In the short time that she’d known him, Nic had already seen Aman in three different moods, and she decided not to stick around for a fourth...
The gathering was just like Aman had described, a few co-ed friends at a rundown old farm property hanging out over a wild bonfire behind the house. Aman’s liveliness was night and day compared to their initial encounter. He seemed lighter with his friends, maybe he was just one of those people who gives a weird first impression, she thought. Regardless, his warmer demeanor helped Nic feel a lot more relaxed.
She felt so grateful for this outcome with such a big risk taken, she couldn’t express her gratitude enough, so when Aman asked for some help in the kitchen, Nic leapt at the opportunity to lend a hand.
Aman guided Nic through a surprisingly narrow yet modern kitchen considering the large beaten-up farm house it was attached to.
“Grab those popsicles for me please,” he instructed while lifting a cooler.
Nic grabbed the bag from the freezer, only to find that most of them had begun melting. As the lemon pops spilled all over the counter through their soft white packaging. Nic alerted Aman to their liquified state.
“Really? You had one job! Clean it up and put ‘em back in the freezer!” He yelled, startling her in the process.
“Whoa, calm down, I’m not the reason they melted, I guess the freezer was just overstuffed. It’s not a big deal, I can clean it up and make some room in there.”
“Figure it out,” he said curtly while leaving Nic to tend to the mess. In the short time that she’d known him, Nic had already seen Aman in three different moods, and she decided not to stick around for a fourth. Nic realized that she’d have to find a polite way to excuse herself from the gathering and take her chances back at the gas station. Perhaps the clerk was a better option than she’d initially thought.
The smell of the fruity sticky popsicle filled the room as Nic tried frantically to clean up Aman’s mistake. She finished hastily and made her way out the front door, quietly to avoid another Aman confrontation. With just one mile back to the gas station, and desolate land in between, Nic convinced herself that getting back on foot was a reasonable option.
The screen door hissed behind her as she tiptoed down the steps of the front porch to the main road looking out for anyone from the bonfire who may have strayed. Once her feet hit the pavement, she felt an urgency that she hadn’t felt before to get back to the gas station as soon as possible--Nic obliged. Her pace hastened despite being somewhat unsure of her footing in the dark, rural October evening.
Nic glanced down at her watch--7:45 p.m. She had been walking for twenty minutes, becoming more confident with each uninterrupted step until she heard gravel being disturbed a ways behind her. As she shifted her focus to the disturbance, Nic recognized the sound of a car slowly approaching.