I stood with my thumb out and stared into the emptiness that surrounded me. I waited for quite a while and started to think I was on the wrong road or something from all the bizarre looks I was getting as cars drove past.
“Have fun suckaaaaa!” The last words I heard as they drove off leaving me stuck on this grotty wet pavement with only a £20 note, a bit of cardboard, the clothes I were in and a few necessities which included a ham sandwich I made that morning.
I was 19 and fulfilled with a burning need to escape my bubble and see what this world around me was all about.
Okay, maybe not.
After a drunken night out with the lads I found myself committing to dare I don’t actually remember. A dare which meant I had to hitchhike from a weekend away in Newcastle back to my home in Bristol. They thought I wasn’t capable of such thing having grown up dependent with everything I ever wanted right in front of me. I was determined to prove them wrong!
I stood with my thumb out and stared into the emptiness that surrounded me. I waited for quite a while and started to think I was on the wrong road or something from all the bizarre looks I was getting as cars drove past. One car with a bunch of teenage lads in, even stuck their finger up at me, shouting abusive names I had never heard before. Maybe it was the way I looked, I wasn’t sure at this moment, but continued my long wait for someone to pull over. I didn’t know what I had got myself into, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted a lift, as the thought of possibly being further away from here terrified me even more.
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My feet started to hurt after standing so long in the damp nastiness. I could see the sky clouds over to a heavy grey, and then the wind picked up and felt horrid. A heavy fall of rain drops from the sky I ended up sitting in the grass for a while feeling awful. I had no idea what to do. Was this even possible? I finally got up and tried once again, feeling the happiness slowly drip away from me as I stood. It would take a real miracle to get me out of this, I thought.
A miracle is what happened. A young blond pulled over and slowly put the window down for her to get a clearer idea of what I looked like. She looked pretty ruff, her straw like bleached hair was an immediate turn off. She was like one of those blonde dumb chavs that probably have a baby lying around somewhere which they’ve forgotten about.
All I could faintly here was
“Yee look freezing! Wheor are yee headin?”
I walked up closer to her car, which I would have expected to be an old piece of trash but actually a very tidy looking Corsa. I told her where I was going and she offered to take me as far as Leeds as she was visiting her sister there. Of course I took this offer and jumped in.
I hadn’t considered the actual journey, just the need to catch a lift, so I tried to prepare myself for a long boring conversation with I knew could get extremely awkward. For the first minute it was just silence, but that gave me a good idea of the sort of person she was. She looked like a tart; she wore loads of makeup, with her outrageous boobs in every eye view and was orange, literally orange from head to toe. Finally the clothes she wore were shameful; a tight low cut blazer and a short skirt with ridiculously long heels which you could clearly see she couldn’t drive in.
She asked me why I was hitchhiking so far, I paused trying to figure out an answer because I knew what I had to say would just make me look as stupid as her right now. I told her I got my wallet stolen and had no way of getting home. An absolute lie, but I knew she wasn’t smart enough to ask for the real reason and catch me out. She just looked at me intensely and nodded her head, and then continued driving. I thought I had to say something, just to get out of this uncomfortable stillness.
“Where do ya wurk then?” I asked dreading what the answer could be.
“I’m a student; ah study law in Newcastle University. But when free ah like tuh take part in a charity ah set up wi’ me sister.”
I nodded, while going over all the situations in my head about how wrong I must of got her. She started telling me about how much she’s loving university and law is something she’s wanted to do all her life. She’s hoping to be a lawyer in the near future.
We continued talking about our future ambitions and funnily enough the conversation continued our whole journey, she seemed lovely. Someone I would certainly inspire to be. It just showed me how rude it was of me to judge her of such false assumptions.
She dropped me of at the nearest travel lodge to where she was staying. It was getting pretty late by the time I got there and started getting a little worried about how I would afford everything. Before I knew it she offered to give me £30 pound. She kindly explained how I would need it more than her, and at this moment I was over the moon about how such a person can be so kind, although I did feel guilty about why I was actually hitchhiking.
As I got into the travel lodge I began to feel a little more hopeful. Thing were looking up and I started to think I could really do this. I picked up my belongings, popped them on the counter and waited silently for someone to come.
When I was showed to my room, all which ran through my head was the thought of being in a warm bed for the night. I placed by backpack onto the floor slipped into bed and while thinking about the next day, I was also pretty proud of myself. At that moment I felt ready to take on the world.
I woke with my head pounding from the next room, not only would they not shut up, they resulted me in getting only 5 hours sleep which was certainly not enough for the day I had ahead of me. I headed down stairs after getting myself ready and got myself some well needed breakfast.
Once I was ready, I popped on my boots and headed out into the city of Leeds. This time I felt different I felt ready to take on whatever comes and hits me. Now I’m not the sort of man to stand around waiting but standing on that motorway really makes you think about life as it passes you by.
And once again I was stood for the second time waiting for someone to pull over. My day had only just begun, but I felt fresh, I felt ready and I felt I could really do this.
After 2 hours of waiting, I thought someone would have pulled over, just when I thought things were looking up as well. I had a long wait in front of me; the only thing I looked forward to was a big mac for lunch. Thankfully there was a McDonalds half a mile up the road!