• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 09

The Colorful Passenger

It was raining when I hit the road, and the car was a little shaky. I myself was a little shaky after visiting home. A tried-and-tested recipe to end up in a meltdown, which exactly happened the night before. The next morning, I picked up what was left of my nerves and decided to cut my trip short. Driving in the rain calmed me. As if the windshields wiped away the pain as well. After a while, I saw a bright dot on the side of the road. As I drove closer, the blur started to shape. An elderly woman dressed in a long pink coat, a playful tote bag, and a red umbrella. Odd choices but I liked it! She was signaling for passing cars. No other car seemed to bother stopping, which bothered me.

I slowed down and lowered my window glass, "Can I help you?" She bent over and I saw her face for the first time, "So nice of you to stop! Yes, could you drive me just a little down the road?" She spoke in a sweet tired voice that sounded familiar. She brought her delightful color medley into my very classic-looking car. "I hope you have not been waiting in the rain for too long?", I asked. "Oh, it's fine, I'm quite used to it. I bet you are too" she responded. Indeed I was, growing up on the coast. "I am, what made you think that?", I asked curiously. "My dear, I don't think, I know! I also know how horrendous your visit home has been. Are you doing well?".

I kept my eyes on the road, trying to focus on driving rather than the knotting in my stomach. “Don’t you fret, I am not some psychopath haha,” she said in her still sweet but then terrifying voice. “I was just thinking what to tell you when we meet, and there’s a lot to say really” she went on. “What do you want from me?” I asked in the strongest tone I could manage. “Nothing dear, it is you who need something from me. You need me to tell you, that you will be alright. No matter what happens, you will


The Colorful Passenger

be alright. Just live your life, fill it with color, and take it a tad less seriously, will you?”
Her words didn’t make sense, I started panicking. How would I get rid of her, was someone else following me, was she armed …. “Charline, you are not listening to me. I said you will be fine, alright? I promise.” She knew my name. I looked at her with crippling fear. She was looking straight into my eyes. It felt weird. The whole thing was eerie, but oddly I believed her. She seemed certain that I would be alright, a certainty I didn’t have. “Who are you?” I exclaimed, looking back ahead. “Oh, you don’t recognize me? I’m you” she said softly.

I looked back, no one was in the passenger seat.