Minta

He’s out in the rain, my young, hitchhiking human charge, and hardly any cars on the road at this late hour for him to implore to stop. Those few who swoosh by on the wet tarmac all ignore him—if they even see him.

Me, right now, I’m ten or so long Minta-steps into the very nearby night-forest, keeping an eye out. I feel a little (though not too) sorry for him. Right now, things are topsy-turvying a little too enthusiastically in his life. Not that he’s the innocent bystander, not by any stretch.

I am glad though that he did not go to France. He’s a dreamer is my little lad, and not the most realistic of dreamers. Truth be told, I was a little curious to see how he would have handled things had the bus journey not been cancelled and had he, in fact, arrived in Paris—ignorant of French, and with little or no money. Not a recipe for Paris success. He would’ve had to start dreaming really fast and more realistically. Either that, or wake up, fast and furiously; and most likely head back to Sweden (by thumb) once his senses had gathered him up sufficiently.

So, France no longer on the list, here he stands in the now drizzle soon to become downpour by the looks of things, waiting for the sympathetic ride that refuses to come. Meanwhile, the empty horse-truck, Torsten Brolin driving, is rumbling in his direction, about thirty or so minutes out, and Torsten, checking the time, is considering pulling over at the next rest area to catch a few winks. Not that he’s dead tired, but it’s late and with no one to talk to (to help keep him awake and alert), perhaps a couple of hours in the land of nod would not be such a bad idea.

That’s when I whisper, in the soft language indistinguishable from Torsten’s own thoughts: there’s bound to be a hitchhiker on a night light this and he might well keep you awake and alert for the rest of the trip. And it would be good to arrive in Gothenburg sooner rather than later, it always is—you know that from experience.

Torsten adopts this reasoning as all his own and mulls this over and then mulls it over a little more and then long enough to miss the rest area he had had in mind and so, oh, well, let’s keep an eye out for hitchhikers then.

And that he does.

And that he does.

And so, he sees my little wetter-by-the-minute lad and stops and picks him up.

No, to answer your question, I did not know (or at least did not think about) Torsten being Ulf’s Sanna neighbor—that was just a bonus, I guess. Stirred Torsten wide awake though, and the little lad, too.

I think the term these days is win-win.

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