Because of what we found when we arrived at Mum's and that taking precedence of all else, I never shared the story of our car trip down to Eden. I didn't even tell my husband about it until we were all sitting around one night before Mum's funeral.
Just out of Cooma we saw a hitch hiker on the side of the road. I was feeling all Buddhist and kind and good will to all mankind etc. And it was starting to rain and just so cold. I also have hitch hiked and picked up hitch hikers in my youth, so I pulled over and offered a lift. We loaded his backpack into the back of the car and pulled back onto the road. As soon as I pulled away, I though holy shit what have I done. But I felt I couldn't pull back over and say I'd made a mistake so I kept driving.
I tried to make conversation and asked him where he was going. He said he was wanting to go skiing (but we were driving away from the ski fields?) and then he sank into weird silence. I kept telling myself that it was ok.
The atmosphere in the car was tense, all the fun and cheer had evaporated. My kids were so quiet in the back seat and it was so awful. I was kicking myself and having a terrible time concentrating on the foggy roads. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw him reach down into his bag and pull out some gloves.
As he pulled them on all I was thinking was "why? it's so warm in the car, is he going to murder us?"
I realised then I needed to pull over and get him out of my car, but we were in the middle of the bush on a little highway and it was now raining quite heavily outside and I thought if he is a serial killer I would definitely make him angry by kicking him out in the middle of no where and if he was just a nice but bit weird guy then it wouldn't be kind of me to drop him in the middle of no-where.
I spotted a car ahead and kept up with it so at least we were near other traffic and I decided that I would drop him off at Nimmitabel. Never has driving 36 km taken such a toll on me. I never would have made it safely down Brown Mountain with him in the car and me looking at those gloves wondering what he was plotting.
As we pulled into the outskirts of tiny little Nimmitabel I said to him I'm sorry but I am too stressed and worried about my kids to concentrate properly on the road so I'm going to have to drop you off. He just asked that I drop him at the cafe in the main street. So he probably wasn't a serial killer. But who knows!
No hitch hikers.
I am an idiot at times.