Travel Mates

Sunday, June 18, 2006


The first thought that ran through my head when I saw the cheque was, "Oh. My. God. That. Is. A. Lot. Of. Money." It could buy me a place to stay, a full stomach, some (more) new clothes...not a bad deal.

My second thought was, "Yeah...if it doesn't get stolen". It probably would, with my kind of luck. And all my "friends" would be showing up for their piece of the pie as soon as word got around that I'd come into some money.

My third thought was, "What's the catch?" There just had to be one. So I spoke:
"You said there was a deal, John." And I wanted to know what I was signing away as soon as I endorsed that cheque.

Turns out, the catch was that we could either take the money and run with it, or we could get what we signed up for--"the travel experience of a lifetime", which of course, the British jerk somehow managed to talk on and on about without ever getting specific. Oh, and apparently this "Company" knows waaaaay too much about all of us, which rather creeped me out. How the heck did they know that Jan was looking for me? And that I was starting to think that I'd need to find a new street to park my cardboard box on, because signs pointed to him being pretty close to finding me? Granted, they already knew too much about me from the beginning, considering that they found me in the first place, but still...

The second catch was that we had to decide on the spot. Paul was the first to accept; he took the travel deal. Suzie just stood by her post at the door, thinking her own private thoughts. I had to come up with an answer, and fast.

"Okay," I thought to myself, "I can take my chances with the travel thing. It will probably be pretty good anyway, not to mention all expenses paid. God knows, I can't get too much further away from Jan than that private airplane will take me. He sure won't find me if I'm out of the country, and that can't be a bad thing. On the other hand, who the HECK are these 'Company' people and how do they know so much? Do I really want to take my chances with these freaky all-knowing uptight weirdos? And do I want to spend the entire trip, wherever it is, with these two people (or maybe only one, since who knows what Suzie will choose), neither of whom has left an entirely positive impression yet? Then again, what would I do when the money runs out, if I don't go? Go back to keeping house in a refridgerator box? Jan would find me, somehow, and when he does, I'll be lucky if there's any of me to take to the hospital, if I'm even still alive. Oh heck, I may as well go--if nothing else, maybe they can leave me in another country for good."

All of this, of course, was going through my head silently as I kept as good of a poker face as I could. I only spoke when I had my final answer ready, and then I spoke smoothly and calmly, "I'll take the travel experience as well." No need to let the others in on my calculations, especially not John. Since I trusted him about as far as I could throw a gorilla.


Blogger Elster said...

You see, management promised a new post and delivered. Go us.

Flock back all ye faithful

7:20 AM  

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