Posted in Short story

Pit Stop

Freddie Jenkins had been driving for almost five hours since his last stop. He felt like his bladder was about to burst, but there weren’t many exits along this stretch of highway and a black man pissing on the side of the road is just looking for trouble. There was an almost empty twenty ounce coffee cup in the holder in the center console of his Malibu, but he’d done that before and always ended up with urine on his seat or on his hands and just… no.

So on he drove grimacing and squeezing his legs together.  The fucking potholes on the interstate weren’t helping either.

Finally, he saw a sign advertising a Pilot at the next exit—about 3 miles ahead. He was going to make it.  Barely, he thought.

The Malibu needed some fuel, too, but that could wait until after he took care of business. Fortunately for him, the nearest non-handicapped space to the door was available. Freddie wheeled into the spot, threw his car into park, turned the ignition to “off,” and grabbed the key.

Stepping out of his car, he suddenly felt an overpowering sense that he had been at this exact truck stop before.  But that was impossible—this was his first trip through Utah ever. Yet he just couldn’t shake the feeling.

The store was laid out like so many truck stops on the highways that spiderweb across this country, checkout counter near the door, junk food in the middle, truck and car accessories a little farther back, beverage coolers lining the back and side walls.  Along the wall adjacent to the cooler was the big sign “RESTROOMS” with an arrow pointing down a short hallway.

Freddie ducked quickly into the one marked for men and took care of what he stopped to take care of. As he washed his hands, the overpowering feeling that he had been in this exact place and in this exact restroom returned.  He’d had deja vu’s before, but this was like nothing else he’d ever felt.

A sudden panic set in as he saw a powerful vision of him exiting the restroom and being gunned down by someone he couldn’t see. He’d had feelings of doom in the past when he wound up in the wrong neighborhood, but this was a truck stop and there shouldn’t be anything to fear here. Still, he didn’t want to leave the restroom—the premonition was just that strong.

“Ah, you’re just being a silly Willy.” he whispered to himself. No one can sense the future, he thought. With that thought in mind, he exited the rest room and walked toward the front of the store.

“Is that your Malibu out there, son?” a rough voice behind him inquired. Freddie spun around and found himself looking at one of the county’s deputies.

Oh shit, this is it, thought Freddie, still feeling the deja vu. “Yessir, I just stopped for gas and… and to use the restroom.”

“I just wanted to let you know that I noticed the rear tire on your passenger side looks like she could use a little air. There’s a free compressor around the side of the store.”

 

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