146 - after
ome asshole honked his horn as he drove past her. Megan didn't even turn to acknowledge his action. She just kept walking, as if she hadn't heard the obnoxious sound at all.
There was no sidewalk on this bridge, but she still had every right to be here. She paid her taxes, and walking was way better for the environment, anyway. This bridge was the only river crossing for miles, and she was intent upon crossing this river.
Megan had felt cold before she got on the bridge. Winter nights were always harsh around these parts, but the last few weeks had been especially brutal. Vaguely, she recalled some talk at the start of the season of a mild winter. So much for that, she thought.
Her teeth were chattering now, though. Suspended up in the air, without the warmth of the earth below, she was freezing from head to toe. The cold winds coming off the icy river below were of no assistance, either. If she didn't make it across this bridge, at least she would leave a well-preserved corpse.
Another group of cars buzzed past her. They came in waves, which was nice because that meant there would at least be occasional moments where Megan didn't have to worry about a car running her down from behind. The silence of those times was nice.
When the cars came, she tensed up. Their headlights, even from behind, gave her a little warning as they illuminated the path and signage in front of her. Then, a moment later, they would be bearing down upon her, whooshing by at incredible speeds.
Megan didn't resent the motorists for zooming by her in comfort while she slowly trudged through the cold. They could slow down, though. No, Megan corrected herself. They should slow down. If only to let her know that they were aware of her presence. Maybe they weren't aware, and that's why they carelessly sped by.
At least the guy who had honked was aware of her.
The air from the vehicles passing by made her even colder. She kept walking.
She couldn't tell how much farther she had to go. In the darkness, distance was hard to judge. Megan knew that this was a pretty long bridge, but she estimated that she was at least halfway across by now. She had no idea if her estimate was anywhere close to reality, but it was easier on her mind to think that way. She was on the downhill slope now, and it was only going to take a few more minutes, surely.
In the next wave of cars, a pickup truck pulled alongside her. This made her very uncomfortable, of course, but she felt her stomach begin to truly churn as she saw the passenger-side window roll down.
"You know, pedestrian traffic is illegal on this bridge," the driver of the truck yelled across his empty passenger seat. Megan showed no reaction at all, much like she had done to the guy who had honked his horn. Perhaps it was better to not be noticed, after all.
"Did you hear me? You can't be here!" he said.
Megan had no choice. She had to react. "So? Are you a cop?" she asked.
"No, but I could report you," he answered.
"Do it, then," she said, with her breath hanging in the air.
The driver kept slowly rolling alongside her. "Look, it's a cold night. You're gonna die out here. You want a ride?"
Megan shook her head, exerting the least possible energy to refuse his offer.
"Fine! Have fun freezing out here!" he shouted, before speeding off into the distance.
Megan felt better. She kept walking.