The Dog

 I was on my way home from work and I got stuck in traffic. The little girl in the back seat of the car before me was sticking her tongue out at me and making faces. In the car on my left was a couple apparently fighting about something, because he kept banging his hand on the wheel and she was gesticulating like crazy. I just felt off. I didn´t want to go home. So as the traffic problem dissolved and we could go on, I didn´t take the exit to our house, but drove on and on and on. I once stopped for gas, once more because I was hungry and then drove all night. My cell kept on buzzing, but I just let it ring. As I was checking the time on it, though, Theo´s number flashed up on my display. He kept the phone ring for as many times as possible till it redirected him to my voicemail. I didn´t call him back. As the sun rose and my tiredness became a driving risk, I stopped at a motel to get a room for a day and a night. The clerk behind the desk handed me a key, without asking any questions as to whether I´d be staying for long or what has brought me here. As I closed the door of the motel room behind me, I found myself in a shabby one-bed-room, with the heavy curtains drawn, keeping the light out, a malodor of sweat and dirty clothes, the bed made. I didn´t even pause to take the shabbiness of the room in, but went straight to bed with my clothes on. I slept without dreaming, though I might have dreamed and just couldn´t remember the next morning. I was woken by my buzzing phone. I snatched it from my purse, which I had dropped next to the bed. It was Theo again, now texting. I read through his messages and deleted them all. Then I checked my voicemail and deleted all messages without listening to them. I cleared my phone log. Then I turned the phone off. I stumbled into the en suite bathroom to wash my face and found a wrapped toothbrush there with the emblem of the motel on the wrapping. So I brushed my teeth, then splashed some water in my face, pulled my hair back in a ponytail and went back into the room to get my purse. I left the motel room without making the bed or drawing the curtains, went to the car and drove on. I stopped for dinner at a roadside restaurant and had a burger and fries and then drove on. I was soon lost, so I turned on the radio to catch some of the regional stations. I had left all big cities behind me and was driving through the countryside, as suddenly, out of nowhere, a dog ran across the street. I stumped on the break, turning the wheel to the side at the same time. The dog ran across the street and disappeared into the thicket near the road, but my car was spinning, the wheels squealed on the asphalt, there was fume coming from them as they were getting hot from the friction. Then the car crashed into something and my head banged against the wheel and then back into the head rest and then last thought I had was that I shouldn´t have turned the wheel so hard.

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