There was no more snow on the roadside fields and the trees were covered with pale green leaves. George put his palm against the glass; The ice sheet that covered my glass the previous night had begun to melt, sliding down in tiny drops. On his break, George bought himself a coffee and two honey donuts. It was the first time she had been hungry since she had heard of Aidrey’s death. Leaning his back on the bus and eating his donuts, he watched the asphalt road warmed by the morning sun, with almost no vehicles, and wondered what to do after he arrived in Tampa. He was not old enough to rent a car, but he had withdrawn a large sum of money from the machine at the school; That money was enough for Sioeetgum to take a taxi to the cheapest motel. He would decide what to do after that. He would call Audrey’s family and say he wanted to see them. He would find out if there was going to be a funeral, find Audrey’s friends and talk to them. How is it
dragged Audrey to suicide after leaving school? Did he leave a note or something? Was there any reason? The bus driver announced that the break was over after the woman threw her cigarette on the ground. George took the bus after him. The weather in Tampa was clear and the temperature reached twenty degrees. It smelled of tar. George found a rusty taxi parked outside the bus station. The short, Latin-origin driver had his elbow hanging out of the open window, his head on his arm. He was sleepy. How much money does it cost until Sveetgum? George asked. Why do you want to go there? How much money does it cost? I do not know. Eighty dollars. If you take me to a motel in Sweetgum, sixty dollars will work for you. “All right,” he said after the taxi driver looked at his watch. George settled in the back seat with his bag. Her armpits were starting to sweat. The taxi passed over a bridge over Tampa Bay. There was a gap between the clouds, the sun coming from here illuminated the gray of the sea. After leaving Tampa, the ocean was invisible and motel signs, restaurants, gas stations and strip clubs began to appear through palm trees on either side along the highway. Audrey didn’t talk much about her pre-college life, but she had things to say about the town in which she was born and raised. I’d like to come and see it, George had said at one point. Audrey laughed. There is nothing to see. It’s a place with a few shops. What is your favorite part? Leaving there. Small town life is not for me. The taxi driver turned from the first exit to Sveetgum and entered the parking lot of a motel, whose sign announced that there were rooms for $ 29.99 a night. This motel was between a restaurant called Shoney’s and a secondhand car shop. Just above, a mile away, was the billboard for the place called Billy’s, which sells fireworks and oranges. Wait here till I ask if there is a free room, okay? “I think they have empty rooms,” the driver said after taking a glance at the motel’s almost empty parking lot. After George paid the man sixty dollars, he walked to the motel’s office.