A Story by hollylamb

Short story which I may possibly enter for a uni competition


We rode through the night in his beat up second hand car with nothing to see but endless stretches of empty cement roads and a myriad of beautiful stars that danced above our heads. He told me he knew what he was doing and exactly where we were heading and for some bizarre reason or another I put my trust in him. There were ghosts that lingered in the back of my head that told me he was so wrong but it was nice not to think about it and instead to give myself up to the road and to another person and sit back to see what they both had to offer. He carried on talking for ages about all the places and people he was going to introduce me to, all the things I could learn and experience, he was so excited about life and all of its possibilities back then that when he talked he would grab fistfuls of air and shiver with the ecstasy of it all. I leaned back in my sit and watched his eyes light up with that fearful sort of purity that only a madman could possess, truthfully I was bored with life then and didn’t think it could give me much than I had already tasted but I liked the hope he gave me and so I listened to him with an exaggerated eagerness. Every half an hour or so he would pause his manic ramblings and look at me and laugh, a laugh that spilled out of the car and filled the air all around us, so that whatever way I turned I could feel the vibrations of the demented falsetto that spilled out of his mouth. I swear I haven't heard a laugh like that since leaving him, the best laugh I’ve ever witnessed, because of its infectiousness I would suddenly find myself laughing hysterically by his side and without knowing why.  When we’d tire of this game he’d look at me with love in his eyes, ‘you’re a funny thing’ he would say softly. He repeated this over and over again, so that when he stopped the phrase would ring in my ears for minutes on end. I said nothing, I figured there was nothing else to say and even if there was I didn’t have the right words for it.

What he had back then was a serious case of wanderlust. He wanted to travel the world and feel and think things, everything. He craved Thai cuisine, Australian coast, the American dream, the rich colours of India and all of its desperate poverty, the romantic backstreets of Paris and the pine trees of Japan. He desired the sordid stories of the world just as much as he yearned for the grand and beautiful truths. His dream to be limitless was damned unrealistic but I couldn’t help but fall in love with it, and before I knew it there I was with him, slowly starting to want what he wanted, to fight the good fight and emerge from it a better person then I had ever hoped I would be.  I would often stretch my legs out in the car so that my feet would rest on the dash board and I was free to stare up at the sky for miles on end. I thought of all the people who had made this journey and all those yet to come. Happy honeymooning couples or older couples craving adventure after a tedious lifetime of raising kids, people fleeing from the law, people fleeing from themselves, fresh faced students or broke businesspeople looking for their big break, families arguing in agitated high pitched voices in crammed dirty cars or hitchhikers hoping for nothing more than work, food and clothes on their backs.

The car, fading and worn out as it was, began to hum, discreetly at first and nonchalantly I paid it very little attention. Gradually the low hum turned into a distinct clinking, I demanded we should ride through it, I was selfish and tired and wanted to rest my head on some stingy roadside hotel bed but he was concerned and so we pulled into a layby. He got out frowning to inspect the car and in a contrive manner I muttered something about too many people being counterproductive and wandered over to the edge of the layby.  What neither he or I had really paid much attention to was that we had been driving preciously close to the sea, the darkness stole the view from our eyes so that I was only made aware by standing as close to the edge as was possible without falling and by hearing the slap of foaming waves hit hard against the concreteness of the ragged mountains. The sea is one of the only things that I found indefinitely beautiful, that blueness that seemed to perpetually go on and outwards in every direction, the way it met the horizon, always in a perfectly straight line with those origami boats floating on its surface. The soft ebb and flow of the salty waves, give me the sea and I’m sure I could float in it all day and be taken where the tide pleased. He came over to me swearing and with dirt stained hands but whatever the issue was it had been resolved. He saw what I saw and began his manic laugh, ‘We didn’t even know, we didn’t even know, we didn’t even…’ he tailed off.

 ‘It’s pretty cool’ I replied and he laughed some more and told me I was the most understated girl he’d ever met. For once I laughed on my own accord and told him of all the thing we had to see and do, and that really considering all this we pretty get going. And so we both trailed back to the car and he drove on. I leaned forward and tried to think of what was to come. I couldn’t think of details but I knew the future was going to be beautiful and chaotic and golden and I opened my arms to it. 

© 2013 hollylamb

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Added on December 26, 2013
Last Updated on December 26, 2013
Tags: travel, wanderlust, travelling, sense, inspiration, relationship, love



United Kingdom

19 year old English student. more..