Judging by the empty disposable cups of coffee on her passenger floor, she’d been driving for at least two days, it’s possible it’s been closer to three, but she doesn’t want to give herself too much credit. Remembering to throw out the empties every times she fuels up has been harder than she thought, there’s the fresh fuel to pump, the “fresh” coffee to obtain, the toilet to use, and if she can remember to buy a bottle of water or something to eat she feels like she’s winning.

Shauna is very much aware that one should not have to travel cross country at break neck speed with very little sleep and too much coffee, but when your best friend calls from New York and asks you to come and get her…so here she is. She should be arriving any minute now, or at least that’s what her phone’s map is telling her if it would stop rerouting…ugh, New York. Upstate is beautiful, she’ll concede, but it’s a nightmare on her GPS. Normally Shauna would pull over to make a call, but this is an emergency.

The phone rings and rings and, there! Nope, went to voicemail. It’s good to hear her friends voice so cheery, the tone and whispering were very concerning yesterday when Shauna’s touched base to tell Elise she would be arriving today.

“I’m here, El, sort of, I think. Call me,” she hangs up the phone then sends the same message in a text. Using fuel to drive in circles in ridiculous so Shauna pulls to the curb and waits, noticing the houses around her for the first time. Adorable little houses with quite a bit of land all around and not a fence to be seen. “Huh,” she says, not realizing she said it out loud til she jumps at the sound. She laughs at herself and then continues aloud, “must not have dogs.”

There’s a pounding on her window that makes her scream before she turns and see’s Elise there all smiles. Shauna throws open the door, jumps out and hugs her friend. “I’m here,” she says, “I’m here.” When she pulls away she expects to find Elisa crying but she’s not. She’s still smiling, not only that, she has grasped Shauna’s hand in her own and is tugging her towards the house across the street.

“Come on! You have to come in and meet Frank!” Elise says.

“Wait, what? He’s here?” Shauna asks, stunned and pulling back on her hand, looking up and down the block for cars in driveways, or a postal carrier, or someone they could call upon if assistance were needed but finding the street empty, quiet, nothing but birds singing in the trees.

“Of course he’s here! I told him you’d be arriving sometime today so he took the day off to meet you. How long can you stay?” Elisa asked.

“Stay?” Shauna’s mouth dropped open and she ran her free hand across her face. What was going on? “What’s going on?” she asked, “I rushed out here because you said you needed me, I thought it was an emergency,” I haven’t slept more than two or three hours in days, I’ve had nothing but coffee and bags of chips, I’m filthy, exhausted, starving, and more than a little dehydrated, so you better tell me just what in the actual fuck is going on and quickly.”

Elise quirked an eyebrow, “I appreciate that you rushed, and I’m sorry if I scared you, but it turns out I just misunderstood. Everything’s fine. Everything’s great! I really want you to come inside, meet Frank, stay a few days. You can rest up here! I can feed you and we’ve got really good water, we’ll get you all fixed up super fast,” Elise finished with a smile.

This #writethirtyminutes session was prompted very loosely from “A Year of Writing Prompts” by Writer’s Digest, available here

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