“What had happened?” I said. She whispered, “He decided to go to sleep and leave me alone.” “But…?” “Don’t ask,” Kelly said. “If you’re around long enough I may tell you.” We found two seats together and left the guy sleeping in the back. I kept glancing back at him, but she immediately dozed off to that soft snoring she did. Getting rest turned into a daunting task, I tried to fall asleep, but every time I did I was haunted by a reoccurring dream about the plane crash that woke me up, ever since that dreadful day. I’m sure the survivor’s guilt ate at my subconscious… I hated the fact that I was still alive. She woke up just before Albuquerque and said, “So, why are you on the road anyway?” I said, “Looking for answers,” and waited for her response. But she didn’t question me. I thought that was strange but said nothing further. At Albuquerque, her assailant was still sleeping. I cast a wary glance his way as we slung our backpacks and stepped off the bus into the brightest sunshine I had ever seen. When I came back from the restroom, she was gone. I saw her walking towards the street and wondered if I should go with her. But maybe she didn’t want me tagging along? I took a chance and hurried after her. She seemed surprised. “What are you doing?” she said. “Are you gonna wash windshields?” “I dunno. I thought I’d look around. I might want to stay here for a while,” she said. I was again at a loss. Without Kelly, would I be stuck in Albuquerque? I’d like to think some of her street smarts rubbed off on me, but to be honest, she was the only reason I’d made it this far. She started off. I didn’t follow until she looked back over her shoulder and said, “You can come if you want. But I’m not heading anyplace in particular.” Without hesitation I accepted her offer, I really didn’t want to see where the path of me being on my own would lead, I figured worst case, we could earn some money together. That would buy me some time, and if I were lucky we’d make enough cash to cover fare for at least a few cities or even a state or two at best. The thought of me taking a leap of faith and having to travel once again on my own was nerve-racking, to say the least! We both stopped at the sign in the restaurant window that said Help Wanted. They needed waiters and dishwashers. Maybe we’d get lucky.
TEN I FIND MY SPECIAL TALENT Three days later we still had not connected with a job, and the “hobo dinners” weren’t cutting it. The first three fast food managers looked at us like we were sewer rats. One even told us so. I guess my lack of hygiene was starting to catch up with me, the thought of a hot bath was tantalizing! So we took to the streets with our squeegees and managed to make enough for a fast food meal. I didn’t want to look like a starved rat when I arrived at the ranch, but I might have no choice. Sleeping accommodations were turning out to be a problem. It was raining in the high country, and a park bench was an uncomfortable perch in the rain. It didn’t let up, and we were getting more and more miserable. We had spent the last night under a big oak, with newspapers for cover. So we started looking for something else. The next afternoon, we were hanging out near a storage shed company. We were soggy and miserable, having only managed to dry out some at the bus station. When they closed the storage place, we hopped the fence, and I tried my hand at lock picking. I don’t know why but I had a feeling I could pick a lock and get into a storage bin for the night. I had never done it before, and that’s what made it odd that I thought I could do it. I looked over at Kelly. “Do you have anything tiny that I could use for a lockpick?” I asked. She fished around in her pockets but produced nothing substantial. Then the bobby pin in her hair caught my eye. “May I borrow that bobby pin for a few?” I said pointing to her hair. “I forgot that even existed, it’s been so long since I had a chance to do my hair,” Kelly admitted. When I fitted the bobby pin into the lock it felt hopeless, I seriously had no idea what I was doing. I hoped I wasn’t blushing because this felt idiotic of me, maybe my math skills weren’t the best, but I’m pretty sure picking zero locks in the past gave me exactly zero skill at lock picking. “Think it will take long Davis?” Kelly asked. “I don’t know how long it will take—.” All of a sudden a weird tingling sensation washed over me and all the hairs on my arms and neck stood up. I took a step back, and arch’s of electricity exploded out of my hands, sending the bobby pin and the red door on the storage unit flying through the air and slamming against the back wall. Kelly gawked at me. “You never told me you could do that?” “Umm… How about you tell me how you did that Vulcan touch thing with your hand back on the bus, and I’ll tell you how I blew the door off,” I said. I honestly had no clue how I did it. It was a new feeling like I had unlocked some sort of ability. My fingers felt energized and tingled when I held my pointer fingers side by side bolts of electricity jumped between them. “Ok, you win! It’s sort of like a sleeper hold, but I used the energy from my body to interrupt the flow of energy to the neural network of his brain,” she explained. “Is it like using your chi, stun-gunning him? Like a kung-fu master?”