Image Source: Tracey Capone
Ann was starting to get pissed as she stood in front of the AC unit trying to get it off of the ARCTIC BLAST setting. She and Melissa didn’t get much sleep, between the cold and rattling of the air conditioner and anticipation of the homestretch of their trip.
The morning, grey and muted, flicked across the carpet in thin shafts of light as Ann bumped into the heavy motel curtains. She rolled the immense 1970s climate control dial, pressed buttons, punched the panel. Eventually she gave up and went back to the bed. Melissa had pushed the comforter to the floor, and was lying with the sheets pulled up to her chin.
“I would get starkers for you, but it’s too fucking cold in here!” she said. She made a show of her shivering and chattering teeth.
Ann held up her arm, which was a relief map of goose bumps.
“I’ll forgive you,” she said. “This time. We need warming coffee! Wanna stop at the coffee shop for some Route 66 Americana, or would you rather fuel up when we fuel up?”
“Hmmm…” Melissa said. “When will we ever be here again? Let’s linger for a few minutes.”
“Let’s!” Ann said. “And if I happen to see a sombrero or some other form of dumb-ass local ware in the gift shop, and if it happens to end up in the car, weeellll….”
“Yeah, don’t make me change my mind before we even get home!” Melissa said.
300 miles to go. Ann and Melissa were starting the day in a frigid, run down New Mexico motel room, and they would end it at the beginning of their new life together. They lingered at the door before returning the key, knowing that this was a moment they would both remember for a long time. The last miles before home. Then they got in the car, turned up the heat and hit the gas.
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