One for the Road

Short Story

She had just barely got off the highway, waiting to turn off the off ramp, when she decided that she needed a drink. Just one drink, she still had a good three hours left of her drive before she could get seriously wasted. So that's what she did. She pulled her car into the parking lot of next bar she saw. The Machine Shop was the name of the bar. Shrugging off her jacket, leaving her in a crop top and shorts, she made her way in.


The Machine Shop was dead, which left him with nothing to do. Sitting behind the bar, serving the drunks that were still in, and drying the glasses were all that he could do until his shift was up. That wasn't for a good five more minutes. Five, dead, slow minutes.

Nothing much happened here unless it was a Sunday or a band was playing. It, however, was a Wednesday and no band was playing, the only actual sounds were the small conversations of the couple of people still conscious, the music playing through the speakers and the occasional jingle of the door opening.

"I would love a cup of fire Jack Daniels, please." He didn't look up at the person who just ordered and instead just got them the drink they asked for. Before he could tell them what the price is, they put down a five. "Keep the change, the bar looks dead tonight."


She picked up her drink as the bartender looked at her. 'Damn,' she thought, 'is he hot.' Dark eyes, light hair, and tan skin. He looked like he spent time outside a lot. 

"I bet you get this a lot," she started, catching the bartender's attention, "but you are fine." She had her left elbow resting on the bar top with her hand under her chin, her right hand holding onto her drink.

"Actually, I don't." He held a smirk on his face, one she didn't see too often on people. She liked this side of him, though she didn't exactly know the other side.

In response to him, she smirked too.


He looked at the woman in front of him, liking what he saw. It's not often women like her come through. Women of her colour do, the typical bronzy like colour or darker, just not too many with wild, pastel pink hair. She wasn't from here, you could tell that just by looking at her.

"My name's Emma, but people call me Rose," she told him, offering him a smile.

"I can see why, you got the hair to go with it. I'm James."

They chatted for a couple more minutes, Emma slowly drinking her drink, before James had to clock out.

"If you wait for me," He started, looking over his shoulder at Emma, "I'll take you to this great café. We can continue talking for a bite before you leave." He left to the back before she could answer.


She sat for a couple of minutes, finishing up her drink, leaving a tip for the next bartender under the empty glass and stood up. She checked the time, about elevenish, and looked around. The place was just as empty as it was when she entered, the only thing filling the empty space was the clinking of glasses, the chatter of people, and music. Currently playing was Arctic Monkeys, an Indie Rock band that she spent a portion of her time listening to. The song playing by them was Stop the World I Wanna Get Off With You. A good song indeed.

"Get the sense that you're on the move and you'll probably be leaving soon. So I'm telling you. Stop the world cause I wanna get off with you," James sang off-key as he walked up to her. He was now dressed in a simple pair of dark jeans and a band-tee. "We can take my car and I can bring you back."

"No, we'll take my car because I have to come back this way anyways," She told him, winning the conversation before it got out-of-hand with them going back and forth. Which she knew would happen.


He held the door open for Emma when they got to the quaint little café he mentioned before they left. It was a mixture of all natural colours which made it cozy and homey like.

When she walked in, her dark eyes held a look in them, a positive one. Emma smiled and sat down at one of the booths.

"I like this. The theme, the style. God, I miss the smell of coffee," she stated, looking around. She was so pretty in this moment, he wished he could capture it.

"Do you travel much?" he asked her.

"Umm, yeah. All the time. It's rare I spend more than a couple weeks in the same place," She told him. "I guess I do it because I know I don't have a ton of time left on this planet. That one day, I know I'll die and there's nothing much I can do about it, so I might as well see all that I can. Go all the places I can go." Emma had a distant look in her eyes, as if she knew something that he'd never know. "Anyways, do you travel much?"

He was taken aback at the retaliation question and thought over the amounts of time he has traveled. "No, not as much as I'd wish. I've been here and there but not everywhere I'd like to go."

Emma nodded her head at his answer and ordered a cup of coffee.


It's not that she had a problem with the man that sat across from her. It's just that she didn't want to get involved. She knew that getting too deep, growing bonds, would hold her back from traveling. Sure, she had enough money to take not just one person but a whole group of people with her on her travels, it's just that she didn't want to hold people back from what they wanted. What they had the potential to do.

'One night,' she thought. 'One night shouldn't do any harm, right?' The only pick-up line she could think of was 'Are you a bottle of Jameson? Because if you are, I'll have one for the road please.' That was the next thing to spew out of her mouth.


"I still can't believe that you said that," he said, laughing at her lame pick-up line while he opened the door to his apartment.

"Shut up," Emma's face was a dull red in colour while she entered. He just continued to laugh at it while shutting and locking the door behind her.

"Pick-up lines might not be my thing," Emma started, pushing him up against the wall, "but I'm great in bed."


James wasted no time reacting to the hasty kiss. Moving in fast motion, they went from the hallways by the door to the kitchen counter to the bathroom door. In between each move they lost more clothing and items. Shoes and socks to shirts and finally pants, crashing on James' bed in their underwear.

Dark red and blue stuck out against the white duvet and sheets. The sounds of moans, grunts, and cloth rustling filled the room with the smell of lust and sweat. Nothing at the moment mattered to her. Not the fact she still had to drive for a bit, not the fact that she said she wouldn't get attached, nothing. She let all of that fade away when James fully undressed he and then did what she did best. Fuck her pain away.


He woke the next morning to the smell of food and an empty spot next to him. He pulled on his boxers and made his way to the kitchen where the smell originated from. A plate of eggs, grits and pancakes sat there with a note next to it.

'I guess I did 'take one for the road.' Call me' under the note, scribbled out was a phone number with the name 'Emma' signed next to it in cursive.

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One for the Road
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