Day 6 in St. Louis is off to a great start. I hit the hotel complementary breakfast. (I like complimentary breakfasts. Sometimes I go to hotels just for the complimentary breakfast.) Who knows what Charly is doing. I'm guessing her makeup.
Day 6 plan is for me is to go to church and then we’ll hit the road. Yes, even when traveling, I go to church. I goofed up and made reservations for a hotel in another city. For the rest of the trip my plan is to spend Saturday and Sunday night’s in the same place. You know what they say, “Seven days without God makes one weak.” A day of rest is good.
Day 6 in St. Louis is off to a great start. I hit the hotel complementary breakfast. (I like complimentary breakfasts. Sometimes I go to hotels just for the complimentary breakfast.) Who knows what Charly is doing. I’m guessing her makeup.
Day 6 in St. Louis and Where’s Charly?
Okay, I’m off to a local church, and I haven’t seen Charly all morning. I left a note under her door:
Gone to church. Back in time for lunch. Please be ready. — Brent
Back on the Road
I returned from church and saw Charly was all packed and ready to hit the road.
“I see you got my note,” I said.
She replied, “I was wondering where you went.”
“Let’s load the car,” I said as I grabbed the handles of my two roller bags.
We no sooner put stuff in the car and Charly says, “I forgot something, I’ll be right back.”
30-minutes later I decided I’d play a little prank. A few days ago a guy let us take some bricks. I’ll stuff them in her suitcase.
“Right back,” I said, “I was about to see if there was someone else who wanted to join me.”
“You wouldn’t leave me,” she said with a voice of confidence.
“Oh, get over yourself,” I retorted, “the rest of us have.”
That earned one dirty look.
Not Our Day 6 Motel
It was time for another road trip tick. I knew there was an abandoned motel coming up.
“Wow,” I said, “I didn’t realize we’d get to our next motel so quickly.”
I was driving, and I pulled in the the abandoned Gardenway Motel. The first giveaway should have been there were NO cars in front of the rooms.
Charly hopped out of the car before it came to a complete stop, and yelled, “Nooooooo!”
I was laughing so hard I couldn’t speak for a while. Finally getting it together I asked, “Why?”
“You can’t be serious! This place looks like a dump from the outside, I can’t imagine what the rooms look like inside,” she said without even thinking that I was pulling her leg.
“Wait, wait, wait,” I said both trying to calm Charly down and to keep from cracking up, “wait until you see inside the rooms.”
I widened my eyes as if to say, ‘They’re amazing.’
Charly cast a gaze my way as if to say, ‘You better not be pulling my leg.’
“Let’s go look,” I said while taking her by the hand.
She grabbed my hand like a scared child. As we drew closer, her grip got tighter and tighter. I began to be a little scared myself. Visions of drug-crazed squatters coming at us with broken beer bottles ran through my imagination.
There was no visual or audible indication that anyone else was around. As I turned and looked at this pale frightened girl, I thought it was time to let her in on the joke.
Letting Charly In on the Day 6 Prank
“You must realize, I’d never stay in a dump like this. Remember our motel in Normal? That was about as bad as I’m willing to put up with,” I explained.
As a result, her hand curled in to a fist as I thought, ‘This could hurt, so move!”
Dodging her jab towards my right bicep I grabbed her before she lost her balance and fell on the the filthy walkway under our feet. Because she was about to fall over, I steadied her with both hands and placed my hands on her shoulders.
“It was a joke, Charly,” I said realizing perhaps it was a little cruel.
Smiling, Charly says, “I knew you were. I wanted you to think I trusted you.”
“What? You don’t?” I asked.
“Heck no,” she laughed.
“What the heck are you doing on this trip? Riding a few thousand miles with an old man?” I said feeling a little under appreciated.
“Oh, no. I trust you in that way,” she said realizing she’s safe with me. “You’d never lay a hand on me. You’re the only guy I’ve ever met who hasn’t made me feel creepy in that way.”
“Thank you for telling me that,” I said comforted. “Let’s peak inside and see how bad this place really is.”
“Do we have to?” she said squeamishly.
“You’re perfectly welcome to go back and wait in the car,” I stated, “I just want to peak around and take a few pictures.”
“Nah, it’s okay, but if zombies come after us I’m throwing you at them so I can make my escape,” she said realizing she could outrun me.
We both slowly approached a broken window. Charly peeked inside and exclaimed, “GROSS!”
It seems like squatters had been there.