Spencer drove several hours before they agreed to eat at Arby’s after refueling the car. With both humans and automobile filled satisfactorily, Kate and Spencer returned to the car where Spencer fiddled with the radio and found an oldies station before getting back on the highway. They heard the tail end of a weather report mentioning something about snow, but they weren’t sure where the station was located and didn’t worry about it. Although Kate commented, “Isn’t it a little early for snow except way up north?”
“I would think so, but you never know. The weather seems to have gotten weirder over the last few years.” He got up to speed again and smoothly transitioned into the right lane of traffic. It was now mid-afternoon and they decided over their cheddar melts that Kate would drive in a few hours and keep the wheel until they stopped for the night.
When they reached the point for Kate to take over, Spencer pulled into a rest area. “It’s getting windy; do you still want to drive?” he asked, while stretching next to the car.
Kate looked around at the sky. It was looking a little gloomy and much cloudier than it had been back home. She brushed hair from her cheek, to no avail in the breeze. “I think so. Storms don’t scare me. Just idiotic drivers.”
Spencer grinned at her statement. “I second that. Though I haven’t seen too many on this journey yet. I’m going to walk around for a bit, should I lock the car?”
“Yes, I’ll be back in a few minutes.”
Spencer hit the lock button on his key fob and watched Kate head to the restroom. He started power walking on the trail surrounding the rest area. Large oaks and maples were just shedding their rust, gold and plum-colored leaves. He took a deep breath of fresh air. It felt good to stretch after sitting so long. He wondered how Kate was doing. So far she had been pretty quiet, hiding behind her book. At lunch she didn’t say much, besides ordering her food and insisting on paying for it. Spencer gladly offered to pick up the tab, but he let her have her way. He knew she was trying to get used to the idea of instant motherhood, so he didn’t press the issue.
He moved into a slow jog and went around the trail again. For mid-October, he felt it was chillier than it should be. He almost wished he had a jacket and normally it took quite a chill before he needed one. As he came back around, he saw Kate waiting at the car, so he jogged a little faster the rest of the way back.
“It’s getting cold,” Kate commented, rubbing her arms.
“I know, I wonder if a storm’s coming. I wish I knew the local stations as we move west.”
“Can I get into my bag? I have a sweatshirt in it.”
“Sure,” he unlocked the trunk for her and while she got out her sweatshirt, he dug through his own bag and got out his gray sweatshirt with the blue air force emblem embroidered across the chest, tossing it to the back seat if he needed it later. Then he got in on the passenger side. He put the key in the ignition and took out a magazine from the back seat.
They took off after Kate adjusted the seat and mirrors. “Smooth,” she said after sliding into traffic.
“Thanks, she’s a good car.”
“I guess I’ll need a new car soon. One where I can get a car seat in easier.”
“I’ll help you shop when you’re ready if you want me to.”
“That would be great. I’m not exactly mechanically inclined.”
Spencer thought about their possible car shopping excursion. If he helped her with buying a car, maybe she was warming up to him. And then again, maybe she was just using his offer because she needed his help and that’s all she wanted. He hoped that in time, when they were both over their grief, that they could get serious and eventually become a family. He had wanted to get married for several years, but with his constant traveling and moves across the country or the world, he had a hard time getting serious with anyone. This was the longest time he’d been stationed at a base so far and he fell in love with a girl who fell in love with his best friend. He couldn’t have made up this scenario in a hundred years if he tried. He went back to his car magazine before he got too depressed thinking about his love life—or the lack thereof.
Until next time,