Stripping Callum(4)By: Muriel Garcia
When I arrived in Boise and walked out of the bus station, I made my way to what I assumed was the center of town, but I was wrong. I ended up on the outskirts of the city. At that point, I had walked for hours. I was getting hungry, thirsty, and frustrated with myself that I had gotten lost. Just when I was about to give up and walk in the other direction, I stumbled across a place that looked decent. It was a small hotel that appeared a bit run down, but it would do for at least a night.
I walked inside, and the owners looked at me as if I had grown a second head. I’m sure they knew I wasn’t of age to be traveling on my own, but they said nothing. They kindly offered me their cheapest room at half price because I didn’t have a lot of money. I knew it wasn’t good to lie, but desperate times called for desperate measures. I gave them a bullshit story that my parents’ kicked me out, and that I used the little money that I had to get on the first bus to get as far away from them as I could. They bought my story and offered to let me stay there for a small fee and gave me a job in the diner that was a part of the hotel. I was grateful that I had somewhere to live and somewhere to work for the next couple of weeks until I made enough extra money to go somewhere else. I knew I had the money my aunt left me, but I wanted to save as much of it as I could until I really needed it and had no other choice but to use it.
I hadn’t planned to stay there long enough to get to know the people I was dealing with on a daily basis. I couldn’t risk the chance of them finding out what really happened. I loved my aunt, but I despised her at the same time. I hate drunk people and people drinking in general. It brought back so many bad memories even if it was the first and only time she ever raised her hand to me. I knew I didn’t want to risk the possibility of going through that again and feeling like my aunt—my only family—failed me and purposely hurt me.
I liked that small hotel. My room was quaint. It had a big bed that had seen better days, an old TV, a small table and chair, a small bathroom with a shower/bath combo, and a little balcony that I enjoyed sitting on in the evening after work.
It wasn’t big or a busy hotel. The majority of the clientele were truckers who were coming in every day to get some rest while on their long stretch trips across the country or for some food before getting back on the road.
I enjoyed working in the diner, and it also meant three free meals per day, which I appreciated greatly. It might not have looked much from the outside, but the cook was amazing.
One night in late August, a man and his son checked into the hotel. They were staying over the weekend as it was the son’s eighteenth birthday, and they didn’t want to spend it on the road. I knew I’d never see him after that weekend, so I didn’t mind spending time chatting with him. I usually tend to avoid people if I can. After I finished my shift at the diner, I went to the pool, ready to cool off after a hotter than hell day. He was sitting there on one of the sun loungers. His father was shitfaced and had crashed already. Duncan, the son, and I spent the night on the sun loungers and quickly started making out, which eventually escalated to sex by the pool, with possible onlookers. Major cringe. I don’t know what got into me at that moment, but I didn’t care. I was feeling loved, even though it was just for a few minutes. I was craving that closeness with another person.
It was my first time and nothing to rave about. I didn’t have any point of comparison, but it seemed lackluster compared to what my high school friends were telling me and what you hear in movies and on TV.
He left the next day, and I was cool with it. I knew he wasn’t staying and that it would be the only time I ever saw him. What I was not cool with was two weeks later, I was late for my period, and I freaked out instantly. I was always on time. At first, I thought it was simply because I had sex for the first time and my body was disturbed. Two weeks later and it still didn’t come, so I took a pregnancy test. It was positive. I thought it could have just been a fluke and took three more. They were all positive.
I kept it to myself. I didn’t have anyone to talk to anyway. I packed up my stuff and left as quickly as I came here and jumped on the first bus to Denver, Colorado. I had no particular reason to go there. It was the next bus leaving.