It’s 5:30 in the morning when Chris finally pulls into a Wal Mart lot, roughly an hour into Texas. We only stay for a few hours, starting back up by nine. I’m worn out, not having slept regularly or showered in days, but it doesn’t matter. I’m excited to be in Texas for the first time. Chris is in a different mood, tazing everyone else in the RV until we pull over and tackle him. It doesn’t deter him, as he keeps going, until we pull over again – this time throwing him out, on the highway, thirteen miles outside of Waco, and take off.
I’m sitting on the side bench inside thinking, “well, looks like we’re doing this.” However, I'm still pretty exhausted, so I can’t really comprehend it. However, it turns out that Chris’s bank card is still on board, so we make plans to stop at a hotel to clean up, and go to a spa. I can’t help but think that things are going to get awkward, but I take some joy in knowing at least I can shower for the first time in days.
First, the hotel. I’m so desperate to clean up that I actually go down to the lobby bathroom to wash my face and shave while other people use the shower. I felt infinitely better. From there we head over to a local spa, so we can all get assorted treatments on Chris’s dime. I go with a manicure from a lovely young lady who’s patient enough to deal with me, a guy who’s somehow cocky despite having lived like a hobo the past few days. I get my manicure, read Cosmo in the lobby area, and take a nap on the couch.
The minute we finish and walk out, we start getting texts that Chris is lost, and we slowly start panicking. We quickly brainstorm what to do, like searching the town’s Greyhound station, with no luck. Then we start making emergency phone calls, until we’re just sitting in this parking lot, completely unsure of what to do or how to find him, hopeless.
But as we think it over, things don’t add up, and we get suspicious. We talk it over for a few minutes and make a decision; Chris is pulling a fast one on us. We’re still a little shaken up, but determined to flip this around. Twenty minutes for a fast food dinner (first “real” meal of the day, really), and we take off, hoping for the best.
The drive from Waco to Austin is short, barely over an hour. Halfway through, after some more phone calls, our suspicions are confirmed: Chris is already in Austin. We quickly formulate a new, fool proof plan, and keep driving to Austin.
Next up: The mental game of chicken continues.