The Day I First Met You

This story was written just for fun for a writing prompt: a (long) drabble of exactly 500 words, with a title starting like it does. Enjoy.

Has a song ever changed your life?

It was a beautiful day in May, and I was on my weekly drive from Lake Constance up to Frankfurt. Just before leaving town, I saw the girl standing there – curly dark hair, pretty face, skimpy top and shorts, backpack, a brace on her left knee. Just my type. She held a sign saying “FRANKFURT”. 

I considered her. I really shouldn’t be picking up hitchhikers. But even though it’s not a long trip, just three and a half hours, it’s boring when you are alone. The German Autobahn isn’t what it was anymore – now it’s either speed limits, or traffic jams. And she did have a winning smile. Oh, what the hell, I thought. It won’t be my first exception.

“Hi, I’m Anna,” she said as she climbed in. “Thanks for the ride.”

“Antonio,” I said. “No worries.”

She grinned at me. “Anna and Antonio. Cute. Italian?” That smile again.

I smiled back. “Third generation. My grandparents came to Germany with the big wave in the sixties.” I nodded at her leg. “What’s with the brace?”

She shrugged. “Sports injury. Still hurts like hell.”

We chatted, and before I knew it, we had passed the Black Forest. My A4 can do good time. I wished we were in the TT Roadster, though.

“Mind if I turn on the radio?” she asked. She switched stations, and there it was:

The day I first met you,
You told me you’d never fall in love.
But now that I get you,
I know fear is what it really was.

“Ooooh,” Anna squealed, “I love Demi Lovato. She’s part Italian, you know?” She looked at me with big eyes as she sang along.

Suddenly she winced. “Ow. Damn, leg acting up.” She rummaged in her bag. “Do you mind? I have a prescription.” She was holding a joint.

“Not in the car.” I took the next exit and found a secluded parking spot off road. Anna started smoking. I declined her offer to join.

She massaged her leg. “It’s not really helping today,” she muttered. I admired the leg.

“Can’t get Demi out of my head,” she said. “I know you’re scared it’s wrong,” she sang. She had a lovely voice. “Like you might make a mistake. There’s just one life to live…”

They were right, Anna and Demi. I’d already taken one risk today by picking her up. Just one life to live. “Do you need something stronger?”

She looked at me with big eyes. “What do you have?”

I went to the trunk and opened it. “Let’s see. You’ll want an opiate, maybe …” Click. I stopped. Shit. I knew that sound.

“That was easier than I thought,” she said directly behind me. Her voice had changed. “We weren’t sure whether your run today was a decoy. Now, put your hands behind your back, very slowly…”

My uncle will kill me when I get out. Or earlier. The family doesn’t forgive these kinds of things.

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