"I have no idea where we are, Emma, no idea." He jerked the wheel to the left and pulled the car to a rough stop a gas station. "These neighborhoods are only getting worse though, and it's almost dark. I don't want to get lost."
"Yeah," I nodded, watching a man push off the wall and stumble toward us. He was clutching a bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag in one hand, and a tattered coat was flapping around his knees. "We need to get our bearings."
"You stay here, okay?" He gestured toward the man. "I'm going to ask that guy for directions."
"Okay," I agreed.
I watched their faces, half in shadow and half in light as the fluorescent lights flickered overhead. Their mouths were forming words I couldn't understand, but I was surprised when he was back in just under two minutes, red-faced and jamming the keys into the ignition.
"What happened?" I asked. "Did the guy give you directions?"
"No," he said. Our tires screeched as he pulled out onto the street.
"Shouldn't you have gone in and asked the attendant then?"
"Okay," I hesitated, "but we still don't know where we're going and you're driving really fast. I could've gone in and asked the attendant."
"I just wanted to get out of there, okay? I'll figure out how to get back on the main road --- just give me a minute."
"Why are you snapping at me? What happened?"
"He offered me money."
"Weird. Why are you mad about that though?" I laughed. "Why didn't you just take it?"
"He offered me money for you, Emma. Don't you get it?"
This post was inspired by the novel Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement. Ladydi was grew up in rural Mexico, where being a girl is a dangerous thing.She and other girls were “made ugly” to keep protect them from drug traffickers and criminal groups. Join From Left to Write on February 18 we discuss Prayers for the Stolen. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.