The yellow lines whizzed past one after another, blurring together, making it look like it was one continual strip and not individual lines. They never changed. The yellow streak on the black concrete seemed to be the only unchanging thing in her life these days. Everything else though...the trees lining the roads, the other cars around her's, the next gas station attendant she'd talk to, the road signs, the town she was in, her emotions... always changing. That yellow line on a road with no visible end was the only thing she felt she could depend on. "I had to walk away, down the road just to clear my head" the radio sang, "On another fun filled day, of doin fine but you're back instead..."
...His hands traveled up her leg, gentle fingertips tickling the silky smooth skin...
It was lonely out there on the open road with nothing but her own thoughts to keep her company. She'd thought so much the past two weeks that her head felt like it was full, that there was no more room in there to analyze, no more space to think. She just wanted to let out a scream for the whole world to hear. She wanted to scream for herself, scream for her sanity and for the pain of the memories that wouldn't stop haunting her.
...His lips were warm on her neck; she bit her bottom lip and shut her eyes tightly, pressing medium length nails into his bare back...
The thin layer of water on her eyes added to the haze of the yellow stripe on the road. When she blinked, a single teardrop rolled down her cheek, its path interrupted by her lip. She pressed her lips together and could taste the salt in the small droplet. Her left hand rose from the steering wheel quickly, wiping the residue on her cheek with her fore and middle fingers. Crying was not what she wanted to be doing; it seemed like all she did was cry lately. That's what driving in solitude for two weeks could do to a person, she guessed. But she'd gone on road trips before, by herself, at that. She never remembered crying like this though. Maybe that's because she hadn't left anything she really loved before.
...It felt so good that it hurt. His thumb wrapped around the thin string of her underwear that stretched around her hips, tugging at it slightly as he pushed her body closer to his with the strong hand that lay on the small of her back...
Driving became a reflex for her. She'd cruise down the highway, at a steady 50 miles an hour, not even realizing she was doing it. It's like when you're reading a book and your mind is on a completely different thing. Sure you're reading the words, but they arent connecting with anything, and then suddenly you snap out of your side thoughts and pay attention to the words on the page, and you're left wondering how the hell you ever got to that point in the first place. She found that happening to her more and more as the days passed. A song on the radio would pull her in; she'd listen to every lyric in an attempt to find that one song that described perfectly what she was feeling. Or her mind would drift back to an event... some experience that she couldn't let go of. It would play back in her head, like a movie or an episode of a TV show you've watched over and over again. Each time you notice something new. But then it stops, and you're jolted back into reality as quickly as you left it. Things like that had never happened to her before. She concluded that it was just another result of being on the open road with a broken heart. But the part that killed her, was knowing that she broke it herself.
...She tilted her head back, running her hands through his fine hair as he sucked on the edge of her mouth softly, then moved his lips to her chin and down the front of her neck, kissing away the small beads of sweat beginning to form...
Palm trees lined the road she was on. Tall masts of cream colored bark and large green leaves hovered over head, creating long shadows shaped like the leaves and trunks that stretched across the asphalt. She flipped down the visor above her to shield the gleaming afternoon sun from her large brown eyes. She got to a toll plaza, and tossed a few coins into the basket, proceeding towards a Holiday Inn that lay on the banks of a city. How long she'd be there, she didn't know. A few days worth of coffee cups scattered on the back seat of her beat up truck reminded her of how long she'd been away from him. As she approached the hotel, it began to look more and more appealing every second. Just the thought of a soft bed, hot shower, and those fluffy white bathrobes pleased a girl who hadn't slept in twenty-four hours. She hadn't slept in an entire day, yet she didn't even notice it. It was only now, when the prospect of sinking into clean, heavy blankets loomed on the horizon that she became aware of her sleep depravation. She'd been too busy thinking to sleep, too caught up in her analyzation of her life up to this moment to notice she'd driven through the whole day and night.
...One small pale yellow light lit the room. It combined with the rich orange color of the walls, creating a soft golden glow that illuminated their bodies. Her hands ran down his back, and she could feel the thin layer of sweat that coated it on her fingers. His muscles were loose and relaxed as he caressed her stomach with great ease, pushing her shirt up, the violet cloth bunching right below her chest...
She pulled into the parking lot and into a vacant space near the front of the hotel, turning off the engine. Her mind was somewhere else though. She was going through all the motions, but none of them meant anything. It was like she was just drifting through this part of her life, just living for the next city she'd get to, or the next hotel she'd sleep at. And she'd keep drifting, up until she had gotten where she intended to go all along. College, that's where she was supposed to be ending up. She would end up there, but there were still two weeks left before her road trip to self discovery would bring her to a place that was created to inspire people her age. Inspiration was what she needed most, a driving force to push her out of the gloomy mood that overtook her personality. The huge waves of inspiration that she used to receive were gone now. Her passion, her love, they were so far away, in her mind and in miles. The only thing left to keep her going was the memory of the four most amazing months of her life.
..."What are we doing?" she whispered, almost breathless. His hand roamed up her leg and inner thigh, and her whole body tingled as his lips touched the small tattoo on her hip.
"Prolonging the inevitable," He replied huskily, sliding his mouth back up her body. She closed her eyes firmly again, taking quick, short, and deep breaths, her palms held tightly on his neck. "Living in denial"...
A car alarm went off suddenly, it's siren loud and piercing. She jumped, startled by the abrupt interruption in the quiet of the mid-afternoon. For the first time since she got to the hotel, she looked around. There were palm trees lining the roads, the sky was blue, and hoards of people roamed on the beach across the street. "Where the hell am I?" She asked herself quietly, getting out of the car slowly and stretching. She was all disoriented, and finally realizing she'd been driving for a whole day straight. The hotel looked just like every other Holiday Inn she'd stayed in over her road trip, but her surroundings were definitely different. She grabbed a few bags from her car and started towards the main entrance of the hotel, looking up at the large sign over the doorway. "Holiday Inn" it read. There was no surprise there. "Los Angeles, California." It said in smaller letters underneath.
"I'm in Los Angeles...well okay then." She said to herself and stepped into the hotel lobby. A wave of cool air conditioning hit her as she walked straight towards the front desk. Her eyes met with the man behind the counter. He had light brown, obviously sun-streaked hair, and intense green eyes. His lips curled up in a small smile as she came up to the desk. "Hey."
"Hello, and welcome to the Holiday Inn." He said mechanically, "Do you have a reservation?"
"Um...no. I hope thats okay?" She questioned.
"Of course its okay." He smiled at her. "What kind of room would you like?"
"Something with a bed and a shower."
He laughed. "I think that could be arranged." The man typed in a computer quickly; "There's a room on the 8th floor, with a beach view, if that's okay?"
"Sounds great." She replied quickly, handing the man who seemed to be in his young twenties her credit card.
He took the card from her. "How long do you plan on staying?"
She hesitated. "Wow...I don't know actually."
"That's not a problem," He said while swiping her credit card and plugging some information into the computer.
"Great." She said, adjusting the strap of one of her bags on her shoulder.
The man smiled and handed her a key, "Just call down if you need anything," He glanced at her credit card before handing it back to her, "and make sure to enjoy your stay here at the Los Angeles Holiday Inn, Gretchen Witter."
Gretchen smiled a little, nodding and taking the credit card and the room key. She turned slowly, and made her way up to her room.