By Katherine Krige (London, ON)

I looked at the young woman standing a few feet away. She had a thin bag crammed full of God-knew what at her feet. My backpack was resting at mine, with all my worldly possessions. Without a mutual language, all we could do was smile, but it was enough to know that our goals were the same. We both  needed a ride. Standing by the side of the road, we were suddenly united in our quest. We were two strangers hitchhiking West.

When the next truck stopped, we both climbed  in.

The man apologized profusely, when he let us out of his big rig. He felt horrible that he couldn't take us further, but he had to wait for the repair truck. He insisted on radioing another  truck to  pick us up, taking us further on our adventure. I was heading to Swakopmund. My travelling sister was perhaps heading home, but our smiles were the best we could communicate. All I knew was that she stood on the same side of the road as I, which meant we were going the same way.

When the next truck pulled up beside us, my new friend clung to my arm. Two men leered down at us. Her apprehension was infectious and I hesitated before climbing into the cab. Warnings of the dangers of hitchhiking filled my head, but I tucked my fears away and scrambled in, my friend close behind.

Angels played wing-men for this risky ride on the road to nowhere.

Comments are closed.