We seated ourselves in a booth and both ordered coffee and tomato soup. As we ate, it began to rain outside and about halfway through our meal, the bell above the door signaled the entrance of another late-night diner. His long black hair was plastered to his head, dripping. His trench coat left a trail of water on the floor as he walked, his boots squeaking along the floor. He sat at the bar and, when the only waitress came around, ordered in a whisper. Axel's eyes followed his movements and lingered on his back for a few seconds after the man sat down. I lit up a cigarette, finished with my bland soup. Axel was still sipping the dregs from the bowl.

"Which way should we go? I thought I saw a motel sign back down the highway," I finally broke the silence, but barely above a whisper. Months on the run had made me paranoid. Axel stole another glance at the trench coat man before answering, "We should fuel up at that gas station across the road. Besides, we've got one pack left plus the," He paused, opened the pack of lucky strikes and removed one of the three, "Two we've got left in this one." He pushed his bowl away and downed the rest of his coffee. I left a 10 on the table and with one backward glance, we left the diner for cigarettes, fossil fuels, and sleep. I noted the white Dodge challenger parked across from our truck- undoubtedly the trench coat man's car.

I slept in a full-sized bed next to Axel that night. It was wonderful compared to sleeping in the truck, despite the stains on the sheets, flat pillows, and the cockroaches that scattered when you turned the light on. We lay down at 4am and I awoke at 7 for a cigarette. Refusing to brave the morning chill, I opened wide the bathroom window after pulling on my coat. I was right to stay inside; the air was icy and froze my breath. I lit my cigarette and gazed out at the parking lot. It was a one-story motel, with potholes parking spaces and creaky hinges on the doors. Still, it was cheap, and that's what matters. I leaned out the window to get a better look at my surroundings now that the sun was mostly above the horizon. It was then that I spied a white car, the same one I'd seen at the diner last night.