The Best Worst Christmas for Katy H. continued.
Katy got out her phone and pressed 9 and 1. Her thumb hovered over the 1, ready to press it in case the driver turned out to be some crazy person. She watched in her rearview mirror as the driver got out of the truck and slowly walked towards her car, leaning over to look at both sides of it. Her eyes moved to the sideview mirror, her thumb still ready to hit the number one.
Then he was there, bending down at her window, a friendly smile on his face and a Santa hat on his head. He looked pretty young, maybe about her age and one of his eyebrows was pierced. And he had perfect, white teeth. He couldn’t be a psycho with teeth like that. She released the breath she had been holding and set her phone down in the passenger seat and lowered her window.
“Hi there, ma’am. You called for help?” He had a calm, deep voice and dark brown, smiling eyes.
Katy nodded. “I think I have a flat tire.”
“Yeah, I saw that. I’m going to have to pull you off the road into a parking lot to change the tire, okay? I recommend you come into my truck so you stay warm. Better than standing out in the cold on a night like this.” He smiled and nodded and stood back up, pressing his back against the rear door of her car as another car honked and passed them.
Katy grabbed the handle and pushed the door open. She turned to put her high heeled boots on the ground and as she leaned forward to get enough momentum to pull her pregnant self out of the car, she felt the familiar sharp tug in her belly.
“Ow!” she cried before she could stop herself.
“You okay, ma’am?” The tow truck driver quickly crouched down beside her. “Oh, you’re pregnant. Here, let me help you. I’ve got three sisters and they’ve all been pregnant more than once. Trust me, I’ve heard all the stories. The good, the bad, the ugly.” He reached towards her and gently grabbed both of her elbows and before Katy knew what he was doing, he had pulled her up to her feet.
“Thank you,” she said breathlessly, standing in front of him. She noticed a couple tattoos on his neck peeking over the collar of his jacket. She couldn’t quite make out what it was.
“No problem. Here, let me grab your purse and things, just in case.” Katy moved over and watched him crawl into her car and back out with her purse, phone, and gloves.
“Thank you, again,” she said as he handed them to her.
“Come on, come sit in the truck. It’s nice and warm in there.” He took her by the elbow once again and slowly guided her to the passenger side of his truck. He opened the door for her and made sure she got in safely before gently closing the door. The truck was definitely warm. A little too warm for her in her pregnant state. Katy pulled off her gloves and pulled her jacket off a little more as she watched him jog back around the front of the truck and open the passenger door. He jumped into his seat with ease and pulled off his Santa hat, revealing longish dark hair streaked with bold lines of blonde and shaved sides and pierced ears. He was definitely one colourful guy. Katy stared at him. She wasn’t sure yet if he was safe or not. He looked like he was part wild animal. Or maybe just some party punk kid or maybe he was in a death metal band. She turned her phone over in her hand while keeping her eyes on him.
“You good? Buckle up, even though we’ll ride only a few feet, anything can happen.” He turned and smiled at her and she quickly looked away. The tow truck driver shifted the truck into drive and swiftly pulled his vehicle in front of her car and backed up slowly.
“K, hang tight here. I’ll load up the car and drive us to that parking lot about fifty feet away. When it’s this dark and cold, it’s always better to be in a parking lot.”
Katy nodded. The driver put his Santa hat back on, got out of the truck and walked to the back. She heard him pulling pins or something on the rig but she didn’t look back. She needed to keep her belly facing forward. No more twisting.
She glanced around the inside of the vehicle. The tree air freshener had been decorated. It looked like someone had taken a glitter glue pen to it. There was a travel coffee mug in the cup holder. It was Christmas-y too. And she had seen silver garland draped across the back of the cab’s back window when she had climbed in. It was tacky all right. Christmas tacky. She decided to turn on the radio. Yep, Christmas music was playing. She turned it off and rested her head on the back of the headrest. This was actually a pretty comfortable sleeping position. Why hadn’t she thought to buy herself a big recliner? She’d use it anyway when the baby came. A big, soft, rocking recliner maybe with a mini fridge built into the side. She should ask Julia for that. She was certain that Julia had done even less Christmas shopping than she had although her sister would probably put her to shame with all the online bargains she always managed to find. Oh it was warm, too warm…
“Ma’am? Ma’am, you okay?” Katy’s eyes opened and she saw Mr. Tow Truck Driver’s big brown eyes looking at her with concern.
“Yeah, yeah I’m okay. I can’t believe I fell asleep!” She cleared her throat and wondered if she had been snoring or moaning. Julia complained about her sounds even though she slept across the hall from her. Hopefully this was only another annoying pregnancy symptom that would end soon enough. The sooner the better.
He chuckled. “No worries. I bet you don’t sleep well most of the time. Sleep while you can, it’s your last chance!”
“What? What do you mean?” She asked him. “Wait, what’s your name anyway?”
“Oh sorry, ma’am. My name’s Tyler. I should have introduced myself earlier. My apologies. Pleased to meet you.” He pulled off his glove and reached out to shake her hand. She noted the tattoo on his hand running up under his sleeve. She hesitantly lifted her hand to reach over and return the gesture but then remembered her sore belly.
“I’m Katy. I don’t mean to be rude, Tyler, but I can’t shake your hand. I pulled a muscle or something in my belly before. It’s better if I don’t twist myself.”
“Oh here. Just shake your left hand.” He immediately reached for her hand before she could pull it away and awkwardly shook it.
“You’re not married?” he asked when he saw her naked hand. “Oh sorry, I don’t mean to be rude. Maybe your rings don’t fit. I know my sisters couldn’t wear their rings during their last trimesters.”
“No, no, I’m not married. It’s…complicated.” She stared down at her hands and stretched out her fingers, staring at the naked ring finger on her left hand.
“Oh, ah, sorry, that was stupid of me. Heh look, I don’t mean to sound like a creep or anything, but just in case you get caught out in the cold and need a mechanic or a tow truck again, here’s my card. It’s got my cell on it. If you were my sister, I wouldn’t want some crazy old guy driving you around in his truck.” Katy snickered to herself as Tyler reached over head and pulled out a black, shiny business card from his sun visor and handed it to her. It had a silver outline of a truck on it with his name, Tyler Thompson, and his number as promised.
“Oh, and by the way, I put your flat on the back of my truck. I’ll fix it up for you tomorrow at the shop. Call me when you can pick it up, any time after lunch is good.”
“Thank you. I really appreciate it.” She opened up her purse and and dropped the business card in without looking. “Look, thank you so much for changing my tire and letting me stay warm in here. I gotta go get my parents from the airport. They’re probably thinking I forgot them.”
“Hang on, let me help you so you don’t hurt yourself again.” Before she could protest, Tyler had jumped out of the truck and was jogging over to the passenger side. He opened the door and reached for her arm. “Careful. I don’t need you going into labour on me.”
Katy groaned. “Ha. As much as I’m ready to be not pregnant, I’m not ready for a baby just yet.”
“Aw, I’m sure you’ll do just fine.” Tyler tucker her arm securely around his and walked her to her car.
Tyler opened the car door for her and she held onto him as she lowered herself down. Once she was safe inside, he slowly closed the door and waved. She gave a little wave without turning to look at him.
Katy sighed and put her purse down beside her. She started her car and drove off towards the airport.
Continue with Part 4 here.