She was standing on the side of the road. Thumb out. Waiting. Looking for someone to give her a ride. Chevys, Fords, small compact cars passed her by. Maybe they were as worried about her as she was about them. Safety. It’s hard to come by on the side of a road in Oklahoma. Everyone’s got a gun. Except her. She just had some lipstick,blush,Juicy Fruit, and a twenty her mom gave her. Just before she died, her mom gave her a twenty. Said she couldn’t take it with her.
The Dodge was clean. Washed it before he hit the road. An old Dodge pickup. Blue and white. The rims shined. He was on his way to Los Angeles.Wanted to be a movie star. Like John Wayne. He could play a cowboy or a war hero. His resume said so. Had colored pictures of himself in various poses. They sat next to him in a big envelope. Dust kicked around. He rolled the windows up.
The girl smiled when she saw his truck. She stuck her thumb out even farther. Tired from walking. Cowboy boots are hard on asphalt. Her feet hurt. All of her did. Man she wanted that truck to pull over. She felt it in her bones that he would. She felt him.
But, like most men he passed her by. Left her there. Kept on driving. She sat down in the ditch. Put her jacket on the ground to lay on. And, as the Oklahoma sun went down, she dreamt. Dreamt of a man in a Dodge. Giving her a ride. She heard coyotes in the background. She slept with one eye open. She cried with the other one closed.
It was dark. Too dark for anyone to see her. She’d look like a ghost in the headlights. So, she just sat there. Looking at the purple sky of early morning.