Hitching a Ride
Cori’s parents die tragically and she's left. to care for her brother Billy.She loses her job and the DCFS threaten to take Billy away from her. Cori devises a plan for her and Billy to hide in the back of a truck headed for Chicago to escape. Will she accomplih her goal and also find love with the owner of the trucking company once they reach the end of the line in Chicago? More
Cori’s eyes were moist with tears as she thought of the letter she had received in the mail days earlier. She knew the contents by heart as she ran her hand across the folded envelope tucked away in the pocket of her jeans. Why was this happening to them? Life was so unfair.
The state wanted to take her brother Billy from her and place him in a foster home. Although, she tried pushing the thoughts from her mind, she couldn’t deny the reality at what was happening any longer.
She fished in the other pocket of her old, faded jeans and pulled out a handful of crumpled dollar bills and a little change. She looked down at the last of their money before shoving it back in her pocket.
Darn, there wasn't enough to keep them going for very long. One or two more days and they would be stone-broke. Again, she closed her mind to the hopelessness of the situation.
Glancing at the truck stop menu, she tried figuring what would cost the least. The sandwich and soft drink weren't too expensive and should satisfy Billy. Cori looked at Billy and noticed how he shuffled and tapped his feet in time with the music blaring from the old jukebox at the far end of the diner. It didn't look to Cori as if he had a care in the world, but appearances were nothing to go by. She knew better.
He had read the letter and knew what lay ahead of them, but he didn’t want to talk about it. For Cori's benefit, he acted as if they didn't have a worry in the world. There was so much that had happened to them, years would pass before they could forget.
Cori laid her hand on Billy's arm and leaned toward him. "I'll order something for you,” she told him, keeping her voice lowered so he was the only one that could hear.
He glanced across at her with a puzzled frown. "You have to eat, too, Sis.” His brown eyes were bright with curiosity as he waited for her answer. Reaching up, he pushed the long, straggly strands of brown hair behind his ear. Cori watched and realized he needed a haircut, but she would have to take care of that problem later, after they arrived in Chicago.
"I'm not in the least hungry.” She dropped her eyes to hide the lie she had just told him. She ignored the growling noises her stomach was beginning to make
"If you're not going to eat, then I'm passing on the meal, too,” he told her.
"You'll do no such thing, Billy Jordan,” she said forcefully. "As I said before, I'm not hungry."
He looked at her with a doubting eye, but he saw the stern look covering her small features. He knew better than to argue with Cori because she always won in the end.
Cori ignored how he watched her as she removed the money and placed it on the counter. The aroma of food cooking smelled like heaven, but she blocked out the scent filling the air.
"I have to use the rest room, so don't wander off and leave our things unattended," she told him as her gaze drifted to the carryall and suitcase wedged beneath their seats. Most of the possessions they owned in the world were jammed into the two cases.
"I'll keep an eye on them,” he promised, his gaze following her as she stood.
"I won't be a minute,” she said, lightly touching his shoulder with the tip of her fingers.
As she walked slowly across the room toward the rest rooms, she felt something under her tennis shoe. Glancing down, she saw one of her laces was untied on her sneaker.
Cori stopped and bent over near two men seated at the counter. She felt like an eavesdropper as they continued with their conversation, unaware they had an audience. A guilty sensation filled her as she listened to what they were saying.
She heard the man with dark hair mentioning he was taking his rig and leaving for Chicago in half an hour. He explained to the other man that he was carrying a load of supplies to the truck terminal and was running late.