2011 - Summer - Walk on the Wild Side Entry
Why? - 1. Why?
They left Paris at 3 am, heading for Chartres.
Neither of them said a word. Alex looked out of the window and gazed into the night. Patrick switched on the radio. A minute later, he turned it off with a grunt. Alex yawned. They were in a bad mood. Patrick was angry and Alex was feeling annoyed.
Saturday morning. One hour to go. Patrick was in the mood for fighting. Alex glanced at him. Bur Patrick just frowned. Finally, Alex turned his head away and looked into the night.
Half an hour passed. They joined Autoroute A11. Patrick accelerated. He passed a car and kept driving on the fast lane. He accelerated even more. Alex rolled his eyes. Suddenly, the car in front of them veered to the left without a warning. Patrick jammed on the brakes. His brand new Peugeot 407 coupé swung out.
Alex closed his eyes. He sensed his heartbeat. His body felt numb and his mind was blank. All Alex realized was that he had stopped breathing. Then the car slowed down. Alex opened his eyes and glanced at Patrick. Patrick’s hands seized the wheel firmly. He gazed ahead with widened eyes. His lips were parted and his face was ashen. Patrick slowly moved his hand to the gear shift knob. His hand was trembling.
They drove on for some time. Neither of them said a word.
“Why don’t we drive on all night? I mean, let’s take a walk on the wild side,” Patrick said suddenly.
“And where do we go?” Alex asked in a low voice, turning his head to Patrick briefly.
Patrick cast Alex a glance.
“We’re on Autoroute 11. Somewhere. Nantes.” he suggested.
“Nantes? Okay,” Alex said with a brief nod. His voice was sober. He turned his head away.
They passed Chartres.
They relaxed slowly. Patrick switched on the radio. Alex leaned back in his seat. He looked out of the window. Patrick hummed along for some time.
“You’re chasing a dream,” he said out of a sudden.
Alex kept looking ahead. He gave no reply.
“Corzé,” Alex said finally. “We need a ticket.”
Patrick slowed down. They stopped at the tollbooth.
“5:30,” Patrick said. “The sun will be rising soon.”
“Yes,” Alex said. “Let’s have some coffee.”
They stopped at Varades and fueled the car. They went to the restroom, then got some coffee in the restaurant and stepped outside. Patrick brushed back his hair and rubbed his eyes. Alex looked at the sky. The sky had turned red.
“What will we be doing in Nantes?” Alex asked, taking a sip of his coffee.
“Can’t say,” Patrick said with a shrug.
He emptied his cup.
“She’s not what she seems,” he said, throwing his paper cup aside. “Why can’t you see this, Alex?”
Patrick walked to the car. Alex followed him slowly. They drove on. Time passed by. Neither of them said a word. The color of the sky turned to blue and suddenly the motorway was sun-drenched. It was another hot summer day.
“One more hour,” Patrick said with a yawn. He switched on the radio. Then he turned it off again.
“She's taken you over,” he said.
Alex opened the car window and looked outside. He gave no reply.
“Why did you kiss her?” Patrick insisted, turning his head to Alex.
Alex shrugged. He looked ahead, pondering.
“She’s different. Not like the others. She lacks that selfish pride and she doesn’t have that haunted look in her eyes,” he said finally.
Patrick gave no reply. He gazed ahead. Alex turned his head away. They drove on in silence.
Finally, they arrived at Nantes and turned off Autoroute A11. They stopped at a car park in the center of the city and got off the car.
Patrick stretched. He looked at his watch.
They walked down the empty street until they spotted a coffee shop. They sat down at a table and ordered coffee.
“Will you see her again?” Patrick asked. His voice was fretful.
“No,” Alex said. He leaned back in his chair and looked into the distance.
“Why not?” Patrick asked.
His eyes were fixed on Alex face. Alex turned his head to Patrick slowly.
“She’s not the kind of woman you can plan to see again. You cross her way or you do not,” he said.
Patrick gazed at Alex for a while.
“What’s her name?” he asked finally.
“I don’t know,” Alex said. He gave Patrick a smile. “And I do not care.”
Alex put on his sunglasses. A few minutes passed. Neither of them said a word.
Patrick took a sip of his coffee.
“We might take a room in a hotel,” he suggested.
“Yes,” Alex said.
“I took my credit card along,” Patrick said. ”I want to take a shower and I want to take a nap.”
Alex nodded. “Yes,” he repeated.
They finished their coffees. Patrick took out a few coins. They paid and rose.
“You could have taken her to a hotel room,” Patrick said.
“No,” Alex said.
“Why not?” Patrick insisted.
“She was close to realizing what I want and what feel and who I am. Yes, I guess, she almost realized. I saw it in her eyes. But she was only close to realizing it,” Alex said.
He gave Patrick a look. They looked at each other for an instant. Finally, Patrick nodded. They walked down the street. Neither of them said a word until they spotted a hotel.
They entered. A short time later, they left the elevator. Patrick unlocked the door of their room. He looked at Alex.
“So, why did you come with me, Alex?” he asked.
Alex looked at Patrick for an instant. Then he smiled.
“You’re not like her, Patrick. You know exactly what I want and what feel and who I am. I won’t see her again,” he said.
Patrick gave a brief nod and a vague smile came to his lips. He closed the door behind them.
2011 - Summer - Walk on the Wild Side Entry
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