ONE MONTH LATER
Collin and Christian sat in the parking lot of their local Wal-Mart, as a faint summer wind carried the scent of pine trees across the smooth cement like a cloud drifting through the sky.
The sun had risen high enough in the early morning sky, as trees and other nearby cars began to cast long, dark shadows across the parking lot.
“What’s taking them so long?” Christian snapped, pushing his weight off the hood Billy’s Ford Taurus.
“Calm down, they’re grabbing supplies for the road. Besides, this is the meeting spot, so the real question should be where is everyone else?”
“Oh, you’re right…where is everyone else?” Christian shot back at Collin. Collin couldn’t tell if Christian was being sarcastic in his tone or if he was just a prick by nature.
“Ryan’s about five minutes out. He had to pick up Emily and Sarah, and Adrian and Pawel are coming with the big truck. They said they’d meet us up there.”
Christian was pacing back and forth. He was not a very patient man. Collin thought it was the combination of an anxious personality and three Red Bulls that gave Christian the morning jitters. His thoughts began to drift away as the wind chill picked up.
It was 8:30 a.m., an odd time for a Wal-Mart to be open, unless it was for the holidays. However being from a small town with no major outlet malls meant that a lot of foot traffic was re-directed to Wal-Mart.
This particular store had just finished re-branding to include a full grocery department, and an enhanced electronics section…but Collin found joy in the toy section of the store.
Despite being a 22-year old art major, Collin still played with toys. LEGO in particular was his bread and butter. He could spend hours on large-scale LEGO projects. His most recent was the Millenium Falcon from Star Wars, complete with Han and Chewbacca figurines. The ship was crafted much like a Barbie Dreamhouse in that the entire roof of the spaceship could be taken off, to allow for Han and Chewie and friends to casually walk the ship under the control of a much larger human overlord by the name of Collin Washington.
“Yo!” Antonio called to them from across the parking lot. He was carrying a tray of assorted drinks and snacks from the local Tim Hortons coffee shop. Judging from the book-stack arrangement of items he’d been carrying, Antonio looked as though he may have cleared out the coffee joint of its donuts for the morning.
“Thought I’d get us a little pick-me-up for the road,” Antonio passed out coffees to Christian and Collin.
“Thank you, good sir,” Collin graciously accepted the gift. He watched as Antonio set the boxes containing two-dozen donuts on the hood of Billy’s Taurus.
“Where’s Billy?” Antonio asked.
“Taking his sweet-ass time,” Christian said.
“He’s just grabbing a few last minute supplies for the trip,” Collin said.
The sliding doors of the Wal-Mart supercentre parted like the Red Sea, as Billy exited the store with a shopping cart of random items. Collin had to squint hard to see what was inside.
Flashlights, popcorn, potato chips, bug spray, walkie-talkies (don’t think anyone used walkie-talkies for fun anymore), a sleeping bag, and a loaf of bread.
“That’s pretty random,” Collin said, perplexed.
“What’s the bread for?” Antonio asked.
“For sandwiches, duh,” Billy said.
“Can’t make a sandwich without any meat…or cheese…or anything for that matter,” Christian said, crossing his arms as if to say, ‘what a waste of time that was.’
“Adrian’s already grabbed a whole bunch of other stuff. I was just going off of the list he texted me this morning. We will have proper sandwiches, so don’t worry,” Billy said, laughing.
“Let’s bounce,” Antonio said, throwing his hands in the air.
Billy proceeded to stash his supplies into the trunk, joining his friends in the car.
“Ryan just texted me. He said he’ll meet us at the service station just off the highway in King City,” Billy told the group.
“Sweet,” said Collin.
Christian slowly eased back in his chair, as Billy shifted into drive and left the parking lot.
After a few minutes, the image of red stop lights and immobility became a distant memory as Billy’s Ford Taurus merged onto the on-ramp at 100 km/h, joining the one-way express to Painter, Ontario.