“Do you think the universe fights for souls to be together? Some things are too strange and strong to be coincidences” (Emery Allen). The universe speaks to us in subtle ways – and if you don’t listen carefully, you will miss it.
The skyline reflected off Tristan’s sunglasses as he approached the city of Austin. Sweat trickled down his brow and side burns, but the wind whispering against his face was enough to cool him down. His bike was about out of fuel and he was still about 15 miles from the 290 and I-35 junction. It was a good time as any, to stop for fuel and some water for his parched lips. Tristan pulled into a gas station just outside of the Shadow Glen subdivision. He got off his bike and proceeded to put gas into its tank. Looking out into his surroundings he could see an old diner across the road. He squinted to read the sign – ‘Y’all Down Home Café’ it read. The name caught his interest. Tristan was a nostalgic middle-aged man. He was not handsome by any magazine standards, but his rough exterior and deep dark eyes could still mesmerize. Tristan was a veteran and his body wore the scars as badges of honor, but few people would know this, as he kept most of those stories to himself. And he was never one to follow status-quo.
Tristan topped off his bike, and turned the engine back on, and hopped on. Suddenly, a Texas Highway Patrol cruiser pulled up behind him. Tristan looked into his side mirrors nervously.
The police officer got out and yelled at Tristan, “Hey!”
Tristan slowly turned around, “Yes sir?”
“Your registration is expired!”
“Shit…” – thought Tristan. His heart started to pound knowingly he had a Smith & Wesson 9mm pistol tucked under his jacket.
“Stay right there…” The officer began to run the bike’s plates. After a few minutes, the officer walked up besides Tristan. “No violations. That’s good, but your registration is expired. Where are you heading to anyways?”
“Where in Austin?”
“Not sure yet. I have this address in my satchel. Do you mind if I show you?”
The police officer looked at Tristan suspiciously and then smiled, “Naw, I don’t really care. Get your registration fixed. Giving you a warning this time!”
“Thank you, sir. I will.” With those words, Tristan flipped his kickstand up and rode away. He was so nervous he never stopped at the Y’all Down Home Café.
The police officer watched Tristan ride away. After Tristan disappeared heading west bound on 290, the officer got back into his cruiser and also drove away as well.
Sophia pulled into her driveway and reached into her purse. Her eyes widened and panic overcame her quickly. She rummaged through her purse looking franticly.
“Damn it, where is it,” she paused, “Oh no! I left it at that diner!”
Sophia was mortified as all the editor’s notes were scribbled in it. She knew that the publication office would not reread the manuscript again. She grabbed her cell phone and placed a call. The phone on the other side started to ring, and then was picked up.
The male voice on the other side seemed annoyed, “Hello Sophia. How are you?”
“Not good, I think I lost my manuscript. I was wondering if you were anywhere near Chappell Hill?”
“I am working! I don’t have time for your silly manuscript.”
“But, if you are….”
The voice interrupted, “Sophia, look. If it is that important to you, then you should go back and get it. I really don’t have time for this.” A feint crackle in the background can be heard –’10-4 on the 10-28, over’ as he spoke. “Please Sophia, I have to go. If I have time, I will try to make it down there ok?”
“Please do. That is my life’s work.” Sophia pleaded. She hung up the phone disheartened, but only for a moment. She took a deep breath and pulled right back out the driveway. Once again, she headed back out onto the road, gleaming her truck back to Chappell Hill. As she drove, her thoughts were strictly on the manuscript and how she had placed it on that counter. Then she remembered - Tristan! He was sitting right next to her.
‘Hopefully, he picked it up.’ She thought. ‘but what was the odds he would still be there?’ Nonetheless, she raced eastbound on 290; all in the hopes that the manuscript would still be there.
(To be continued)