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Doux Souvenirs -- FWG Flash Fiction for 4/10/2021

I missed last week, as I was on vacation, so despite the late hour, I couldn't miss two in a row. Here's my entry, Doux Souvenirs, for this weeks prompt:

Doux Souvenirs

It was a normal thing back in the day. Hitching a ride. The flipside was normal, too. Picking up hitchhikers. It wasn’t unusual at all to see young folks on the side of the road with their thumbs out. What was unusual that time, though, was the girl. I nearly laid down skid marks when I saw those legs, and the blonde hair, and …

After I slung her suitcase onto the Beetle’s roof rack and tied it down, she slid into the front seat without a word.

“Where ya headed?” I asked.

She shrugged and looked through the windshield. “West.”

“How far?”

She turned her sunglass-clad eyes to mine and said, “How far are you going?”

I swallowed hard. “All the way to the coast.”

She turned back to the front. “Good.”

I put the VW in gear and peeled out—as best I could in the Beater Beetle.

She didn’t talk much, despite my efforts to draw her out. All I got was a name, Sue Veniers. She said it with a hint of a French accent. Memories of the three days it took to reach the ocean still taste bittersweet.

We shared motel rooms, since I only had money for one per night, and she never offered to get her own. Two beds, because I figured I was just a ride, a means to an end, and again, she never offered.

The Beater made its embarrassingly slow climb up the mountains, but once over the top, she threw her hands up and woo-hooed as we roller-coastered down the other side, her braids blowing in the wind.

Fifty years later, when I packed up the house, I found the picture I took when I dropped her off on the beach, and the sweet memories came flooding back.

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