Dakota opened her eyes after a long nap and for a minute she had to think about where she was and how she got there. The events of last night felt like a bad dream she kept replaying in her head over and over again.
Then she remembered the drive. She had a few drinks in the bar before she found her fiance in bed with another woman. She shouldn’t have been driving at all but she did. She drove all night without following any direction, without a destination.
“Oh shit, my car,” she finally remembered her car broke down and a stranger was working on fixing it. Stranger she was supposed to meet at six o’clock. She looked at the alarm clock on the night stand and read 7:00 PM.
She ran out of the room and out on the street. Hopefully she remembers the way back. It was just one turn but still. She could get lost anywhere.
The sun was already setting down and the breeze from the nearby ocean felt great. Everything was so green and colorful compared to Siearra where everywhere you look is just sand, sand and more sand.
She knew she was on the right street when she spotted a big sign with the gas station logo. If she follows that, she will find the guy who had her car.
She was relieved when she reached the blue house and saw the man with long blond hair working on his car. Well, pieces of a car. That’s what it looked like to Dakota. If he ever builds a functioning car out of this pile of metal she will be blown away.
“I’m so sorry I’m late. I fell asleep,” she started apologizing before she even stopped.
“No problem,” he stood up and walked over to where she was standing, “your car is all done. You can hit the road.”
“Yea, we’ll see about that. I might stay in Hillside for a while. What do I owe you?”
“Don’t worry about it, glad I could help.”
“No I can’t accept that. Let me at least buy you dinner. Plus I have to test the car, right?”
“I could eat,” he nodded and handed her her car keys.
“Lead the way, what’s you favorite place to eat in this town.”
“Turn left at the end of this street,” he navigated, “they have the best lobster I’ve ever had. Do you like seafood?”
“Yea, I love it.”
They drove for about ten minutes along the shore, with stunning view of the sunset, before they reached their destination. A little diner right on the water.
Dakota ordered jumbo shrimp and she insisted Trevor gets the lobster he was talking about. She saved so much money by not having to have the car towed to a shop and have it fixed there and she was grateful for that. She wasn’t exactly in a position to pay car repairs.
“So what brings you to Hillside? You said you’ll be staying for a while?”
“I think so. I don’t know where else to go. It’s funny how life can change in a blink of an eye.”
“What do you mean? How did your life change?”
“Well, yesterday I was engaged and shopping for a wedding dress and then I come home and find my fiance with another woman. In our bed.”
“Wow. Yea.. that’s quite a game changer.”
“You think?” Dakota laughed. She realized she was better off without Dylan anyway, “he wasn’t good for me. Funny thing is that everyone knew it, but me.”
“I’m glad you found out before you married him.”
They had a long conversation over their dinner and they sat there long after they were done.
“So yea, that’s my story. Now I have to figure out how to live on my own. I need a job, I need a place to live, but I’ll be fine. I feel like I need to do that, prove it to myself.”
“Look, this might sound crazy, but me and my buddy are actually looking for a roommate right now. He owns the house but he’s single so he’s renting the extra rooms. One is mine and the other one was our friend’s Alicia who just got married so she moved out.”
Can she trust him? What are the odds that she shows up in a new city and this guy has a solution for every problem she has?
Trevor saw the hesitation, “just think about it and let me know.”
“I will, thank you. How long do I have?”
“As long as you want. Dean is not in a rush to fill the room.”
The diner closed at eleven o’clock so Dakota and Trevor moved from there to a bench right next to it. Talking, listening to the waves and staring at the endless ocean and the sky full of stars.
“What do you do for a living?” Dakota asked and answered her own question, “let me guess, fix cars?”
“You got me. I always loved cars, my dad taught me everything I know. Maybe one day I’ll open my own shop.”
“That sound like a good plan, Trevor. Does your dad live in Hillside?”
“He passed away four years ago.”
“I’m so sorry, I shouldn’t have brought it up.”
“It’s ok, I miss him like crazy but I can talk about it. He had cancer. It was a blessing that he died. He was in so much pain the last few weeks of his life that even I wanted him to go. I couldn’t stand to see him like that.”
“That’s awful. I can’t imagine,” Dakota put her hand on his shoulder as a gesture of support.
“But life goes on, right?” Trevor stood up from the bench, “I should get going, I have to go to work tomorrow and it’s getting pretty late.”
“I’ll give you a ride.” Dakota said and they started walking towards the parking lot, “thanks again for everything, for the car and for tonight. I needed to talk to someone so….thank you.”
They drove quietly back to Trevor’s house. She watched him wave goodbye, before he disappeared inside, and then she just sat in her car looking at the blue, one story house with a one car garage. Could this be her home? Should she consider Trevor’s offer and start her new life here?
Dakota returned to the motel and took a long, hot shower. The only problem was, she had no clean clothes to put on.
I definitely need to go shopping tomorrow.
Over all she felt good. She felt like things could be alright again. If nothing else, she made a good friend today and that’s a great start.