became thirsty. I don’t know how much time passed. Days, years maybe, but the sun never set. And still our thirst grew stronger.
We came upon a well. I looked into it. All I saw was darkness. It was empty, cold… and dry. I’d always known we’d find it, but I imagined it to be filled with sweet, cleansing water. Not like this. I never imagined this.
“This is your fault,” I could hear the hitchhiker thinking. “You brought us here. What do we do now? Where can we go?”
Anger and loathing overcame me, and I struck him. We struggled. I held him over the well. The dark hole beckoned for substance. I threw him into it. He fell in silence. I never heard him hit.
The air was still again.
I walked on alone. I wandered north, and then south. My thirst burned me, like flames eating from within. Now, without the hitchhiker, I could bear it. I could just bear it.
The sun had sunk low in the sky, and the air was cool. Much time had passed.
I came upon the Ocean. I walked to the edge of the water. I could go no further, so I stopped.
“This must be it. Here I am,” I said to myself. I sat down, and I waited.
Soon, the sun gave way to the moon and stars. The breeze from the water was cool and comforting, and the sand was soft. I was tired, so tired from my travels. I must have slept.
I opened my eyes to a face. The morning sun shown behind her. She looked dimly familiar, but I could remember nothing.
She held out a cup of water, which I drank deeply. She said she’d found me lying in the sand, looking almost dead. She had waited for me to awaken. She said she was happy I was alive. And so was I.